Five weeks after former President Donald Trump incited a violent insurrection attempt at the U.S. Capitol, we’re coming to grips with how much worse things could have been. The vice president and Members of Congress could have been killed, and democracy in America, quite possibly, could have been temporarily halted if not lost.
The mob’s objective was simple: Overturn a presidential election that was conducted and managed fairly, according to officials in all 50 states, their courts and the Supreme Court.
Sure, Donald Trump ran better than most experts expected but a loss is still a loss. And while the election was close in some ways, the result was decisive in every way.
In the end, Democrats retained the House of Representatives, flipped the U.S. Senate and won the presidency.
And, of note, the 2020 presidential race marked the seventh time in the last 8 elections of its kind a Republican presidential candidate has failed to win the popular vote. Since 1988, the GOP presidential candidate has won the popular vote just once (George W. Bush def John Kerry, 2004).
What’s happening is very clear. Republicans, especially those representing the right wing of the GOP, are slowly but surely running out of supporters. Old folks are dying, and many (like me) have defected since the rise Trump.
Without the numbers to generate change they want to see some are turning towards fascism… That’s what happens when you don’t have enough support to win elections or democratically pass or prevent legislative initiatives.
The results of a recent poll conducted by the conservative American Enterprise Institute’s Survey Center on American Life are concerning but not surprising.
Do you agree? The traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.
Result: 36 percent of Americans agree, including a whopping 55 percent of Republicans
Affirming that trend is the reply to a separate comment raised in the poll.
Do you agree? If elected leaders will not protect America, the people must do it themselves even if it requires taking violent actions.
Result: Nearly 40 percent of Republicans concurred; Only 17 percent of Democrats agreed
And that’s why there won’t be enough votes in the U.S. Senate to convict Trump. Some Republicans aren’t convinced the former president did anything wrong. Or, at the very least, they’ve persuaded themselves he used poor judgement in a situation not serious enough to warrant a conviction.
“I think any time you have a significant number of the public saying use of force can be justified in our political system, that’s pretty scary,” Survey Center on American Life Director Daniel Cox told NPR.
“… Under the right circumstances, if you have this worldview, then you are more inclined to act in a certain way if you are presented with that option.”
Right wing extremism and an authoritarian, anti-diplomatic governing style is one of the biggest differentiators between today’s new breed of Republicans and the GOP of the past. Their former’s mindset, as it relates to leadership, is altogether different.
When they lose at the ballot box, they wholeheartedly support Rudy Giuliani’s notion of “Trial by combat.”
Should another Trump-like politician rise to the presidency, she/he will likely test the limits of their power. And our system of ‘checks and balances’ surely won’t work next time if enough people in positions of power share that leader’s mindset.
It’s not too far-fetched… Imagine if then-Attorney General Bill Barr would have arrested Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden last October as Trump instructed.
Barr, to some degree, had the power to carry out such tasks despite not having a lawful reason.
Had it happened, most of Trump’s supporters would have cheered while most Republicans in Congress would have looked the other way.
Today’s GOP leaders, sans a few establishment Republicans, present themselves as ‘patriots and conservative, God-fearing constitutionalists; But there’s nothing godly, patriotic or constitutional about using violence to rebuke the democratic will of the people.Tags: capitol riot, U.S. Presidential Race 2020