What has America come to? Pathetically, we’ve just seen the answer on our TVs. Greg Dobbs, BoomerCafé’s co-founder and executive editor, is beyond outraged… and hopes every baby boomer, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, feels the same.
You don’t need me to add to the commentary about the shameful and scary scene in Washington, D.C. There is plenty out there already. But I’m going to anyway, because it cannot be said often enough: Donald Trump is a danger to democracy. Some of us have thought so for four frightening years, but every American ought to think so today.
Trump encouraged the rampage in the nation’s capital. Not just at his defiant rally hours earlier when he said “We will never concede” and then told his mob of madmen as they turned toward the United States Capitol, “I’ll be with you,” but the president has encouraged it since the day in November when he became the sorest of all sore losers in American history.
Life is replete, of course, with sore losers. What makes this despicable president even lower than the rest is his willingness, his eagerness as he goes down, to bring the nation down with him. What makes him even lower than the rest is that he is the president. Not that he knows the meaning of the word. For four years, it has been obvious to many that he never has. Today, it should be clear to all.
It’s nothing short of pitiful that Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson had to presciently propound the other day, “It is good that all 10 living former defense secretaries signed a Post op-ed warning against involving the military in any election dispute— but scary that such a piece had to be written.”
But it did, thanks to Donald Trump. The man is so self-centered on his own ego, his own future, his own political base, that even when he finally issued his tweet urging the Capitol’s invaders to go home, he didn’t repudiate their common cause: he still claimed that he’d won a landslide election, that the vote totals were fraudulent, that the other side was trying to “take it away.” The very language that led to Washington’s mutinous mayhem in the first place.
Those who have supported this deranged, delusional, desperate demagogue bear some of the blame. For four years they have exceeded the limits of linguistics to justify his treacherous behavior, as if “norm-shattering” is justification to shatter norms. It’s not. As a friend wrote, “I’m sorry, but we wouldn’t have just called Al Capone ‘norm-shattering’ and left it at that.”
First among the blameworthy are members of the body politic who have not just acquiesced to Trump’s deplorable defiance of the election, but they’ve endorsed it, they’ve embraced it. No need to name names, partly because there’s not enough space here to name them all. But their perilous support for Trump’s lies flies in the face of something else that also can’t be said too often: local election officials, legislatures, governors, judges and justices clear up to the Supreme Court— even the three justices appointed by this president— in effect have declared that his charges of electoral corruption are claptrap.
Mind you, if you need to understand his irrational and relentless rage, maybe it can be put in five simple words: Donald Trump is running scared. Not just because he’s now a loser and all the world can see it, which for him is worse than catching Covid, but because he knows what his future might hold: prosecution for crimes as a businessman, hundreds of millions of dollars in loans called in, and possibly, just possibly, if there really is a long-rumored tape of Trump in compromising sexual situations in the hands of Russia’s President Putin, Putin could put it out for the public to see.
Columnist Robinson also wrote about all the hogwash Trump and his lapdogs have spread about the election, absent any evidence, culminating with his seditious phone call last weekend to Georgia’s Secretary of State, asking, “Which would be more alarming? That Trump knows this is all nonsense and is just throwing random stuff against the wall, hoping that enough of it sticks to allow him to steal those 11,780 votes? Or that the most powerful man in the world, the keeper of the nuclear codes, is so divorced from reality that he actually believes this insanity?”
To that point, whether Donald Trump exemplifies the ultimate cynicism or the ultimate sickness, in a way it no longer matters. Treason means you have betrayed your nation. Trump is guilty of treason.
Until now, I have felt ambiguous about proposals to prosecute this man after he loses the immunity of the presidency. The consequences for civil order could be fierce. After this week, I am unambiguous no longer. Try him for treason. Take him away in chains. He deserves that, and worse.