I can’t wait till the end of the week… and I don’t mean Friday, a couple of days from now… I mean a full week… because, by this point a week from now, Donald Trump will no longer be president. Perhaps, having overthrown the United States of America, he’ll be The Emperor of the newly-crowned nation of Trumperica… or, perhaps, he’ll be in the process of being mug-shotted, fingerprinted and thrown into a jail cell.
Those are two very different outcomes, and neither are too likely… but, as we’ve learned from recent events, nothing is impossible. That being said, if I had to bet on either alternative, I’d go with the latter.
It must be gut-wrenchingly difficult for some staunch Republicans (not Trump supporters, just Republicans) to see what a tattered mess they’re a part of. Those that get it, and the associated implications, have been jumping ship as fast as they can; even with no lifeboat below them, they’ll toss their fortunes into the icy waters and hope for the best… because staying on this boat now is a quick journey to the depths of the ocean… from which there is no return. Hopefully they can somehow get back to shore and start the process of rebuilding. But first, they have to survive.
And by the way, I’m talking about regular people, your run-of-the-mill American who’s finally coming to terms with what they helped create. I’m certainly not talking about the 197 House Republicans who voted earlier today to *not* impeach Donald Trump. To be sure, the vote passed, 232-197 – an excellent outcome, because now it goes to trial, and even if he gets tossed after he officially leaves office (which is what would happen, because it won’t go to the senate before at least next week), he will lose every privilege granted to former presidents. No old-president’s club, no secret service detail, no Trump 2024 and no pension. That’ll need a two-thirds majority, which is certainly not guaranteed… and I shake my head… even after all of this, after their guy led the charge to overthrow the government – the very political system they’re a part of – 197 of them are still behind him. Add those 197 names to what needs purging from the American political system.
And, it’s not just political… Trump and his organization are being abandoned. The City of New York is cancelling its contracts. Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank will no longer do business with him. His online credit card processor Stripe has dropped him. Shopify had been operating some online stores for the organization but have dropped him. The 2022 PGA Championship won’t be played at a Trump course, as had been previously scheduled. The list goes on and the list will grow. Good.
Unlike every other president in the history of the U.S., this one deservedly leaves power with a lot less than what he entered with… and a very uncertain future. If it were just bankruptcy he were facing, he might be able to claw his way out of it, now armed with his army of tens of millions of brainwashed devotees who’d do anything for their near-mythical cult leader. Ten bucks a month times tens of millions of people should keep the doors open for a while. But it’s not just that.
After the Watergate scandal, president Richard Nixon resigned… but subsequent president Gerald Ford pardoned him. That pardon cost Gerald Ford the re-election, an election he narrowly lost to Jimmy Carter. Enough people were pissed off about it; “you shouldn’t let him get away with it”… and that lesson has hopefully been learned. All of this “we have to come together as a nation” and “we need to move on” and “it’s a huge distraction while we have far more important things to worry about…”
No… that is totally wrong. The most important thing now, by far, is setting an example for the future. Every single person that was responsible or was a part of this insurrection should face the maximum that the law can throw at them. It’s remarkable what we’re hearing now about how much of an “inside job” this was… how actual leading Republicans not only knew what was going on, and not only were encouraging it, but may actually have had a leading role in planning it. As time goes on, we’re hearing more and more details about what went down, and how much worse it could actually have been. A bunch of misguided hooligans breaking into a sacred building and suddenly realizing “oh shit, what are we doing” is a lot different than calmly walking in there with guns and handcuffs, ready to take hostages. There should be no little slaps on the wrist for the Cruz’s and Hawley’s of the world; they need to fully face the consequences of their actions, and those consequences need to be significant.
You’ll recall the Stanley Cup Riots of 2011 here; it’s disputed how many actual ringleaders there were (at most a few hundred) and how many people (tens of thousands) just got caught up in the moment. There’s a big difference between looting The Bay because suddenly everyone around you is doing it… and having shown up there with a knapsack full of matches, rags, gasoline and bottles, ready to cause some real damage. Both are very wrong, completely unacceptable, and need to be prosecuted (and kudos to the VPD who spent years meticulously tracking down every single identifiable participant that they could). Not everyone went to jail, but everyone who could be identified was held accountable for their actions.
Similarly, down south… even though there’s a difference between an explanation and an excuse, every single one of them needs to be made an example of… so that future generations understand, at least in the U.S. with its first amendment and rights of free speech; go ahead and say whatever you want… but if you actually start trying to mess with the infrastructure that’s been in place since 1789, you will pay the steepest price possible. There’s no explaining or excusing or pardoning… treason.
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