Last week, we saw the cost we pay for hate and lies. Of course, we’ve been seeing this for four years. But last week was too much. The cult of DT followers attacked the U. S. Capitol. They committed violence and many aimed to do even worse. An article in the Atlantic talks about one of the attackers shouting into a megaphone, “I wanna see executions.”
Yet, now we have GOP Congresspeople trying to excuse violence directed at their own worksite, at their fellow workers⎼ at the Capitol of the U. S., at Congress. Those who attacked the Capitol meant direct harm to the representatives of us, the people, and this nation. We cannot allow the harm done and intended by these acts to be distorted or forgotten.
We don’t know all that happened or all who were responsible for it, but there are photos and videos from different sources. Many of us turned on the tv to check on the Georgia Senate victory and were horrified to see the attack play out in real time, almost in slow motion. We saw gallows set up to hang Congresspeople, hang the last remnants of democracy, and proclaim a lie as King. Congresspeople and their staffs were huddled behind doors not only locked, but barricaded with furniture, where our political representatives called the Pentagon and other institutions of our government to get help from those supposedly sworn to protect them and received none.
Many of the would-be executioners believed the lie about who tried to steal the election, but those in Congress had no such excuse. They were cooperating with a noose.
One of the first attempts to cover-up and distort what happened began almost immediately. Almost immediately, instead of blaming the guilty⎼ DT, his White Nationalists and lie-addled and fascist supporters⎼ DT allies in Congress and media tried to blame Antifa, a group that does not exist unless you call those who oppose Fascism and White Nationalism a group. They might as well blame half of this nation⎼ and maybe they do.
About the same time, those bearing some responsibility for the horror began to attempt to distance themselves from it. DT was one of the first. Even as the events were happening, he was convinced by WH staff and others to call it off, to stop the violence. And he finally did so while continuing his lies about the election. “I know your pain.” He tweeted. “We had an election stolen from us.” “But you have to go home now.”
The next day, facing calls for impeachment and being cut off from his Twitter feeding, he condemned the attack on the Capitol and sacrificed his supporters on the street to his last gasps at power. Many GOP, who for years supported his slow coup and attempts at undermining the constitution, tried to distance themselves from him. Were they just letting the anger and outrage calm down before they could assert more disinformation or lies?
Other GOP finally had enough of him. Even before the attack began, Senator Romney had called on the GOP to stop lying about the election and stop the malignant attempt to interfere in the certification of the Electoral College vote. And afterwards, Senator Murkowski called for DT to resign.
Then there were attempts to re-write history. In an administration of lies, these are amongst the worst. DT’s Defense Department published a timeline of events from Wednesday, but they excised DT’s part in inciting the violence.
Journalist Steven Harper filled in what was blanked out, including DT’s tweets and statements at rallies beforehand to spread the lies, and how he urged his supporters to come to Washington. “It will be wild,” he said. The DOD left out the contents of DT’s 90-minute speech urging the crowd on: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” They left out DT’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani provoking the crowd by talking of settling the election with “trial by combat.” It took 90 minutes from the time the Mayor of Washington, D. C. called for help before the DOD decided to send it.
Twitter and other social media feeds and news reports indicated the believers in the lie are planning further attacks. They have clearly not given up the lies and grievances they are addicted to or their attempt to stop the will of the majority of the people from being honored.
And now, many of the GOP are proclaiming Democrats are playing politics, dividing the nation even further, by calling to hold DT responsible for sedition by inciting attacks on the U. S. Capitol and Congress itself. Supposedly, trying to stop the man who incited violence against his own government from being in office or inciting such violence again in the future⎼ this is supposedly making matters worse? Those who spread lies are responsible for what is enacted in their name. These GOP are trying to protect themselves from being held responsible for their own misdeeds. As an article in the Atlantic Magazine makes clear, the GOP own this attack.
So, who is dividing the nation even further?
We don’t want to give White Nationalists and the GOP who support them anything to use to make DT somehow a martyr for their hate. After all, some of them have already turned against DT. The 25th Amendment, or forcing DT to resign and admit his lies would be preferable. But impeachment is the constitutional remedy for crimes such as his. And if it’s the only vehicle at hand to hold him accountable and get him out of office before he could do any more damage, then so be it.
We are hurting, as individuals and as a nation. We are fearful not only of getting sick but of violence directed at us because we want our rights, our vote, our future, our nation protected. In order to heal, to feel a bit safer, we cannot allow these crimes and this disinformation to win. The truth of last Wednesday and what led to it, or as much as we can discover, must be spoken.