Political science professor, former governor discuss riot at Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A political science expert and former governor of Oklahoma are reacting to the riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

Harold Orndorff, associate professor of political science at Oklahoma Christian University, says what happened is unprecedented in contemporary history. 

“A lot of the rhetoric that we see coming from President Trump has directly led to this idea of embracing conspiracy theories in a new way,” he said. “The fact that we see this coming from the top levels of government is unique. I think on that front, we can see it kind of build towards, maybe an inevitability to this kind of outcome.”

He says political parties realign throughout history, and that Trump’s presidency marks a shift in the Republican Party. 

“The Republican Party for a long time was dominated by an uneasy alliance between conservatives and libertarians, classical liberals, that alliance has broken down over time,” he said. “Trump’s populism is a shift and as that shift has occurred, you’re seeing almost civil war in the Republican Party.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: Protesters interact with Capitol Police inside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating (R) says he was shocked by what happened at the nation’s capitol. 

“I was in utter disbelief when I saw that, because that is the kind of thing we don’t do,” he said.

Keating says he thinks the riots have a “common denominator” with the Oklahoma City bombing: selfishness.

“My reaction was exactly the same when I heard that people had died yesterday – ‘Who would do something so stupid? Why would you take a sacred site and kick in the windows?’” he said.

He says he’s hopeful both sides can work together in the future.

“I think the Republicans have learned a lesson – ‘No more Trumps.’ And the Democrats hopefully have learned a lesson – ‘No more riotous behavior on the hard left.’”

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