What happened yesterday at the U.S. Capitol is a tragedy for American democracy and sits solely at Donald Trump’s feet. Trump spent months before the election occurred claiming that the election would be fraudulent, and when it wasn’t, he continued to spout his lies about voter fraud. During the first presidential debate, he told the Proud Boys, “Stand back and stand by.” He realized early on that he was likely to lose, and he has been fomenting rebellion and sedition for months. When Trump called on his supporters to march on the Capitol where the Electoral College votes were being officially counted and certified, he incited an insurrection, and he got an insurrection, which ultimately failed. The last time armed insurrectionists violently opposed a presidential election, the United States became embroiled in its bloodiest war, the Civil War. The first pitched battle of the current insurrection was quashed, but to end this, those involved need to be prosecuted for the treasonous behavior they have fomented and participated in.
I am not sure how these insurrectionists stormed and breached the Capitol grounds and pushed their way past the Capitol Police. I am sure there will be a congressional investigation into how this happened. I did hear on the news that the Proud Boys and others had been planning this for weeks, but the Capitol Police did not heed the warnings to the extent they should have. The news also reported that some of the insurrectionists used chemical deterrents on the police, the same deterrents the police should have been using on them. One woman was killed in the attack. She was Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran from San Diego, a QAnon believer, and a staunch Trump supporter.
Yesterday was a tragedy by any standard. It was a disgrace that our current president encouraged this to happen. The events yesterday at the U.S. Capitol saddened me, angered me, and terrified me. This attempted coup was unprecedented in the United States of America. It was a function of our Congress that should have been a mere formality lasting an hour at the most. Instead, some Senate and House Republicans thought it was a good idea to contest the election and further incite an insurrection. Those who have backed Donald Trump and his egotistical and fear-driven claims are just as responsible as Donald Trump and those who stormed the Capitol. Let me be clear, this was a terrorist attack. Domestic terrorism is, in some ways, worse than foreign terrorists because it comes from our own citizens, and this attack was encouraged by the sitting president. All those involved in this terrorist attack, whether they incited it, silently supported it, or carried it out, need to be punished severely. This election must serve as a dark event in American history in which we learn a lesson that the United States will not tolerate domestic terrorism and insurrection.
I believed yesterday would be a lot of posturing and a waste of time in Congress by those who remained loyal to Donald Trump and his lies. I thought we would only see a group of Representatives and Senators defy their oath of office. What happened was much worse. The President gave a speech to his insurrectionist calling on them to march on the Capitol, and while it was unsaid, he was also telling them to stop Congress from doing their duty. When the dust settled and the insurrectionists and terrorists were driven out of the Capitol, most of those who planned to object to the electoral votes changed their minds, but Senator Josh Hawley stuck to his guns, betrayed his oath, and called for the electoral votes to be rejected. His stubbornness, treason, and stupidity will continue to incite terrorism. He should be kicked out of the Senate and not allowed to serve his term. This has gone too far. Fox News and Newsmax are claiming fraudulently that Antifa stormed the Capitol, though no one credible is making that claim. These were Trump supporters. These are dangerous times and those encouraging insurrection, terrorism, and sedition must be punished.
I am not going to say much more about this. Honestly, it is too awful. However, I want to leave you with what Vermont’s Republican Governor Phil Scott tweeted in six successive tweets. I have combined them into one paragraph. I don’t often agree with Republicans, but I can at least respect Scott. He and his administration have kept COVID-19 cases low in the State of Vermont. He has never been a fan of Donald Trump. He refused to vote for President in 2016 and voted for Joe Biden in 2020. Here is what he said:
This is a very disturbing time for our nation. What we are seeing today at the U.S. Capitol is not a peaceful protest – it is an unacceptable attack on our democracy. The rioters have actively assaulted police officers, and they should immediately evacuate the Capitol building or be removed. Make no mistake, the President of the United States is responsible for this event. President Trump has orchestrated a campaign to cause an insurrection that overturns the results of a free, fair and legal election. The fact is the results of this election have been validated by Republican governors, conservative judges and non-partisan election officials across the country. There is no doubt that the President’s delusion, fabrication, self-interest, and ego have led us – step by step – to this very low, and very dangerous, moment in American history. The fabric of our democracy and the principles of our republic are under attack by the President. Enough is enough. President Trump should resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet, or by the Congress.
This is the Trump presidency. This is how we should remember what Trump has done for/to the United States: he led an insurrection to overthrow democracy.