Impeachment Won’t Save Us From Wild Fascism
The news keeps getting worse.
The more we learn about January’s savage attack on the capitol, the darker it gets. An angry mob wasn’t just chanting to hang the vice president. They’d actually built a gallows.
Some of our own lawmakers didn’t just try to live-tweet the locations of their political opponents. They gave militias and hate groups reconnaissance tours of the building, to make sure they’d know exactly where to go. And most recently, members of congress like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez are coming forward to explain just how narrowly they escaped being kidnapped and murdered by armed extremists.
Others had to choose between hiding in “secure rooms” with mask-less covidiots, or taking their chances on their own. Even now, in the wake of this deadly incident, we have politicians refusing to surrender their weapons and holding standoffs against capitol police.
Meanwhile, their colleagues lecture liberals about “unity.”
We’re in The Throes of Wild Fascism.
I’ve hesitated to call what’s going on fascism, simply because it looks so disorganized compared to movements we’ve seen in the past. But as I stare at Jake Angeli (pictured above), I think I’m okay with it. This is wild fascism. It’s untamed, but it’s getting there.
It doesn’t goosestep. It howls.
This is serious, and worse than any threat we’ve ever dealt with. We’re not talking about an attack on our country from a terrorist group halfway around the world. This wasn’t a riot that “got out of control.” It was a coordinated assault, planned by our own leaders and orchestrated against the backdrop of a violent, bloodthirsty mob.
It was state-sponsored terrorism.
This Was a Long Time Coming.
People are still “shocked” at what happened at the capitol. To be honest, we all were at first. Then some of us quickly put the day’s events into context. We’ve been headed this way for a while.
That’s not hyperbole.
Some of us remember when Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head by an unhinged political activist. That’s when Americans first began seriously talking about our toxic political discourse. We promised each other we’d do better, but since then it’s only gotten worse.
Every year, we’ve devolved.
In 2020, we got to witness members of congress shouting at their opponents and calling them “bitches.” Trucks tried to run Biden-Harris campaign buses off the road, then blame it on liberals. A group of Michigan militia plotted to kidnap the governor, because she closed their gym to protect them from a deadly virus. Violence was on the rise everywhere.
The rise continues.
We’re Between Terrorist Attacks.
Americans are used to having short breaks between bombings and shootings. Those breaks have been getting shorter. It’s not an exaggeration to say that now, every week brings us a new violent incident.
They’re getting more frequent. They’re getting worse.
These aren’t the words of a pessimistic citizen. Our own law enforcement and security experts are telling us this.
Read any newspaper, and you’ll see what’s going on. Ahead of Biden’s inauguration, the capitol is in lockdown. Hundreds of national guard troops are sleeping on the floors of federal buildings. By the end of the week, there will be 20,000 of them. They’re being sent for one reason, to prevent more death and destruction by Trump’s followers.
It’s Not Over Yet.
Security reports tell us that many of the militias that descended on congress last week are still in D.C
They haven’t left.
They’re in this for the long haul. They’re planning and advertising more “armed protests.” Honestly, nobody knows when they’re going to leave. They could be intending to stay indefinitely, until they accomplish their objective — destabilizing our government.
More are coming.
Airbnb just announced they had to cancel all of their reservations in the D.C. area for the coming week, because they were riddled with known white supremacists and hate groups. Nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen. We’re bracing for anything.
Our President Is a Genocidal War Criminal.
Our president didn’t just stare in dumbfounded awe as insurgents invaded our capitol amidst a violent uprising.
He celebrated in anticipation of causing chaos.
You can see videos of him and his inner circle just prior to his speech. They’re not anxious or concerned. They’re excited. They’re cheering and dancing. The only thing missing is champagne.
The latest reports aren’t just that Donald Trump waited too long to disperse the riot. While terrorists stalked the halls looking for members of congress to execute, he was on the phone pressuring and threatening them to join his cause to overturn the electoral college. His own colleagues described him as “delighted” and “excited.”
