Why, Whatever the Consequences, Trump Must be Impeached and Removed
Jessica Wildfire writes convincingly of the two options of dealing with the latest travesty committed by Trump, and of the very real consequences of both. If Trump is arrested, impeached and removed in the next few days, or removed by the 25th Amendment, he will become a martyr to his followers. The very followers who breached and ransacked the Capitol Building. I agree with her. However, the feared actions by his followers are likely to come either way.
If we ignore him, and instead go about building our Democracy back, with true leaders in place, he will, we hope, ride off into the sunset. He can’t stand being ignored, a fate worse than any to a narcissist.
They will continue to listen to him even if we don’t.
Here’s the dilemma that comes with ignoring him and not making him a martyr to his followers. They will continue to listen to him even if we don’t.
And if we don’t impeach and convict him in Congress, he will be free to run for office again. Not that anyone believes after all this that he could win. Remember, though, by several reports from insiders of his campaign, he didn’t plan to win the first time. All along his goal has been to profit financially, gain attention, and foment civil unrest of the kind we saw in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021. He succeeded at all three.
Therefore, if it is still possible for him to run again, he will, or at least will pretend to do so. All the posturing to raise money for his “fight” to keep the presidency, beyond what was paid to his lawyers, was put into campaign coffers for 2024. This is a man who is horrified at being perceived as a loser, and who cannot stand being ignored.
He is a loser, and he knows it. He does know he lost the presidency. That’s another reason he spun the whole election as being a fraud. It kept him in the headlines and trending on social media. It fired up his rabid followers so they would send him money. It made for colorful news footage of so-called rallies. So at least he didn’t lose the world’s attention, even though he lost the election.
There is no reason to believe that he won’t continue doing just that if he is left with the option of running again. While the rest of us ignore him, he will become more and more determined to keep the attention of the assorted, sordid, “followers” he hopes he can still command.
In fact, It seems that he can still command them.
In spite of his finally denouncing the actions of the ones he himself sent to the Capitol Building, there must have been dog whistles in his January 7 video statement. In it he stated, “The demonstrators who who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American Democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country, and to those who broke the law, you will pay.”
He said this about the same people he called Patriots on Wednesday, after the attack. Even while, finally, telling them to go home, he also said to them, “You are special. We love you.” He can’t have it both ways. Or can he?
His followers must be choosing to believe the first messages, and not the videoed statement, because they are still planning more violent acts. Twitter and the Althea group, an intelligence gathering group that challenges disinformation online, have reported violent chatter among the same extremist groups who stormed the Capitol.
Both the Althea Group and Twitter report posts of groups planning to converge again on Washington, D.C. on January 17, 2021, and on inauguration day. They refer to it as the Million Militia March, and it’s clear why they are calling it that. Followers are being urged to bring weapons to Washington D.C., a city with strict weapons laws.
President-Elect Biden spoke clearly about the danger Trump has been to Democracy in his statements Thursday morning. He stated, “The past four years, we’ve had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law, clear in everything he has done. And yesterday was the culmination of that unrelenting attack.”
President-Elect Biden sees the ongoing danger to our Democracy, our Constitution, and our very elected officials. Many members of Congress now see it too. They experienced it. The rioters brought zip ties into the Capitol. What were the zip ties for, if not to detain or even kidnap members of Congress? This type of complete disregard for laws, tradition, respect for our legislators, and even lives, will not go away if we deny Trump his bully pulpit. They and he will simply go underground, and become more dangerous, if he has a path to run for office again. If we don’t remove him and his bully pulpit, that just makes it easier for him to continue wreaking chaos.