Donald Trump, like his friend Vladimir Putin, is a thug who is ready to use violence to accomplish what he cannot achieve via legal methods. He has previously shown readiness to do so, and since he has paid no price, he is now threatening to do so in the future.
We know all of this because we’ve seen it happen. Many of us realized in the days and weeks leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, that Trump viewed mob violence as a way to retain himself in the White House, despite the fact that he had been issued with an eviction notice by the American people. However, other people were unwilling to listen to what their own ears were telling them, or what Trump’s own words were saying at the time.
Some individuals remarked, “He’s not that insane.” “He’d never do such a thing.”
He was, though, and he did.
Our elected officials were executing the constitutional ceremonies of a peaceful transition of power when he urged his enraged followers toward the Capitol. He watched the ensuing carnage on television, violence that he had instigated, and he seemed to relish it by all accounts. Throughout the hours-long brawl, with members of Congress running for their lives, he refused to listen to appeals for help from family members, senior aides and advisors, and even members of his own party who were also being attacked by the crowd.
“Well, Kevin, I suppose these folks are more unhappy about the election than you are,” he said to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who had contacted Trump at the White House to plead with him to put his dogs down.
After the insurgency was put down, he informed the rioters that they should never forget that day and that he loved them.
The only sorrow Trump has voiced about the events of January 6 is that they failed to keep him in power. He expressed his sorrow at a rally last weekend in Texas, claiming that Vice President Mike Pence “did have the right to alter the result.”
Trump grumbled, “Unfortunately, he didn’t employ that authority.” “He had a chance to reverse the election!”
Pence “did have the authority to alter the result…. he could have reversed the election!” Trump said in his remark, that he couldn’t have been clearer about his intentions. Believe what your eyes and ears tell you, as well as what Trump himself says. He was doing all he could, as well as many things he couldn’t, to bring down American democracy.
Trump is the subject of a number of legislative, civil, and criminal investigations as a result of his conduct. And, just like he did before January 6, he is threatening violence in an attempt to scare people who support the rule of law and the Constitution.
“I hope we will have the largest demonstrations we have ever had in Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta, and everywhere because our nation and our elections are corrupt,” Trump warned the audience in Texas if the extreme, cruel, racist prosecutors do anything improper or unlawful.
Don’t be deceived: “Anything improper or unlawful,” in Trump’s and his supporters’ views, refers to any effort to hold Trump responsible. And don’t believe the clichés like “He wouldn’t dare” or “He isn’t that insane.” He would, and he is, because, once again, he would and is. When challenged to denounce political violence, he essentially said to the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, “Stand down, and stand by.”
I’ve long been suspicious of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ probe into Trump’s attempts to reverse Georgia’s election results. Any prosecution of a president on such serious allegations, in my opinion, should take place at the federal level, or, if necessary, at the state level. I say this because we don’t need some publicity-hungry county prosecutor in Oklahoma or Wyoming bringing frivolous criminal charges against a future liberal president, using Willis as precedent.
But I’ve since altered my mind. If a prosecutor in Oklahoma or Wyoming had half the evidence against a future president that Willis has against Trump, then that president, regardless of party, has very certainly earned prosecution. We can’t let our nation, democracy, rule of law, and freedom be jeopardized without legal repercussions or remedy. Any government that has been granted legitimacy by a popular vote has not only the right but also the absolute need to defend itself against those who want to overturn it, and Trump has repeatedly said that he intends to do so.