We shudder to imagine how far into fascism and treason Trump would go, if not for our elections and Constitution. He's already an admitted sex offender and known criminal.
On Wednesday, January 6, 2021 Trump’s Traitors emulated Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch by storming our Capitol.
We are in the worst national crisis since the first Civil War, with no end in sight. CNN reports, “Extremists intensify calls for violence ahead of Inauguration Day”.
We are engulfed in a rapidly heating second Cold Civil War. While not waging war to preserve slavery, today’s insurrectionists are almost all white, and infected with a white nationalist racism and deep resentment for America’s first Black president. They were the ones who embraced Trump’s racist birtherism from the start.
This isn’t a secret.
To better understand their cult-like behavior, I highly recommend the new book, “Authoritarian Nightmare: Trump and His Followers”, by former Nixon counsel John Dean and Bob Altemeyer.
While there are some Trump followers who are not racists, they are nearly all right wing authoritarians. RWA’s. Granted, many are simply low-information voters, or unwitting dupes of radical Right propaganda.
Holocaust survivors have warned us that America's surging radical right with its racist white nationalism is strikingly similar to the rise of Hitler's racist nationalism. Trump’s crazed cult of authoritarian followers are cut from the same authoritarian fabric as Hitler’s loyalists. They are proving millions of Americans are no different, and would rise in support of an angry, power-mad demagogue
Like so many German Nazis enthralled by Hitler, we have millions of Americans just as fanatic for Trump and his lies, resentments, hate, and racism.
Thousands of the worst of them rallied to Trump’s “Save America March”. Those words were on the stage banners. It wasn’t a simple rally. It wasn’t just another speech. It displayed a clear intention to march on the capitol. Radical Right groups were decked out in camo and body armor. They brought tactical gear like radios and flex-cuffs. They were prepared to take hostages. Their intentions were obvious. They were ready for insurrection.
They cheered and chanted for their leader, as he denied our fair and free election. They were whipped to a frenzy by the president’s heated rhetoric of resentment, lies, hate, and rage.
This was no grass-roots populist insurrection. It was an attempted "coup d'état", or violent overthrow of the government, by an electorally defeated president.
Responding to their leader’s seditious incitement and ensuing orders, crazed QAnon, militia, Proud Boys, “Three Percenters”, Oath Keepers, and other radicalized alt-Right loylalsits marched on the capitol to “Take our country back”. Had they stopped outside the Capitol and protested, they would not have crossed the line to treason. But they crossed it, and crossed it violently. It was terrorism.
They believed they were following orders from Trump. And Trump wasn't finished. In the middle of the assault on democracy, instead of sending in more security, he called newly elected Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville to urge further obstruction of the electoral certification.
Some of the terrorists have already been arrested, as all of them should be. The same goes for any Capitol Police who abetted them. Many will no doubt escape the law and order they claim to support.
The evidence against Trump is in his own words. Here are some examples of his seditious incitement of insurrection, coup, and treason. His speech was saturated with the “Big Lie” tactic of Hitler and his Nazis.
“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats, which is what they’re doing and stolen by the fake news media.... Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal. We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen. Not going to let it happen.”
The crowd chanted, “Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump!”
This should be enough to make his and his mob’s intentions obvious. As with most coups, Trump appealed to law enforcement and the military to march with his mob to the Capitol.
“I’d love to have, if those tens of thousands of people would be allowed, the military, the secret service, and we want to thank you, and the police law enforcement. Great. You’re doing a great job, but I’d love it if they could be allowed to come up here with us.”
This indicates an intention that amounts to nothing short of a coup.
More resentment and hate was stoked.
“Cancel culture. They wanted to get rid of the Jefferson Memorial, either take it down or just put somebody else in there. I don’t think that’s going to happen. It damn well better not. Although with this administration, if this happens, it could happen. You’ll see some really bad things happen. They’ll knock out Lincoln too, by the way.”
Then he added his special touch of irony and hypocrisy:
“You hurt our monuments, you hurt our heroes, you go to jail for 10 years and everything stopped. Did you notice that? It stopped. It all stopped.”
We’ll see about that. He returned to tell them the reason they gathered.
“We’re gathered together in the heart of our nation’s Capitol for one very, very basic and simple reason, to save our democracy... We want to go back, and we want to get this right because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there and our country will be destroyed, and we’re not going to stand for that. For years, Democrats have gotten away with election fraud and weak Republicans, and that’s what they are.
If this happened to the Democrats, there’d be hell all over the country going on. There’d be hell all over the country. But just remember this. You’re stronger, you’re smarter. You’ve got more going than anybody, and they try and demean everybody having to do with us, and you’re the real people. You’re the people that built this nation. You’re not the people that tore down our nation.”
This is how Hitler demonized Jews as “destroyers of culture”. It is a striking parallel to Hitler’s methods of invoking the Aryan “master race” and the superiority of the chosen “Volk”, rooted in “blood and soil”.
He continued to hammer on his version of the Nazis’ demonizing “Lügenpresse”, or lying press,
“Our media is not free. It’s not fair. It suppresses thought. It suppresses speech, and it’s become the enemy of the people.”
Trump’s race-baiting was next. Note the common features in his list of enemies.
“And then I had to beat Stacey Abrams with this guy, Brian Kemp. I had to beat Stacey Abrams and I had to beat Oprah... And I had a campaign against Michelle Obama and Barack Hussein Obama against Stacey.”
Nobody was shocked when the Nation’s Andrew McCormick reported this later exchange in the mob.
“This is not America,” a woman said to a small group, her voice shaking. She was crying, hysterical. “They’re shooting at us. They’re supposed to shoot BLM, but they’re shooting the patriots.” A man, possibly her husband, comforted her: “Don’t worry, honey. We showed them today. We showed them what we’re all about.”
Yes, they certainly did show us what they’re all about.
Trump’s next target was the Supreme Court: “Look, I’m not happy with the Supreme Court. They love to rule against me...They couldn’t give a damn. Let them rule the right way, but it almost seems that they’re all going out of their way to hurt all of us, and to hurt our country.”
Their leader went on to list all the fabrications of election fraud that have been debunked and rejected by dozens of courts, up to the Supreme Court.
Then the marching orders:
“I said ‘Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. Can’t have happened.’ And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore. Our exciting adventures and boldest endeavors have not yet begun. My fellow Americans for our movement, for our children and for our beloved country and I say this, despite all that’s happened, the best is yet to come. So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue...and we’re going to the Capitol and....we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
Trump and his insurrectionist mob went beyond being merely political enemies of truth, democracy and equality, to being outright traitors. “We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
There was a reason he never used the word “protest”. In fact, during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Friday morning, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said, “As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building. He was delighted.”
And there it is.
House Democrats are following the Constitution by drafting a second impeachment, no matter how few days remain in his term. If insurrection and treason are not impeachable, then nothing is.
While it is unlikely McConnell would hold a Senate trial at this point, history will judge the response by the House as appropriate and necessary.
If criminal charges against Trump are not filed after January 20th, there would be no more rules for presidents, and tyranny will become policy. The republic would be dead.