Is the Worst Over?

For the first year of Trump’s presidency, many Americans thought he could not go lower, but as each of the last four years has passed, we saw that there are no depths to his depravity. His depravity was on display to its greatest extent on Wednesday when he incited an insurrection by his followers to attack the Capitol. The most significant problem America now faces is not Donald Trump. Too many in Congress and a growing number of people in his administration have had enough. Yet there are still people like Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and most House Republicans who continue to support him. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and reported by Fox News and other pro-Trump news outlets tried to claim Antifa, not Trump loyalists, were behind the attack on the Capitol. A friend and coworker of mine, who is a fellow Alabamian, texted me in response to the claims that the insurrectionists were Antifa in disguise and said, “They were just showing some footage on the news, and I was like, these people LOOK LIKE TRUMP SUPPORTERS. Antifa kids don’t have that Southern redneck look. It’s just like if you know rednecks, you know these people are true blue rednecks!” She is right. I grew up surrounded by rednecks. I recognize them when I see them. The people who led the terrorist attack were, without a doubt, Trump supporters.

Honestly, I have to wonder how people can watch and read Fox News, Newsmax, and other pre-Trump news outlets. While many of these people are weak-minded and, let’s just say it, stupid, not all of them are. My mother is an intelligent woman. She spent 30 years as a public health official and ten more years as an expert on pandemic response. She knows better than anyone I know the realities of a pandemic. Her sister, my aunt, died of the H1N1 flu. Yet, even with Donald Trump’s criminally negligent handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, she continues to support him. Not only that, but she believes all the stupidity she hears on Fox News and Newsmax. I can’t even believe she watches Newsmax. So, I have to wonder, do these media outlets have some type of subliminal messaging or hidden hypnotic device in their media? Hitler studied mesmerism and mysticism to understand how to maximize his control over people. I do not doubt that if we were in Germany at any time between 1933 and 1945, Fox News and these same Trump supporters would be behind and openly supporting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

Luckily, the U.S. Constitution does not have the weaknesses of the Weimar Constitution. There is no Article 48, the so-called Notverordnung (emergency decree) provision, which gave Germany’s president broad powers to suspend civil liberties with a flawed system of checks and balances. Trump has often claimed that such special powers exist, but there are no such provisions in the U.S. Constitution. When Presidents have overstepped the bounds of their office, they have been stopped by Congress and the courts. It was not always done quickly, but democracy eventually prevailed every time. Donald Trump has twelve days left as president. While I do not believe Congress will be successful in removing him from office through impeachment, and with Cabinet members already resigning over the Capitol insurrection, it is doubtful that the Vice President and the Cabinet will invoke the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. I also believe that Trump will never resign on his own. There are twelve days of fear ahead of us. 

If the Republican Party does not distance itself from Donald Trump and punish those who are continuing to support him, then the Republican Party will cease to exist. There is a civil war within the Republican Party, and the party is in its final death throes. Can it survive this insurrection and, until Wednesday, the unwavering loyalty to Trump? I hope that Wednesday’s terrorist attack by Trumpists will force the Republican Party to reassess itself. As long as hate groups continue to exist in the United States, then Trumpism will continue. Like a cancerous tumor, Trump and his hate-filled supports need to be removed from having any influence in the United States government. If that takes revoking the FCC licenses from Trumpist media outlets and banning them from social media, then I am all for it. I do not believe that would be censorship because these outlets have become a public danger and are openly fomenting insurrection. Everyone who had a role in Wednesday’s insurrection and terrorist attack needs to be rooted out to ensure that democracy is restored and will continue.

If there is any doubt that Donald Trump believes he is the Republican Party should have been put to rest Wednesday when Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, explicitly said as much at his father’s “Save America” protest, where Trump incited the insurrection at the Capitol. “This isn’t their Republican Party anymore. This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” Trump Jr. said, and then warned Republicans who did not support his father’s efforts to overturn democracy: “We’re coming for you, and we’re going to have a good time doing it.”

The events of the past four years culminated in an open insurrection and an attack on the U.S. Capitol. I am profoundly saddened, incredibly angry, and terrified of what will happen over the next twelve days. I do not fool myself that the worst is over. Sadly, I think the worst has just begun unless swift action is taken to end Trumpism.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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