On January 6, 2021 the thugs had the upper hand.
They had broken into the Capitol building. They had beaten police. They had broken windows. They had crapped on the floor. They had flown the flag of traitors.
They had one goal.
To stop democracy. Their leader had been badly defeated in an election, yet he refused to cede power. The duly elected Congress was set to certify the election results. To make official what was real.
But if the mob could stop the Congress they could overturn the will of the people.
The plot was obvious. Hang Mike Pence. Kill Nancy Pelosi. Take over the Congress. Kill as many representatives of the people as they could get their hands on.
Then their man could step in. He could claim that the nation was in crisis. He could install marshal law. For the good of the nation. He could claim that Joe Biden had never been officially certified as the next president. He could claim that he would need to be in charge until all of this chaos could subside. Only he could fix it. He would never leave office. Democracy would be dead.
It might have worked. It was a clever plan. After all, he might have the support of the Supreme Court, where he had appointed one-third of the members. Or he might not. No matter, he would ignore the courts just as he had ignored the Constitution.
If only his thugs could stop the Congress from affirming the election. All he needed was a delay. A little time.
So, while the thugs attacked democracy their leader watched on TV. Encouraged. Delighted. Hopeful. All was going as planned. All they needed to do was break through one more door.
One door, barricaded and held by a handful of police, was all that stood between dictatorship and democracy. One door whose glass was shattered by the mob. A mob that had overrun the police and were banging and smashing all that stood in their way.
The glass shattered. An opening appeared. A hole in the dike. Enough for one thug to slip through, then another, then another, than a wave of thugs. One small chance to destroy Congress and turn democracy on its head. The world turned upside down.
In 1837 the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson penned a verse about the brave farmers of New England in 1775. Who stood up to the forces of the divinely ordained king in the name of democracy. A “shot heard round the world”.
On January 6, 2021 a Capitol police lieutenant named Michael Byrd stood alone. The only patriot standing between the thugs and democracy. Facing the mob he stood, gun in hand. Alone. He could not let them pass. He would not let them pass.
The door was breached. The thugs, determined to destroy American democracy, had finally broken through.
So Lt. Byrd aimed and fired. “A shot heard round the world”.
A thug fell. And the other thugs retreated. They fell back. As cowards always do when confronted . Congress was saved. Pence was saved. Pelosi was saved. America was saved.
Lt. Michael Byrd, just a normal American cop who had done his duty. Undone the plot to destroy democracy. Stopped the thugs in their tracks.
The bullet that saved America.