Trump’s Mob Attacking the Capitol Could have been the Best Possible Thing for our Democracy
By directly and actively inciting an insurrectious mob to attack the capitol and attempt to overturn the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans, Trump may have done the best possible thing for our democracy. He fully exposed himself and his Psychophants (pun intended) — those Trumpist leaders and media personalities that have been intentionally spreading seditious misinformation for their own personal gains.
Trump Republicans (those that projected the elections were somehow fraudulent, support bigotry, white nationalism, sexism etc) have profited from the best of both worlds during Trump’s four years of narcissistic, habitually lying, megalomaniacal leadership. They could blame the sexist, racist, hate-speech filled rhetoric used to divide Americans and sow distrust on Trump, and pretend his actions were not their desires, all the while benefiting from the mistrust, and polarization that resulted from it. The Trumpster fire politics, lighting fires everywhere, always keeping the public eye on him and his antics, while the likes of McConnell, Graham and Nunes did the dirty work in Congress. Those and others served as his apologists-in-chief, claiming the President’s vocabulary was not ideal, and hemmed-and-hawed over Trump’s support of white nationalism and his xenophobic anti-immigrant sentiment all the while sidestepping his lies that sought to undermine our elections. They gladly benefited from an angry and misled public and hoped to thwart Biden’s incoming administration. They pandered to Trump’s base out of one side of their mouths, further polarizing the public, advancing their own careers and wealth, but then downplayed it to the media on the other and pretended to distance themselves from his destructive rhetoric.
If Trump’s mob had not exposed him for what he was, and exposed his lies, it is not only possible, but likely that Biden would face four years of distrust; only a few days before the mob some 40% of Americans believed that he was not a legitimate President and that his victory was the result of cheating. Without Trump’s final actions, the credibility of our elections, and our very democracy could have been irreversibly damaged.
There will be Republican Presidents, Democratic Presidents and hopefully President’s that are neither. I have voted for all three. But our Democracy depends on the lawful transition of power, and upholding the will of the people through elections. Whenever a party or person enables others or directly seeks to overthrow a legitimate election by force, violence or other illegal means, they must be held accountable.
The insurrection left dishonest politicians like Graham, McConnell and others nowhere to hide. They had to either reveal their true support for Trumpism, including the false narrative the election was somehow stolen and Trump’s beliefs, following Hawley, Cruz, Loeffler and others, or pretend it away. Still, those pretenses are hollow. Trump’s Republicans (those that projected the elections were somehow fraudulent) are exposed now. The reason the rats are jumping ship and resigning from Trump’s administration only days before his term is up, is not because they disagree with Trump or what he was doing. Their history of actions reflect they were always willing accomplices. What is most likely is that it was because Trump was more effective than they believed he would be. Devos, Mulvaney, Kelly, Haley, and others were never against Trump and have not made any clear statement that they are not now. What is again most likely is that they are trying to save their reputations for life after Trump and perhaps even get out from under any liability. It is not credible to believe their actions now have to do with their belief in democracy.
It is critical for the American people to shine a light on their years of enabling, and hold them and others to civil and criminal account. Chief among them are his professional misinformation experts, Sean Spicer, Sarah Sanders and Kayleigh McEnany. They are equally culpable, willing aiders and abettors. Many argue their actions over the years in part led to this mob and empowered Trump. The Senate and House Republicans that ran under Trump’s skirts benefited from Trump as their front man. Now that he’s finally exposed- there is no skirt for them to hide under; the reality of a desperate despot in the White House is on full display.
I sincerely hope the Democrats do not squander this opportunity. I am not a Democrat or Republican, but I believe every elected administration deserves a chance to lead. Now is not the time for the same failed agendas. It is time for new leadership in the House and Senate. It is time to move past Trump, past Pelosi, past McConnell and past Schumer. Biden has at least this right; it is time to move forward not backward. It is time for real leadership and to cease pandering to any of the extremes, and instead to listen to the public- all of us. It is time for real changes that address our real problems. Most Americans are pragmatic and thoughtful. We are not leftists or rightists; we want effective, honest and transparent leadership, functioning institutions, investment in our society, good jobs, and justice for all Americans.
I do not wish to dismiss the life lost in the mob, or the damage done to our international reputation. I, like many Americans am devastated to see those who have sworn to protect us, be killed by domestic terrorists. Perhaps their sacrifice was not in vain. Americans needed to see what Trump, his children, and his legislative and cabinet supporters, including those in the House and Senate, for what they are. The cost was extremely high, but at least Trump left us with a gift on his way out. An emperor with no clothes. His maliciousness, narcissism, sexism, racism and indifference to democracy, our way of life, and his lack of care for the safety of our country and citizens was on full display. He showed us what Trumpism and what a Trump led Republican Party was really about. At least in that way we can say — Thank You Mr. Trump.
Standard Disclaimer: The analyses, thoughts, suggestions, or experiences here reflect my own and not those of the US government, Penn State, or any organization I currently work for, have in the past, or will in the future.