Yesterday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol was nothing less than a white supremacist insurrection. Organized by Trump himself along with Giuliani, Bannon, and their big-business backers its goal was to disrupt Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote and overturn the November election. It was a criminal act of sedition and should be treated as such.
A full investigation must be immediately made of the events leading up to yesterday’s demonstration and riot, followed by a prosecution of those involved to the fullest extent of the law. A special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate Trump.
That armed provocateurs invaded the People’s House should come as no surprise. The seeds for this poisoned fruit were sown by Trump and the GOP themselves: by their constant stoking of division, by the praising of neo-Nazis and Ku Kluxers in Charlottesville, by the calls on militias to “liberate” state capitols during the Covid-19 lockdown, and by daily lies that the election was stolen.
What was surprising was how easily the hate-filled mob breached the Capitol with seemingly little resistance despite ample warnings, including from the president himself, that January 6 would be a “wild day.” Think about it — where were Capitol police and other public safety forces in what on every other day of the year is one of the world’s most heavily fortified and guarded cities? Think about it and then compare the day’s paltry security display to the massive show of force directed at Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
Wednesday’s invasion of the halls of Congress was not just any other old protest or occupation — it was the last desperate act in what’s become a fast-moving coup. In one word, it was fascist. And the question remains: is it over, or are other provocations in store as Trump and Company plot their end game?
It would be a huge mistake to wait on an answer. Trump must be removed from office now either by means of the 25th Amendment or by impeachment. In fact, do both! Enormous damage can be done between now and January 20.
That the violence has narrowed the base of Trump’s mob and has limited room for maneuver is likely true, but this should not deter elected officials from taking immediate action — the more isolated the lame duck president is the more dangerous he could become.
But Trump’s removal, while necessary, will not remove the danger of the well-financed, well-organized, and well-armed mass movement that he leads. Some 73 million voted for Trump. This movement is widespread, as seen in the recent refusal by the Pennsylvania GOP to seat a newly elected Democrat in the state legislature, the kidnapping plot of Michigan’s governor, and the numerous attempts to stop vote counting.
These forces are represented in Congress and state legislatures by the likes of QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor, who won a U.S. House seat in the Georgia election, and Arizona state rep Bob Thorpe, who cooperated with the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform to formulate an anti-immigrant bill. Indeed, its fascist ideology is a natural outgrowth of right-wing groups like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, ALEC, and others.
Reflecting on the violence in D.C., commentators said, repeatedly, “This is not America.” But if we do not defend democracy, it is what we could be — a fascist nation.
Now is the time to reach out to those Trump voters who are having second thoughts, who may be asking themselves, “Do we really want to be associated with this lynch mob activity?” We need to expose the fascist-tinged networks, which include not only Q-Anon, the Proud Boys, and the alt-right “warriors” in the dark reaches of the web, but also those in corporate boardrooms, police departments, public office holders, and the National Committee of the Republican Party. These too need to be isolated, undone, and exposed for all the world to see.
But even that will not be enough. The roots of this crisis are systemic. The health, economic, and social crises sparked by Covid-19 have shown just how deep and thoroughgoing the overall crisis is. Addressing it fully will be necessary first steps in responding to the coup. People are angry and hurting and growing desperate.
And there are two ways of responding to this desperation and democracy’s fragile state of affairs. One was on display in D.C., the other in the Georgia run-off election. Yes the good people of Georgia in their mass movement–driven, unity-filled inspiring march to the ballot box showed the way forward.
The country would do well to follow in their footsteps.
Image: Blink O’fanaye (CC BY-NC 2.0).
Source: Communist Party USA – Remove Trump now!