I have spoken against Trump beginning the day after his decision to run for President. January 6, 2021 was the defining moment that crystalized my words of caution and derision since that time. If nothing else, the storming of the Capitol was a clear indication that while there has been no formal secession of states or two armies facing one another across a battlefield, we are none the less in the midst of a Civil War. While it may be ideological yet, make no mistake that is where we are. Is it a stretch to consider the danger of armed conflict being far behind? Consider the FBI alert warning that all fifty state capitols are possibly the target of invasion starting next week. Weapons, pipe bombs, and Molotov Cocktails were present during the Siege in Washington D.C. and multiple fatalities resulted.
If one accepts the notion that to attain the rank of a Congressional Representative or Senator requires even a modicum of intelligence, it becomes all the more difficult to understand how a significant number of Republicans in the House and several in the Senate can justifiably yield to the rhetoric of a madman. Yet, that has happened consistently for years.
In the early morning hours after Election Day in 2016, as an evil man became the next leader-to-be of the free world, the weight of the longer-term problem pressed home; it was the knowledge that seventy million Americans made that possible. Trump would go away one day, but they would not. They became an army populated by people with an agenda, anxious to operate outside the boundaries of decency and law, fueled by racist upbringing, ineffective education, and a willful disregard for truth and reason. While some simply voted along party lines, many more, spellbound by the lies that fueled their immoral beliefs rushed at the chance to do what no other candidate ever offered – a license to be an outspoken and active supremacist.
Where do we go from here? The definition in the Federal Code for treason is this:
“Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
To apply this definition to the insurrectionists, to Giuliani, Donald Trump, Jr., Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Trump himself would be a good place to start. Unfortunately, I am having trouble believing there is sufficient intestinal fortitude to carry the day on that front, especially from the standpoint of fear. Legislators are seeing evidence of becoming targets. Crowds threatened Lindsay Graham at the airport and rioters called to have Pence hung. It sheds light on the commitment to overrun the government. January 6th was a Fort Sumter event. Today, the military is installed at the Capitol for the first time since the actual Civil War. There is no reason to suspect that once Trump is out of office, things will go back to normal. Pandora’s Box has been opened; the true nature of nearly half the country is fully revealed.
On the international front, our enemies: Russia, China, North Korea, Iraq, and Iran are hunkering down in ecstasy that the foundation of the United States is crumbling. If nothing else, it will embolden them to strike while the window of opportunity exists. Our allies are assuredly holding hands to their foreheads that the dependability of our support is seriously compromised. Even with Biden’s return to normalcy, effective repair to the damage done will take a decade or more.
Thomas Paine once said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” It was to suggest that real Patriots – the ones who put faith in an America that stood for all, free of tyranny and not the pseudo-patriots Trump calls his own – would have the fortitude to remain true to their beliefs. It is the only hope we have, that over time, the extremists will crawl back under their rotting tree stumps like the maggots they are. We need to hold firm to the convictions that made America stand out and become the land of opportunity for a world full of people desperate to escape untenable lives. We need to stand up and continue to speak out against the bullies who lack the understanding of that which they hasten to destroy.
This is the time for the real MAGA to come forth. With Biden and Harris leading the way, we need to Make America Great Again.