The President Should Be Convicted

On Jan. 6, 2021, insurrectionists did what the Confederacy never could: They stormed Capitol Hill, waved a Confederate flag in the halls of Congress, and cut down the American flag, attempting to fly another in its place. These acts were shocking for most Americans to see, but not surprising for anyone who has been paying attention to American politics for the past five years. All of this happened because of a man who has never been presented with the true colors of reality. An entitled, narcissistic man who has never heard the word “no” until now, tried to overthrow American democracy itself. 

He and his enablers have spewed lies to their supporters for four years, and they gobbled it up like it was nothing. These same enablers battled for the president’s attention just so that they could get the clout that comes with a presidential retweet. With each passing day since the Nov. 3 election, those lies became increasingly deranged and divorced from reality. 

On Jan. 6, many of those enablers all came together in a bizarre “Stop the Steal” rally on the Ellipse, a park near the White House. Rudy Giuliani exclaimed “Let’s have trial by combat!” to the crowd, which cheered. Some, obviously, took Giuliani’s exhortations literally and ultimately stormed the Capitol. The question now is whether they will face consequences for inciting a riot. The DOJ has said that they won’t. 

There is plenty of blame to go around for the insurrection and the spectacular security failures of the Capitol Police, but fault primarily lands at the feet of the President. Instead of choosing to leave graciously, like all of his predecessors, he will be known as the president who, via his supporters, tried to destroy the government for his own personal gain. There is no doubt in my mind that the President watched the chaos with glee while lawmakers and those in the line of succession were quickly whisked away to secret locations with seconds to spare as the House floor was barricaded.  Some rioters made it onto the Senate floor. Several were pictured with zip ties, suggesting that they were ready and willing to take hostages, or worse. They were not the only ones that came prepared for potential violence. Two pipe bombs were placed at the RNC and the DNC headquarters. Frankly, it’s a miracle that members of Congress weren’t killed. 

Many in the crowd wanted the Vice President killed for his perceived “betrayal” of  Trump, when it was really just his job to count the electoral votes, and a ceremonial job at that. While I am no fan of the Vice President, I would very much prefer if he were not dead. When the President tells these people, who exclusively listen to him, that the election was stolen (which it was not), people will start to believe it. His insistence that the election was fraudulent directly caused the failed coup of Jan. 6, 2021.

It now appears that many in the administration are resigning after suddenly regaining their spines and consciences. Where have they been for the past four years? Especially after the riots in Charlottesville or the El Paso shooting, where white supremacists were hell-bent on killing anyone that was perceived as BIPOC, allies of BIPOC, or whoever they see as Antifa on any given day. Most notably, Secretaries Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos cite the President’s actions on January 6 as the reason they are resigning, breaking from the “tradition” of lavishing praise onto the President in resignation letters. Why did it take an insurrection for them to have morals? They could have resigned when the President first implemented his child separation policy at the border. They are profiles in cowardice. Instead of staying on to discuss invoking the 25th Amendment and upholding their oaths, they are jumping ship. 

There will inevitably be people that will exclaim, “But what about the protests over the summer?” and excuse storming the Capitol by trying to pin blame on anonymous Antifa bogeymen that do not exist, which has already happened. The difference between the protests that took place this past summer and what happened at the Capitol is that protests over the summer advocated for police reform, while the Capitol storming was done for a man attempting to attack and overturn our democracy by telling lies about how he won the election to somehow negate the fact he lost the popular and Electoral college vote. It’s also difficult to understand the Antifa explanation when a West Virginia GOP state delegate, who has since resigned, has been arrested for participating in the coup attempt. Is there an Antifa chapter within the West Virginia GOP that nobody knows about? The President that seemingly never stops touting his love and appreciation for the police is also silent on the death of US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher and later collapsed in his division office. The contrast couldn’t be more different with the flag at the Capitol lowered to half staff, with the flag at the White House defiantly remaining at full staff for three days. 

Now that practically every social media service has deplatformed the President, the House impeaching the President again, the Vice President ruling out invoking the 25th Amendment, and Mitch McConnell not bringing back the Senate until Jan. 19, the President is more dangerous than ever; he has absolutely nothing to lose. Ironically, the person deemed too dangerous to have a megaphone on the internet still has the nuclear launch codes. The President and his enablers, most notably Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, have drawn international outrage, and rightfully so. The President must be convicted by the Senate and the members who voted to overturn the election expelled from Congress. The blood of five people is on their hands.