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A Conversation with a Jan. 6 Trump Supporter

Updated: Apr 18, 2022

I wanted to talk to someone who went to the January 6 Trump Rally in Washington, D.C. Here's what I found.

A Chat About January 6 with a Trump Supporter

by Shawn Inlow

with Beth Girardi


[I did a chat interview with a Clearfield, Pa. resident who traveled with friends to the January 6 Trump rally in Washington, D.C. I wanted a local person’s perspective on the rally and the following violence at the Capitol.]

[I’ve decided to present the entire conversation, so as to not mis-represent anything Ms. Girardi said. I have edited some chit chat not related to the matters at hand.]

[I’ll be making some commentary about the discussion. My aim was not to argue with Ms. Girardi, but to allow her to reveal herself. The main part of the conversation is presented as is. I have decided to interject my reflections into the body of text in [parentheses].

[I have not changed spellings or phrasings from the chat. However, I have re-ordered the conversation in a couple places to reflect answers to questions that came out of order, as often in chats, several things get said out of order. So I’ve attempted to place the lines of conversation so as to be less confusing.]

[As a matter of personal privilege, I write as “X” in the following transcript.

[Again, commentary of my own, not included in the original transcript, is in [parentheses].

[Ms. Girardi seems to have a distrust in media as she will reveal, herself, further into the discussion. I find this true of many Trump supporters. So when she asked to see the article I decided to write pre-publication, I agreed to it. People do tend to want to know what you’re going to write about them but it is rare for a journalist to provide a pre-publication look at the copy. I agreed to do so, and did provide the transcript of this interview to her.]

[The editorial staff at The Progress and The Courier-Express passed on the article primarily because I wanted the entire 10,000 words to publish while my normal column length is 1,000 words. The paper just didn’t have the space. I did not want to make the article one tenth of what we talked about. I could see Ms. Girardi taking issue with my focusing in an opinion column on only a shred of the discussion, and I could see how that kind of selectivity would slant the conversation from what it IS and turn it into what I thought it WAS ABOUT.]

[But, dear reader, this is what reporters are supposed to do. Instead of presenting you a full transcript of the county commissioners’ meeting on a Tuesday (Which you would have no time to read. You could more easily go to that meeting yourself, which almost nobody does.), a news writer boils it down to a brief that you can get quickly and accurately.]


X (sent January 14 at 11:23 AM)

X: Hi Beth, sorry I'm late. Are you available to chat? And would you mind doing it on messenger so I don't have to take notes. I would never want to mis-quote you.

BETH (sent January 14 at 11:26 AM)

BETH: Sure

X: Being a reporter, I type rreally fast.

BETH: Can I see a copy before its published?

X: Sure.

BETH: Thank you

X: Let's start with you. I'm Shawn Inlow. I am a retired State Trooper, but am also a professional writer and I do columns for local newspapers on a regular basis in DuBois and Clearfield.

Who are you?

BETH: I'm Beth Girardi a highway construction inspector supervisor a consultant through Penndot. And a mother of 3. W/ 2 grandsons

BETH: 53 if you need that also

BETH: I live on Clearfield

X: Ok. Let's get into it a bit. So you and two freinds traveled to DC on the 6th?

BETH: Yes. We left at 5 a.m. and got down there around 9 /9:30 am

X: Did you drive yourself, or take a hotel?

[I was interested here to find out if Ms. Girardi had gone on one of the many bus trips organized from this area. The Clearfield County Sheriff, Mike Churner, had helped organize one of the bus trips on that day. I had attempted on two occasions to interview Sheriff Churner about this, but that is another conversation.]

BETH: We took my car and did the trip all in one day got home around 10 pm Took snacks and sandwiches with us not knowing if there would be anything open.

X: Can you share what motivated you to want to go to a political rally?

BETH: I'm a republican. We wanted to go and show our support for not only President Trump but our constitution which seems to be more and more under attack.

It our way of life . Things that use to be right or good seems to be wrong and bad. I want my grandkids to have a better future. And grow up in a world that has define lines between good and bad.

X: I think everyone would agree with you.

BETH: I hope so. It's crazy how our world us right now.

[The irony here is that Ms. Girardi attended what turned into a riot. While she is not culpable in a crime, she attended and watched on as hundreds, perhaps thousands of individual crimes were committed. She decries a world gone mad, yet, the world watched live on television an event that was crazy; that riveted like no event since 9/11/2001.]

X: A follow up. When you say the constitution is under attack, what, specifically, do you mean?

BETH: There really us no freedom of speech anymore. I posted pictures on fb of our trip and they were immediately taken down as not factual. How can that be I took the pictures! Im pretty sure they were real. Im a gun owner you can't get ammo. Or if you do your paying A lot of money for them why? Because a lot of patriots are buying it up yes but there aren't producing it like they did. Everyone is scared the if or when the democrats get in thats one of the first laws they will make or try to.

[Ms. Girardi goes to the first and second ammendment issues here, but I would say equating Facebook decisions about posts on its platform with "really no freedom of speech" is an exaggeration. She demonstrated, after all, her freedom of speech by attending a public political rally. She spoke freely with me for publication using Facebook Messenger.]

Life liberty and the prosute of happiness has already been stripped away from us via covid. And it won't come back anytime soon if the democrats get in Biden has already stated that. Mask will become mandatory for all.

[Masks have never been mandatory for all under the Biden administration.]

I read and seen videos of a plane that was deboarded because the passengers started singing our national anthem. Sorry got on a roll. It just upsets me so much.

[This is a reference, I believe, to a story which you can look up where a flight attendant asked passengers to remain seated and silent as the body of a fallen soldier was first taken in ceremony from the plane upon landing. It morphed into a culture-war meme for a few days after.]

X: I understand. I didn't want to interrupt your flow with dumb questions.

BETH: No dumb questions

X: But there is a lot to unpack there. Can we go back and discuss a few of the points ;you made?

BETH: Sure

X: I'd like to go to the facebook thing. You say you posted pictures on your timeline, right? And they were removed not by you?

BETH: Yes I did and No they weren't. I posted it 1 because a lot of people wanted to go but were unable and 2 because what was reported was nothing like the majority of our time there was like.

X: So your photos disappeared from your timeline?

BETH: Yes gone. They took them down.

X: Did you get some notice via facebook as to why?

BETH: I got these after my post was removed

[Note: Here, Ms. Girardi shared three screen grabs showing her Facebook account had been flagged/restricted.]

X: Fascinating. You have restrictions on your account?

BETH: I did . Im not sure i do now because I have been able to post again. But once I remove my pictures from there I plan to repost the puctures.

I also want to add that one of my friends i went with is a retired Marine. He went along just in case something happened. But it didnt.

X: Do you have any idea what these restrictions are about? I've never heard of this? Is this a new thing?

[It is, of course, a matter of record now that big tech companies have been de-platforming users for violations of their terms of use, which, I would agree with Ms. Girardi, can be quite plastic. I was warned for calling myself "poor white trash" in a post, so, yes, things are getting touchy online.]

BETH: No a lot of my friends have had post removed.

X: Many aquaintences of mine have many photos up on Fb of the rally. I wonder why. Is there something about The Sons and Daughters of Clearfield group? What's that group about?

BETH: They have a thing on the app where you can look at post you made on the same day years before and I go back and look at mine. They have removed things I ve posted in previous years because they don't meet community guidelines