The Trump Army Will Not Stop at the Capitol Attack
I often draw comparisons between Donald Trump and the authoritarianism I’ve seen growing up. But even as someone who’s lived under two political dynasties and military rule, I cannot say I’ve ever seen anything like the attack on the Capitol.
What you saw was fascism in action. And although everyone is going to be busy pointing fingers at Donald Trump, know that he isn’t the real problem. Yes, he incited it. He facilitated it. And he should be impeached. But he wasn’t the driving force behind it. I’ve said this quite a few times, but evil exists in America too — and you’ve just seen it erupt.
After all, this was their chance. The people who’ve wished for an America that was built on white supremacy, violence and misogyny finally had a voice in government. Did you think they were going to let that slip away? That they were going to retreat into the shadows where they’ve always lived?
You see, Trump is the frontman. He is the face of the white supremacy — not the disease itself. The men and women who attacked the very symbol of American democracy weren’t fighting for Trump because he was Trump. They were fighting to keep him in office only because they knew he was their best chance of keeping their vision of America alive.
And you know what the really scary bit is? They’re not going to stop.
Why? Because they were able to invade the Capitol and get away with it. That’s only going to encourage them to try something bigger and bolder. And if you’re wondering as to why they got away with it, take a look at the color of their skin. This was the biggest display of white power you’ll see on television today. Armed fascists were able to invade what’s supposed to be one of the most secure buildings on earth — and they simply walked out. Why? Because the man who sent them there is a white supremacist himself. And with the heights fascism has reached in America, my experience watching authoritarians leaves me with absolutely no doubt in my mind that Trump purposely held the police back.
And you know what that means? When a president exercises authoritarian control over the state in order to subvert the state? It means that America has now officially become a failed state. Actually — no — this is worse than that. Because I wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t even happen in failed states. Police and military-led violence, sure. But this? No. This is a special brand of authoritarianism. And it’s the most dangerous kind. Because who knows how many of them are out there. And as long as they’re white, no one is going to hold them accountable.
And I really do mean no one. Because in a situation like this, Americans would have wanted to turn to their president to restore law and order. But Trump? He addressed the fascists and said, “We love you.” Ivanka was no different; she called them “American patriots.” This is what America is descending into — a failed democracy run by and for fascists.
And if the last four years have shown anything, it’s that it’s only going to get worse. Because I don’t think America is going to wake up like it should.
Let’s not forget it was American complacency that set the stage for this to happen in the first place. America saw what Trump was preaching before the 2016 election. But it didn’t care. So many Americans, to this day, couldn’t be more indifferent to politics if they tried. Are they going to continue turning a blind eye? Did they even care enough to watch the news?
I’m not saying that to attack them. I’m saying it because if America doesn’t change its habits, it’s going to have no one to blame for what happens next other than itself. Because it’s just been shown that a small number of armed fascists can be enough to overthrow a democracy. And with them facing little repercussions, I’m not surprised people are raising alarm bells as to what on earth is going to happen on inauguration day.
Because it’s not just a threat to democracy that Trumpists pose — it’s the threat to human life too. Four people died in this attempted coup. Let me rephrase that — four people lost their lives because the fascists weren’t ready to let go of their grip on America.
When things get this serious, I can’t help but think that even impeaching Trump is not going to make a dent. Because Trumpists now realise they don’t need him. That they can cause chaos on their own. That no federal building on America is safe. That they can inflict pain and suffering on fellow Americans, raise hell, and get away with it because they’re white. What they’re experiencing right about now is a feeling of invincibility. That’s not how you want fascists to be feeling right after they stage a coup.
And make no mistake — this was a coup. By definition, armed men and women breaking into a federal building with the aim of overturning an election is called a coup. What makes things worse for American democracy is that was incited by America’s president. The man who’s supposed to be the protector of that democracy — the embodiment of that democracy.
But all he did was “stand back and stand by” as his fascist army laid siege to America’s most prized institution. And that brings us to the obvious — and perhaps most important question of the day — in a situation like this, who can save American democracy?
The truth is — only you.
It was you who fired Trump. And it has to be you who expels Trump-sympathisers from Congress in the midterms. Why? Because — well, do you want more of this?
Look around you — America is quite literally falling apart. Biden is being handed an America that seems like anything and everything but America. Voting, now, has quite literally become a duty incumbent on every adult American. Because only they can choose to stop people like Trump from winning office. Only they can make sure that the man or woman who walks into the White House is one who respects the office, them and the democracy through which they sent them there.
Because complacency is not an option anymore. America, right now, is at boiling point. It is one fascist coup away from absolute and utter chaos. You see, if they were able to invade the Capitol today, what are they going to attack tomorrow? The White House? The Supreme Court? Any and every institution that stood between them and their white supremacist utopia? What happens then? Trumpist rule? Total suspension of democracy?
I don’t know. I doubt if anyone does. Because what’s happening in America is not normal — even by Third World standards. You see, throughout history, when the people have stood up against the state and used force, it’s been to reclaim their democracy from tyrants. Never have I ever come across a scenario where the people have risen up against the state to end their democracy.
And this is why America needs to ensure that fascism doesn’t remain a political force for much longer. It needs to identify every single Trump-sympathiser in Congress and vote them out. What it needs is a wholesale rejection of authoritarianism in the next four years. This is perhaps America’s last chance. Because it cannot afford to let fascism occupy any more of the spotlight. It can’t afford for dictators to willy nilly launch armed attacks on democracy.
And I’m aware I said that this won’t necessarily go away with Trump; that the Trump army now realises they’re enough to bring American democracy to heel on their own. But even so, voting its way through this will give America a government that actually holds them accountable.
And that — that is how this movement will die down. Once they start having to pay for their crimes, they’ll retreat back into the shadows where they always lived. Because right now, they’re untouchable. I mean, and as people have rightfully been pointing out, what would have happened if they weren’t white? If they were Black or Muslim? I’ll tell you — the Capitol’s white paint would’ve gotten a fresh coat of red.
So don’t be fooled by the pithy number of arrests that have been made — they’re only trying to save face.
So if there’s one thing you take away from everything you’ve seen, then it let it be this — your democracy is far more fragile than you could have ever imagined. You believed it’d survived for over two hundred years and would keep doing so. You thought it was indestructible. Well, it only took four years of Trump to nearly tear it apart.
This is where you must realise that democracies only survive if you care about them. Look towards the East — democracies are crumbling even today. Fascism is once again chipping away at nation after nation. Dictatorships are once again becoming the norm.
And if things keep going the way they are, the America you grew up in is not going to be the America you grow old in. Your vote won’t matter. Your voice will be squashed. Your law enforcement will no longer be your law enforcement. And because the state won’t be controlled by politicians for themselves but rather for Americans who have twisted visions for a white America, this won’t be an ordinary dictatorship — it’ll be one that’s built on racism.
And unless Americans stop the people who attacked their democracy from becoming the ones who run their democracy, that’s the future they’ll be choosing for themselves.