We have just witnessed a failed attempt at a coup to overturn a legal and peaceful election. Egged on by President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump Jr., a ragtag mob of thugs was directed to assault the Capitol building, to disrupt the acceptance of electoral college ballots that would formally acknowledge Joe Biden as president. Trump returned to the White House to relish the chaos he had unleashed, watching it on television.
The mob had been fed lies for many months, bleated by their leader, that "if I lose the election, it will be because the election was stolen." (Understood was that if he won, the election was just fine.) As we have learned from the Nazis and Communists, if you repeat a lie long enough, there will be people stupid enough to believe it. Trump acknowledged long before he was president that he habitually used lies to get his way. He had followers who would always believe him.
This mob was particularly ugly (all of this live-filmed for us to see), making clear their objectives: to find and assassinate Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Pence, who until that day had been Trump?s willing lapdog. That day, however, Pence was carrying out his legal obligation to preside over the Electoral College count that would establish the legitimacy of Biden?s election.
The ideology of the mob was clearly in evidence by what they carried and what they wore: Confederate flags, Trump flags, MAGA hats, and the shirts of one particular club that bore a golden eagle and the mysterious logo: SMNE (six million not enough), a reference to their intent to continue Hitler?s inadequate holocaust.
One particularly ridiculous costume was worn by a Q-Anon leader: bare chested and face painted red and blue, topped by a fur cap and Viking horns. One woman, stupid enough to believe Q-Anon?s conspiracy theories, was trying to "find pedophiles" that she believed were in the Capitol. She was shot dead trying to climb through a window.
Despite Trump?s attempt, and that of his recent appointees after firing legitimate department heads, the well-planned attack on the Capitol was not adequately prevented. There was no "show of force" as there had been last summer against peaceful demonstrators of the Black Lives Matter movement. Nobody in the Pentagon could be found to give permission to summon the National Guard units ready to take on such a mob. Fortunately, the Republican governor of Maryland happened to know somebody in the Pentagon who then gave permission for Maryland to send in reinforcements to the Capitol Police.
The sedition ultimately failed. The terrorized House and Senate representatives reconvened and completed the ballot count by three in the morning. That day, the Georgia runoff election was declared and the two Republicans conceded to their Democrat opponents. This election provides the incoming president with a sufficient number of senators to prevent Mitch McConnell from being Senate Leader with the power to emasculate the incoming president?s agenda, which he had done to former President Obama.
As the smoke cleared from the failed sedition, all eyes focused on Trump?s collaborators in Congress and the Senate. Seven of these Senators and more than 100 Congressmen had tried to support Trump?s lie about a fraudulent election and voted to overturn Pennsylvania?s win for Joe Biden. The two worst of them, newly elected Senator Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, men of good education and knowledge of the law, were not deterred by the horrors of the day and continued to lie that an investigation was needed into the charges of election fraud. They instantly became skunks at the party, with other Republicans now condemning them. Many former obedient defenders of Trump are now denying their affiliations.
Sedition has consequences. The FBI is arresting scores of the thugs who stormed the Capitol. Trump has been permanently banned from Twitter and from other social media platforms because he used then for sedition.
If Trump is impeached again, he will never be permitted to run for office and will lose all perks (including Secret Service) granted to former presidents. Our Democracy is not toothless after all.
Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of "How Do You Know That? Contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.