From Other Words
How the GOP abandoned democracy and became an accomplice to insurrection, and what must be done now.
Trump Extreamists storm the United States Capitol
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In 1923, Hitler and the Nazis stormed a beer hall in Munich, Germany, from whence they planned to overthrow German democracy. The putsch failed ignominiously, and Hitler was briefly jailed.
That, of course, was not the end of Adolf Hitler. America needs to remember that history if we want to preserve our democracy from the right-wing forces rallied by Donald Trump today.
As Congress gathered to formalize Trump's election defeat, he and his extremist followers launched their own beer hall putsch. "We will not take it anymore," Trump told them. "You'll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength."
With these words, Trump unleashed the frenzied horde.
They breached the barriers around the Capitol and fought their way in, brutally killing a police officer and assaulting many others. They broke into offices, smashed windows, looted, and forced Congress to cease its operations. Outside, they built a gallows.
Many rioters carried weapons and some had plastic handcuffs. Their obvious goal: to take hostages and force Congress to award Trump a second term.
Trump is responsible, but not him alone. The mob he sent had accomplices: a second mob of Republican officials who laid the groundwork by enabling Trump's lies.
The second mob includes the eight Republican senators and 139 House Republicans who voted against certifying Joe Biden's election, as well as the 17 Republican attorneys general who supported a bogus lawsuit to throw out the election.
Finally, it includes the Republican office holders who refused to tell their voters the truth: Trump lost. There was no "steal," as 60 court rulings including many by Trump-appointed judges unanimously concluded.
These Republican politicians knew this, but they still insisted Trump be installed as president, confirming their opposition to elections and hostility to constitutional democracy.
The second mob misled Republican voters so well that 45 percent of them actually support the criminal attack on the Capitol. Those tens of millions of people represent a potential mass base for fascism.
So, what should we do?
First, Trump should be impeached, removed, and charged with inciting a riot and other crimes. And criminal charges are obviously in order for the terrorist violence committed by the first mob. Experts also suggest expelling members of the second mob from Congress or boycotting them from public life.
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