Maybe you don’t want to believe this because it’s such a jaw-dropping indictment of your friends and family who stood by this man for four years as he showed us, time and again, who he really was. It doesn’t matter. The facts are painting the final picture of Trump.
The man is a psychopath.
Give him four more years, and he’ll be hauling out ordinary citizens who oppose him and having them shot in the street. His supporters will be happy to do it in exchange for a slap on the wrist, followed by a pardon. Anyone who doesn’t see that is deeply naive.
Impeaching Him Won’t help Much.
The cry for impeachment has gotten so loud that even Mitch McConnell is giving it some lip service, if only to satisfy corporate donors who don’t want to be associated with Trump anymore.
We’re committed now.
Still, it remains unclear what impeachment will actually accomplish. Viral messages have gone around explaining that it could do everything from barring Trump against future political office, to denying him access to classified material (a former president’s right). All of that has been fact-checked, and most if it is debatable at best.
The unsettling truth is that impeachment at this point holds mostly symbolic value. That alone doesn’t necessarily stop Trump from running again. It doesn’t strip him of protective detail, or his presidential pension, or access to security briefings. Our senate would have to vote on all these censures separately, and each one comes with its own legal and constitutional can of worms. That means weeks, if not months, of continuing to argue and fume about Trump — instead of governing.
Criminal Charges Could Make Things Worse.
Impeachment is underway, and there’s not much use in shaming Republican senators into expediting it at this point. If you ask security experts, they’ll tell you the best thing right now is to get Trump out of D.C. as quickly as possible. Keep him off the headline news.
Let him fade.
We’ll be talking about Trump for years to come, but we can at least deny him the active spotlight he’s enjoyed the last ten years. He’s been banned from virtually every social media platform on the internet. Broadcasting his inane speeches on the news undermines that. Even if he’s out of office, he can still do real damage with a microphone.
As the chorus of support dies down, law enforcement will have an easier time identifying actual, legitimate threats. Right now, there’s so much noise they can’t tell insurgents apart from trolls.
We Have to Exile Trump.
Donald Trump is clearly a threat to our democracy and our national security. Every time the guy opens his mouth, someone dies. We keep talking about what the right thing to do is, and what he deserves.
The real question is this:
What’s the smartest way to deal with him?
Impeaching Trump and then putting him on trial isn’t necessarily the best way to go. It inflames his supporters and gives him a platform, even after he’s been denied his favorite outlets for now.
I’ve vacillated on this. It’s not an easy call to make.
Either way, the real way to damage this ex-president is to make sure he finds no more audiences on social media, or on mainstream networks. We also have to shut down his enablers and proxies. Anyone who spouts Trumpism should be kicked off Twitter and Facebook. You don’t get to use your first amendment rights to assault other people’s freedoms. On top of this, we need to continue pressuring businesses to pull their financial support from any enterprise that has anything to do with the man. This is already happening, and it hurts Trump far worse than impeachment.
This Isn’t About Appeasement.
Just about everyone to the left of Mr. Rogers despises Trump and his cronies for what they’ve done. But we can’t let our emotions get in the way and cloud our judgment. We have to be smart.
There’s too much at stake.
Trump can’t do much direct damage without money and access to the media. We need to keep it that way.
We can exile Trump, while making examples of every single criminal who invaded our capitol with intent to do harm.
We need to send a loud message that anyone who spreads hate and violence will lose the freedoms they claim to love, and not even their beloved Donald Trump will save them.
It’s About The Future.
Once this is “over,” we can get to cleaning up Trump’s mess and building a future where hate groups and militias can’t recruit poor, angry white guys for their twisted political causes. We can create a system that prevents entitled, white pricks from influencing our politics with their extreme wealth. We can bring back a culture that makes it extremely uncomfortable for anyone to openly entertain fascist, racists ideas.
That’s the smart play.