Our democracy had a close call when an organized coup attempt to nullify an election failed. Several historians warned us that a failed coup, with no consequences, is just a dress rehearsal.
We were all horrified by what we saw, with the exception of certain Fox commentators who declared the storming of Congress a "false flag" operation that was really done by Antifa. If it had been Antifa, the anti-fascist largely Black Lives Matter movement, why were there so few Black faces in that mob? Would an anti-fascist movement have carried the flag of the pro-slavery Confederacy? And when in history did anti-fascist movements come armed to kill and lynch (the noose readied for Vice President Pence)?
Dissident movements, such as the Black Lives Matter marches, were largely peaceful, although small cadres of masked anarchists (whose identities were not clear) looted, destroyed property, and tried to set fires. Anarchists should always be rounded up and arrested because they are breaking the law when destroying property. To date, they have not yet threatened to kill, nor have they killed.
The Trump mobs, however, were avowedly murderous. They came armed, and in the siege of Capitol, they used flags (American and Trump flags) to beat, batter, and even poke eyes of defending Capitol police. They filmed themselves proudly hunting Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Pence, whom they said they wanted to kill. The noose was ready for Pence.
Many were also looking for particular Congresswomen to kill (the "Squad") and most viciously battered Black Capitol police, calling them "Nigger" countless times. One such Black officer, Mr. Goodman, outsmarted the mob by leading them away from the door where Senators were taking cover. Officer Goodman has been recognized and thanked by all the Senators, even the most dishonorable among them.
What is clear about Trump mobs is their disdain for democracy. They even cursed the Republican Party as they rampaged, professing only loyalty to Trump, who, they said, "invited them" and urged them to reverse his election loss. Trump has professed admiration for violence well before he became President. He has never, to this day, condemned violent cults who threaten and kill.
When an armed White Supremacist mob invaded the Michigan State House intending to kidnap, try, and kill the woman governor (whose great sin was to issue a mask mandate to lessen the pandemic), Trump did not condemn this action. The FBI, fortunately, did, and they arrested the wanabe killers, charging them with Federal crimes. That siege was the dress rehearsal for the one in Washington.
By the barest luck, the Capitol Siege failed to stop the legal procedure to count the ballots and confirm the win of Joe Biden. But think about what might have happened if their attack had succeeded in killing Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence. They would have removed both successors to President Trump, leaving him free (as pardoned criminal Michael Flynn had urged) to declare martial law and cancel the election. Trump would then be dictator for life (as his followers fantasized).
Trump left the White House as Biden was sworn in. The fervent conspiracy believers were devastated as the prediction of Trump remaining president evaporated. But QAnnon just continues the con. One self-appointed "spokesman" announced on TV that Trump would become president on March 4 and that "executions" would follow on March 5. He chose a former date for inaugurating presidents, and dismissed all presidents between Grant and Trump as illegitimate. That date is nonsense, but someone will come up with another date. Believers are not mentally acute.
What saved our democracy this time was the upright actions of Republican election officials who refused Trump?s, Lindsey Graham?s, and Ruddy Giuliani?s threats and demands that they nullify certain urban votes as fraudulent, canceling mostly Black voters. That is election tampering, a federal crime.
Most dangerous for a democracy is leaders of bad character. Some senators deliberately ignored the Impeachment testimony because their ambition for power exceeded their love of country. But two-thirds of us believe in decency and we must pay attention to the character of those we elect.
A close call!
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.