The United States of America is in crisis. Suddenly, it’s common place for a disgruntled student to shoot up a school, or for an elected officials such as Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to call for violence.
The commonality of violence as an appropriate response is appalling. Never in my life did I think I would witness an attempted coup on U.S. soil. Yet on January 6, 2021, then-President Donald Trump executed a planned and coordinated attack on the Capitol to stop the process for certifying the results of a free and fair election in which he lost by over 7 million votes.
Unfolding on live TV we saw Trump spur his followers with lies about nonexistent voter fraud and instructing them to march on the Capitol and fight for him. Once the Trump cult followers descended on the Capitol, we witnessed a gallows being erected and an audible call for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi could be heard.
Then, led by members of Trump brute squads like the Proud Boys, the crowd attacked the police line put in place to protect the Capitol. Over 140 police officers were injured that day. Officers were beaten and repeatedly shocked with stun guns. Five people died on the day of the attempted coup, with additional related deaths coming in the following days.
Storming the Capitol is simply not an acceptable way to handle your candidate losing a fair election. In what universe does that not make sense?
Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president in 2015 in front of a crowd of actors hired to cheer for his announcement. This later came to light when he failed to pay the actors for their services and they had to take him to court.
Team Trump quickly realized they were going to have to find a platform to champion if they were going to want to attract followers who weren’t hired to cheer the candidate on. They came up with white supremacy as their position, with Trump fanning the flames of hatred among his base.
One of the most telling examples of Trump’s embrace of domestic terrorists and white supremacists came during the first 2020 presidential debate in which he was given the opportunity to condemn white supremacists and he declined to do so.
The official newspaper of the Klu Klux Klan endorsed Trump. His candidacy was also endorsed by the Taliban.
The doctrine of the Cult of Trump is that violence is an acceptable means to get what you want. Just look at the cult members serving in Congress like GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde who is trying to rewrite history, calling the conduct of those attacking the Capitol as being like a “normal tourist visit”. Apparently normal tourist visits at the Capitol involve smashing a police officer’s skull in with blunt objects and causing over $1.5 million in damages to the building. I never knew that such things were daily occurrences in Washington D.C..
When people like Clyde and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy ask the public to turn a blind eye to an attack on the Capitol, it sends a terrible message. Violence is not a reasonable reaction to your candidate losing the election. It just isn’t. And telling people that it’s okay tells them it’s also alright for them to react with violence whenever they see fit.
Case in point: A Trump supporter recently threatened to kill me because I classified Melania Trump’s naked pictures engaged in lesbian sex as pornography. The Trump supporter said they were “art” and threatened to kill me for not sharing the same opinion.
That’s what this world has come to. Death threats over words.
People like Trump and his enablers are going to continue to set bad examples as long as they are allowed to. And that, in turn, is going to make people feel empowered to use violence as an appropriate reaction.
The Department of Homeland Security has reported an increase in people calling for violence should Trump not be reinstated on August 13 as some far-right conspiracy theories have predicted. Those of us living in reality, know Trump will not be reinstated as president. He lost the election by over 7 million votes and there is no path in the constitution for him to be magically reinstated. But there are people who believe Trump’s lies.
We’ve seen what Trump followers will do when they feel empowered by the former president. I’m scared what comes next.
What do you think?
Peace. Love. Trust.
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