Donald Trump’s last stand? Don’t bet on it

It would be nice to think that the chaos of January 6, 2021 is the moment that America finally came to its senses but it's not


It’s still early, but is it possible that 2021 is shaping up to be worse than 2020?

Between a new variant of the coronavirus racing around the globe and the violent mob scene on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on Wednesday, it’s hard not to think so.

Watching the chaos unfold, CNN commentator Van Jones wondered if the world was witnessing the last gasp of Trumpism or the beginning of something scarier.

It’s easy to dismiss those who overran the Capitol as clowns and misfits and part of the QAnon lunatic fringe that has poisoned American politics. But more than 70 million Americans voted for Trump in the last election.

While Trump will no longer be president come January 20, the stain left from his four years of autocratic, racist rule is sadly here to stay. Indeed, some 45 per cent of Republican voters polled in a YouGov survey released Thursday morning actively support the actions of Trump supporters.

And while talking heads on the major networks and president-elect Joe Biden talked about the need to come together and heal, that the chaos “is not America,” well maybe it is.

It has to be asked if the country at this point can even afford for Trump to remain in the White House for two more weeks left in his presidency knowing what he’s capable of.

Donald Trump swore to uphold the constitution of the United States when he took his oath of office. It was all a lie of course. So when is the FBI going to show up at the White House to escort the president out?

Instead of defusing the situation on Wednesday as rioters looted the Capitol, he incited the mob further, releasing a video statement reiterating the Big Lie he’s been spreading since he lost the election – that he was robbed.

The online outrage that followed Trump’s message finally embarrassed Twitter, which has given Trump a megaphone to spread his misinformation, into taking action, locking the president’s account for 12 hours. Facebook followed suit, spiking his video. Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the person perhaps most responsible for radicalizing U.S. politics by giving fringe groups and conspiracy theorists behind Trump a platform, sent a memo to employees calling the violence “a dark moment in our nation’s history.” Too late, Marky.

Hours after the destruction started, the National Guard was finally called to disperse the mob. But it wasn’t the president who ordered them in. It was vice-president Mike Pence who was involved in those discussions. It was yet another sign that Trump has abdicated the presidency, concerning himself with nothing more than trying to steal back an election he clearly lost. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest the Trump may have ordered the Capitol police to take down the barricades set up around the compound to allow rioters in.

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” he told the crowd at a rally outside the Capitol hours before the chaos, as Republican and Democratic lawmakers certified the results of November’s election.

This was not a protest to object to the results of the election, as Trump Republican enablers have been saying. It was an assault on democracy by armed insurrectionists. It was like 911 all over again, only the attackers were domestic terrorists.

Pipe bombs were found outside the offices of the Republic National Committee and Democratic National Committee. The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was trashed and a warning message left on her desk. One person was shot and killed. Three others died from medical emergencies.

Members of Congress were forced to huddle on the House floor as the mob banged on the doors to the chamber. Some wore gas masks to protect themselves from tear gas. They were ushered out of the Capitol to undisclosed locations. They were ushered back into the House under armed guard hours later to finish the business of confirming Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.

Trump “has lost his mind,” White House insiders told the media. No shit. Trump has been trying to tear down the institutions of government since he took office. It’s only gotten worse since he lost the election for president. On Tuesday, he lost the Senate when two run-offs in Georgia went to the Democrats.

After the dust had settled. American legislators and commentators talked in the wee hours about the “hard work ahead” of repairing the damage from his presidency.

It would be nice to think that the madness of January 6, 2021 is the moment that America finally came to its senses. But America has brought this hell on itself by coddling and failing to confront a psychopathic narcissist when all the signs were there that the scene that unfolded in Washington was inevitable. Indeed, many Republicans continue to ride his coattails. Here’s looking at you Ted Cruz.

If anything, Wednesday’s events are just another sign of America’s decline. The only thing that’s going to stop the country from falling further into the abyss is Trump’s arrest – his refusal to concede is all about his cutting a deal to get out from under questions about his tax returns, isn’t it? – and the break up of the Republican party.

@enzodimatteo

Comments (1)

  • Frank Sterle Jr. January 7, 2021 02:58 PM

    I heard an on-site CBC reporter state that the Capitol Hill rioters really believe that Trump had won the election, but I doubt that’s the case with the majority of his ardent supporters.

    Just the loss itself is being touted as proof that Trump was cheated from a victory due to atypically massive electoral-ballot fraud — a claim they cannot factually support.
    Meanwhile, they’ll vehemently deny that any form of electoral fraud may have unjustly put Trump into the White House four years ago.

    Were there not scrutineers from both political camps monitoring the election, including ballot counts, last November?

    Long before election day, Trump was saying he may not respect a Biden win, as though preparing his voter base for his inevitable refusal to leave office, at least not with dignity.

    I find it plausible they’re maintaining ‘Trump was cheated’ as an excuse for their attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s (apparently quite) legitimate electoral win — or at least make it as unpleasant as possible, as we saw on Jan. 6.

    Might it be that those Trump supporters consciously or subconsciously believe that he MUST remain in office for some perceived greater good — notably to save America, make it great again and/or do ‘God’s will’ — regardless of his democratically-decided election loss, and all those in the majority who voted against Trump (which should not at all be a surprise) MUST be overridden?

    It may be a case of that perhaps most dangerous of ideologies: the end justifies the means.

    I’m not equating Trump or his base support to any of history’s genocidal maniacs, but the most frightful example of that philosophical justification is the pogrom, the implementers of which know they’re committing mass murder yet still genuinely perceive it all as part of an ultimately greater good.

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