Yesterday, President Donald Trump incited a large contingent of his American supporters to usurp this country’s 244-year-old democracy with a facist attempt to take over the U.S. Capital and Congress.
This disturbing, violent, and unsuccessful insurrection against the U.S. Consitution and the American people played out in real-time on televisions and computer screens across the country and the world. The incident must be dealt with forcefully and quickly to punish the treasonous culprits and send a message to future generations to not mess with our democracy and way of life ever again.
To recap, Trump lost a fair-and-square national election to President-elect Joe Biden by a large margin of electoral votes. Unlike Hillary Clinton four years ago, Trump refused to concede the election and as is his right, took the matter to court.
It should be noted that no court or state found any instance of widespread voter fraud that would have turned the election in his favor, and this included judges he appointed and patriotic Republican officeholders who ran the election in GOP-leaning states.
While all these legal options were failing one after another, Trump attempted to bully state Republican officeholders in multiple states into overturning just election results. At the same time, he continually planted lies of a rigged election on social media and other outlets in attempts to undermine the rule of law in this country. The strategy incited the fascist wing of some of the 70 million people – many of them law-abiding and upright citizens – who did vote for him.
This narcissistic and tyrannical attempt to overthrow the country led to yesterday’s coup attempt. Complicit in this attempt were a number of Republican federal lawmakers, including newly elected U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) who supported this false narrative and vowed to contest the election on the House and Senate floor when Congress met to certify the presidential election.
This no small offense and these lawmakers should be singled out and held accountable for serious breaches of the public will when they come up for re-election.
As for Trump, Congress should act immediately to remove him from office and bar him from ever holding public office again. There should be no wiggle room here.
Congress should also seriously consider charging Trump with sedition and treason, and if found guilty punished to the fullest extent of the law short of capital punishment so as not to make him a martyr for misguided and equally treasonous followers. Trump should be stripped of American citizenship and exiled.
With less than 20 days left to his term, this will be no easy task for Congress, and while it may be a close to impossible ask, this is what should be done.
Regardless of what Congress does or doesn’t do, yesterday’s event and the entire Trump presidency should go down in infamy as a tragic example of the fragile nature of our democracy.
Finally, this publication salutes the many Democratic and Republican elected officials who stood up against this attempted coup and put the U.S. Constitution and the American way of life before their political ambitions
It is our hope that these duly elected leaders begin the process of healing deep political divisions and move forward to the good-faith governing of our country.
Cover photo by Tsubasa Berg