But make no mistake, what happened on Wednesday at the American Capitol is not part of that tradition. If a group of Trump supporters were to go to Capitol Hill and hold a sit-in in the Rotunda, they could claim to be part of the kind of peaceful protest that is the key to American democracy. It’s not that.
The invasion of the Capitol was called an uprising. Others have called it an attempted coup. These characterizations are true. But whatever you call it, it was a clear attempt to end our constitutional process of peaceful transfer of power from one government to another. Violent right-wing extremist rebels, organised by the president himself, have attempted to violently disrupt the functioning of our democracy. These thugs, to put it bluntly, have behaved like enemies of our republic – most of the enemy delegates from within have sworn to resist when taking the oath.
Some would say the sixth. January could distract Americans from trumpeting and provoke a more civilized discourse in politics. We can all pray they’re right. But this naive vision ignores the profound social and economic problems that have brought tens of millions of hardworking Americans into Trump’s hands over the past four years, including a growing percentage of minority voters. These conditions are still in force, ready to be exploited by Trump and those who want to imitate him.
The darkest and most likely truth is that American democracy is under serious threat despite Trump’s election defeat in November. In 1923 the extreme right-wing party of the German Democratic Republic attempted a coup in Weimar, which went down in history as Beer Putsch Hall. His execution was amateurish and was quickly crushed by the authorities. Democracy was saved… At least that’s what it seemed at the time.
However, the Weimar government’s reaction to the putschists was timid to say the least. Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi party that organized the coup, was found guilty of treason and served less than five years of his sentence. While Germany was experiencing hyperinflation and a crumbling economy, Hitler was about to become the German dictator, the initiator of World War II and the mass murderer of six million Jews in the Holocaust.
Our republic cannot afford to ignore the possibility that the sixth amendment is a dead letter. January is also a harbinger of the right-wing authoritarianism that is taking root in our own democracy. Our government must act quickly and strive for the maximum punishment under the law for anyone who has been on Capitol Hill. It’s a time to make decisions, not to wring your hands. It must be clear that the Republic will defend itself against this existential threat.
The response should also hold law enforcement officials responsible for not protecting Congressional halls from invasion. It is unforgivable that most followers of the White Trump have been able to desecrate one of the most important monuments of democracy in America. This setback is all the more offensive given the police’s aggressive response to this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. Sen. Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger has already resigned, while Capitol Police Chief Steven Sand and Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving will resign. The congressional leadership rightly demanded resignation, but we still need a full report.
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Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet Secretaries must sign the 25th Amendment immediately. Constitutional amendment and removal of President Donald Trump from office. Trump may not have directly ordered the attack on Capitol Hill, but he certainly fed the lies about voter fraud, ordered his supporters to go to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, and first resisted the National Guard’s call when his supporters stormed the Capitol building. Although Mr Trump finally admitted on Thursday that the new government will be installed on the 20th. Janvier will move to the White House, his concession came after he falsely maligned American democratic processes by inciting violence and threatening to remain in power even if he lost the election.
If Pence doesn’t want to act, Congress must meet immediately to protect our Republic. The House of Representatives must vote to indict Trump, and the Senate must return to Washington for the proceedings. Even if the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, refuses to act before the inauguration, the world will take note and history will distinguish between patriots who are willing to defend our American democracy and cowards who are willing to give the president a pass.
But even if Mr Trump is relieved of his duties, the work of rebuilding the fabric of our democracy will not be complete. Every legislator should work to restore people’s confidence in our government. Too many people with disabilities feel unrepresented in our political process and feel that the door to economic prosperity and social dignity is closed to them, no matter how hard they try and how well they play by the rules. This context creates an environment in which authoritarian figures such as Trump can spread misinformation, undermine our democracy and fuel racial and social divisions. That must change if the Commonwealth is to survive.
The primary goal of the Biden administration and the 117th congress is to tackle the real inequalities in this society courageously and firmly. Those who defend our constitutional system of government – like President-elect Joe Biden and President-elect Vice President Kamala Harris – must show that they are equally and sincerely committed to the welfare of U.S. workers of all races.
After all, it is the only cure for the cancer of right-wing authoritarianism that has spread to the nation’s political body. Without this cure, the attack on the American Capitol on the 6th… January 2021 could well be the American beer coupe.
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