On January 6th, 2021, the United States Congress and Capitol building fell under attack from extremists and insurrectionists attempting to subvert the will of the people in the latest presidential election. Five people died during the clashes, spilling blood inside the Capitol, and ending America’s longstanding tradition of peaceful transitions of power.
Anyone who has closely followed Donald Trump and his most die-hard supporters for the last four years will not be surprised by what happened at the Capitol. He blatantly lied to his supporters, claiming there was a viable path for him to win reelection, when in fact he lost not only at the ballot box but in the courts as well. His claims that the election was stolen do nothing but serve to flatter his own ego. His false claims and the violence he spurs, cause real damage to our democracy and our country. His supporters, both in the public and Congress, assisting him in this attack against the country are sacrificing America on the altar of Trump.
Donald Trump spent his entire presidency believing he was cheated in the 2016 election. Early in his presidency, he claimed that millions of illegal immigrants and dead Democrats voted in the election. Late in his presidency, he reiterated to his supporters that if he loses it’s because the election is rigged. He gutted the US Postal Service in an attempt to stop mail ballots and help himself win the election.
When he lost the election, he inevitably claimed he was cheated. He then mounted dozens of legal challenges which failed. He then pressured state officials to not certify the votes affirming Joe Biden’s victory. When that failed, he moved on to pressuring VP Mike Pence to take unilateral action to not recognize the electoral votes. When this failed, he riled up a group of his supporters to march on the Capitol building.
Donald Trump counted on the help of some of his lackeys in Congress to lend their credibility to the lie that the election was stolen and by doing so, they helped provoke Trump supporters enough that they finally stormed the Capitol. Many of the legislators who lied to and provoked their fellow Americans until they stormed the Capitol did so likely because they believed doing so would help them with their future political ambitions.
Senators such as Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley made themselves to be Trump’s most loyal field generals in the fight to overturn the legitimate election of Joe Biden. Their efforts led to the takeover of the Capitol and put the lives of all of Congress at risk.
To Senators Cruz, Hawley, and others, I ask, what’s the point of solidifying your political future with Trump’s base, if they intend on destroying the republic? It’s like an employee wanting to be the boss of the company, but can only do so by encouraging a mob to burn down the employee’s office. The employee may have won the support of the mob but no longer has anywhere to work.
By offering America on the altar of Trump in an attempt to win the support of Trump’s riotous base, Senators like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley put all of Congress and the U.S. Constitution at risk. These ambitious lawmakers have shown themselves willing to encourage others to burn down the whole system if it means they are able to win the support of the arsonists.
The leaders of the Republican party gave permission to Americans to believe in wild conspiracy theories about Trump and the election. Wild conspiracy theories, and their die-hard believers, have always existed. But, the mass delusion we are seeing in our country today is due in large part to the Republican leaders who did more than just give a wink a nod to the delusions, but encouraged them.
The entire movement, known as #StopTheSteal, was based on the lie that Donald Trump was cheated out of winning the presidential election. That lie sprouted and soon became a litmus test for anyone on Trump’s side. Either join in on the lie, or be an outcast. As lawmakers began to join in, the credibility of the lie increased and the cycle continued to attract more believers.
Selling out America to strengthen future political ambitions is a shameful tactic. Sacrificing America on the altar of Trump to satisfy wild insurrectionists and win their support is no way to be a leader. Mobs cannot be satisfied and it is time for Republican leaders to stop pandering to the worst among us. If the cycle of lies doesn’t stop, then events like the storming of the Capitol will continue.