Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
As with many people, I’ve been following the January six hearings, and reading the spill of related news. I’m struck by the number of former (Republican) Trump staffers who have voluntarily shown up to testify against Trump. Staffer after staffer have all sat for hours with the committee, revealing grotesque details of his reign of error.
Too many news commentators seem to be claiming that these former staffers are heroes for coming forward now. I don’t see that. I see these former staffers have realized just how deep in the shit they are, and are now running from the thundering hooves of American disapprobation.
Just Move On?
I’m reading too much commentary about how the January Six committee is laying a foundation “intended to create a permission structure for Trump supporters to move on without having to disavow everything they loved about his presidency, or to admit that January Six was the logical culmination of his sadistic politics.” That the January Six committee is encouraging former Trump supports to claim they were duped, and can now do a phase shift and return to acting as normal human beings engaged in respectable political debates.
To which I say:
Trump Supporters OK With Trump
Trump supporters were all ok with Trump when all he was doing was publicly mocking disabled people, leading chants of “Lock Her Up” directed at former Senator/SecState Hillary Clinton, and inciting mob violence against news media during his rallies. They were OK with Trump openly disrespecting veterans and the military that Conservatives all claim to love and venerate. Trump supporters were good with open attacks on immigrants and disrupting our already dysfunctional immigration service.
His supporters defended Trump in his inept and even corrupt handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of people died because of his actions and inactions. Trump openly supported White Nationalists, right wing militia groups like the Proud Boys and Three Percenters. He called the people who attempted to start a race riot in Charlottesville (and murdered a young woman) as “Fine People.” He openly called for the police to “rough up” citizens being arrested, in front of police organizations. And the police approvingly laughed.
Sure; afterwards, some police organizations claimed they opposed “roughing up prisoners.” I call this “Public Relations,” from police organizations who know they’re already under scrutiny from watchdog groups. But we know how those police organizations really feel after watching police deal with George Floyd protests all across the United States. Once again, Trump stoked tensions over these protests, and trump’s supporters were all good about using police violence and even the military to suppress American citizen’s rights of free speech, assembly, and addressing the government for redress of grievances.
And Then Came the Insurrection
On and on again, too many people were OK with Trump’s most disgusting actions and policies. But, then we had presidential elections, as we have had every four years since the beginning of our Republic. This time, Trump made it clear from the very beginning of the campaigns he would never accept any outcome other than one in which he won. Actually, given how much he complained over “winning” the 2016 election, I doubt Trump would have accepted anything less than receiving 110 percent of the presidential vote. You know, just like in any dictator-run two-bit banana republic.
But I digress.
The January Six commission has revealed that plans for overthrowing the election results, in the event Trump lost, started well before the November 2020 elections.
I remember watching one of the presidential “debates” between Trump and Joe Biden. Trump was asked by the moderator to comment on white supremacists’ groups. Trump’s response was “Stand Back and Stand By.” I remember feeling a chill run up my spine, hearing this. I knew then, Trump would never accept a defeat at the polls without first attempting to overthrow the election results.
Dozens Upon Dozens of People Involved
All the many staffers and aide’s now coming forward knew something bad was being planned well before January six. NOT ONE PERSON went public in an attempt to head off that planning. NOT ONE PERSON!
We now know that dozens upon dozens of people, all aligned with the Republican Party and Trump, assisted in trying to overthrow election results. Lawyers, state and local elected officials, prominent fundraisers and organizers, even the wife of a sitting Supreme Court Justice, actively conspired to overthrow legitimate election results so Trump could remain in the White House. We now have indications that even members of the US Secret Service was actively involved in the planning.
These people all preferred an installed illegitimate ruler over a legitimately-elected President. They preferred a coup to install the person THEY wanted, over a peaceful transfer of government power.
A peaceful transfer of government power, flowing from majority votes of We The People, is the absolute core value of American Democracy.
I don’t care “why?”. “WHY?” is not important. What is important is “THEY DID.” So, for the first time in our nation’s history, we did not have a peaceful transition of government power as a result of a national election.
Yes, some people did resign on or immediately after January six. However, I don’t see those people as suddenly feeling remorse. I see those people as trying to outrun the thundering hooves of an approaching reckoning coming from the full force of America. The people coming forward now are expecting absolution. They deserve none. If some small fish negotiated clemency – a get out of jail free card – in exchange for their testimony, fine.
Every person who ever supported Trump in his bid to become president; who voluntarily worked for him as an appointee; who defended him; even every person who voted for him the first and especially the second time; NONE of these people deserve absolution.
NONE deserve forgiveness. NONE deserve to be allowed to fade back into the woodwork and live secluded lives in undisclosed locations. At some point in the food chain, people involved need to go to jail. Including Trump.
In a less-enlightened nation, they would all be standing in front of a firing squad.
Permanent Stain and Shame
Trump, his strap-hangers, toadies, miscreants, and run-of-the mill minion supporters are complicit in treason against the United States of America. They have helped create a permanent stain upon our nation, one that will reverberate for as long as this nation has a recorded history. They have permanently shamed all Americans.
I am a 22-year navy veteran, who once swore an oath to “[…] support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same […].” I take the January Six Insurrection as a personal affront. Nothing can ever make it right, and the people involved can never be absolved.
Cross-posted to my diary on Daily Kos