There are no “very fine people” on both sides — that ship has unequivocally sailed.
By Anatole d’Ecotopia
There is only a fundamentally polarizing moment, bringing into crystal clarity the result of four years of unchecked polarization and unchecked political malpractice. Either you side with the people who incited and participated in Donald Trump’s attempted coup… or you don’t.
If you do, you have no business describing yourself as a “patriot” or even an American. You are either a woefully misguided victim of years of dangerously unrestrained disinformation, or you are among those who have cynically promoted that disinformation for personal or political gain. In either case, you are a dangerous liability to the ongoing preservation of the United States of America as a democratic republic.
If you do not side with the attempted violent overthrow of the lawfully and democratically elected government now being assembled by President Elect Joe Biden, then you have an obligation as a private citizen to ensure that such acts are seen for what they are — and not give credence, tolerance, or respect to dangerous conspiracies and conspiracy theories that still have the possibility of bringing down the republic. If you are an elected official — particularly at the federal level — you have an added obligation:
The obligation to ensure that those responsible for these heinous acts are punished to the full extent of the law… and made an example to all those who might otherwise follow their example.
This begins, of course, with the impeachment and legal prosecution of Donald Trump, which needs to proceed immediately. But it does not end there. Every single member of Congress who engaged in the pointless and performative exercise of raising unfounded objections to the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory deserves formal censure. Their behavior enabled an insurrectionist riot and violated their oaths of office. They need to be called out for their dereliction of duty to the country they claim to serve.
Additionally, there are actors within this group who deserve more than censure. They deserve to be impeached as well. At the very least, this group includes Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, and House Representatives Louie Gohmert and Derrick Evans.
Had Hanley not been among the first to announce an intention to raise electoral vote certification objections in the Senate, followed shortly by Cruz, it is quite possible this pointless exercise might have been contained in the House. Their unwillingness to withdraw their objections when the certification process finally resumed in the riot’s aftermath speaks to dangerously reckless political ambitions that very much mirror that of Donald Trump, but are even more despicable. Unlike Trump, these men are trained lawyers and know better. They actually know the Constitution they are willing to trample for the sake of ambition.
Gohmert and Evans deserve impeachment for, respectively, calling for and participating in the insurrectionist riot and attempted coup. There may be other House Members who deserve impeachment as well. At least seven other representatives are known to have travelled to the capital for Trump’s “demonstration”.
None of us have the continued luxury of looking the other way, or tolerating dangerous defiance to the established laws and norms of a democratic society. Facism has indeed arrived in America, brandishing a flag and bible — but the flag bears the added embellishment of the face of a would-be dictator, and clutched next to the bible is an assault rifle with an extended clip. The danger may be averted for now… but it has not gone away.