An end of an error


Graphic by Alex Hanks

Editorial Board

In January 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Since then, President Trump has conducted himself in a cowardly, morally appalling, and highly unprofessional manner. His behavior led him to challenge federal laws in conspiring to commit election fraud on his phone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffenspurg. Since the taped phone call was released, many of President Trump’s political supporters have since come out against the President’s baseless claims that the election results were fraudulent.

President Trump has exhausted every legal limit the Constitution has to contest the presidential election results, which directly influenced the insurrection that took place at the Capitol of the United States on Jan. 7, 2021. While there was a lot of political criticism concerning President Trump’s lack of action during the attack, notable politicians such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley have received widespread criticism for their unfaltering support of President Trump’s election fraud claims. Both senators have been called to resign from their positions as concerned citizens believe that Cruz and Hawley are not acting in their states’ best interest or national interests to protect their political careers.

President Trump’s blatant disregard for the Constitution when it goes against his best interest is disgusting and has long been overlooked by the government officials and his supporters. The event ignited the unconstitutional unrest that President Trump has been adding fuel to since his loss to President Joseph Biden. All of this goes to say that amendments to the U.S. Constitution are long overdue. It is a national embarrassment to watch domestic terrorists break into the Capitol and impede Congressional sessions. 

Trump supporters were aggressive in their rioting and were not met with violent resistance from law enforcement, unlike peaceful protesters in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. It is plausible to question those who may support Blue Lives Matter attacking police officers their true intentions against the BLM movement. What needs to be addressed is how the BLM movement’s protesters were caught on camera being battered and beaten with brutal force at the hands of the military and police. Meanwhile, domestic terrorists were allowed violence-free entry into the Capitol and were escorted down the stairs leading into the building. The attack remained violence-free aside from four rioters who died during the attack. Sure, arresting the rioters is a step in the right direction; however, rioters should have been arrested during the attacks, not the following days after. 

In his since-deleted video posted on Twitter via his POTUS account, President Trump told the Capitol rioters to “go home,” but did not condemn their actions as federal crimes. Instead, praised them by stating that they were “special” and that he loved them. It took weeks for President Trump to condemn the riots in a video posted to the White House Twitter account which stated, “I want to be very clear: I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country.” Twitter banned President Trump’s accounts indefinitely, and Facebook and Instagram blocked President Trump’s social media accounts for violating their terms of service until after President-Elect Biden was inaugurated into office. Facebook and Instagram CEO Mark Zuckerburg stated that President Trump was using the platforms “…to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government,” which violated their terms of service.

Pennsylvania Representative Conor Lamb put it best during his 5-minute speech while Congress broke into House and Senate sessions by stating, “Invaders came in here for the first time since the War of 1812. They desecrated these halls and these chambers and practically every inch of ground where we work, and for the most part, they came in here free and a lot of them walked out free. And there wasn’t a person watching at home that didn’t know why that was: because of the way they look.” Several refutations could be made against this statement; however, Representative Lamb was simply emphasizing that white supremacy and racism caused the events that took place.

Many of President Trump’s previous public and political supporters made public statements against him after being unable to get hold of him during the attack at the Capitol. House Representatives and Senators including Michigan Representative Dan Kildee, California Congressman Eric Swalwell, Florida Representative Val Demings, Pennsylvania Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, and Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan called on Vice President Mike Pence to enact the 25th amendment to have President Trump removed from office, which the vice president refused to do. Other members such as Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have made statements to move to impeach President Trump.

On Jan. 13th the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump with a 232 to 197 vote. Ten House Republicans also joined Democrats in favor of impeaching the former President as well. The Senate has since then not discussed the specific time frame in which it will reconvene the voting for impeaching Trump. Sen. Mitch McConnell has proposed for voting to take place sometime in February, citing to allow Trump’s team to prepare. If the Senate votes in favor of impeachment Trump will lose the ability to run for office again. 

While President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives twice, the Senate must follow suit to hold President Trump accountable for the severe mistakes and treasonous actions that occurred during his presidency. It is today that we are calling for accountability, reform, and the widespread condemnation not only of the riots that took place at the Capitol on Jan. 7 but in the overall Trump presidency. We need to join together and voice our concerns with the conduct of several politicians during this moment that is making history in infamy. Call your politicians. Send emails to congressmen and women. Silence and apathy are no longer an option. Democracy must be defended, and it must begin with us.