The Attack on the Capitol Was Just a Trailer
Trumpists are not only planning violence, they’ve got a reason to keep going.
Two different America’s are under attack.
The first is the one you and I know. And it’s being held hostage by Trumpists. The second is their America — one that’s ruled by whites, for whites. And to them, that America was stolen in a fraudulent election.
Now, it’s a question of which America survives. Why? Because the hate isn’t going to stop. Trump isn’t going to become irrelevant. If anything, he’s going to leave office with martyrdom in the eyes of his supporters. And you know what that means? The violence isn't going to stop either.
Which is why I won’t be surprised if becoming the Trump army’s public enemy number one was one of the key deciding factors in Mike Pence refusing the call to invoke the 25th Amendment. Because the coup at the Capitol has meant that the decision to remove Trump from office rested on more than just Pence’s loyalty to Trump and Trumpism. It became a question of his personal safety. The FBI was already expecting violence had Pence invoked it. And the events of January 6 showed us that lawmakers are going to take those threats seriously. And that applies especially to the Vice President — because the armed fascists only missed him by seconds the day they raided the Capitol.
And while this is beyond imagination as it is, it wasn’t the only threat. Because with every weapon Congress has in its arsenal to remove Trump from office, his army has got the willingness to create chaos to match. Take impeachment as another example. So far, it’s passed the House and is due to move to the Senate. And this is what the most impeached president in the history of the United States had to say about it: “A continuation of the greatest witchhunt in the history of politics …This impeachment is causing tremendous anger.” While there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind who he’s referring to, he went on to explain what that “tremendous anger” would result in: “For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country.”
Well, there you have it. America’s commander-in-chief, in no uncertain terms, warned Congress of the consequences the country would have to face if he was held to account. The fact that the House had to be protected by the National Guard as they voted on impeachment shows how low Trump has taken America. And I do mean low. Because lawmakers being protected by armed men and women as they decide the fate of a presidency that’s days from expiring anyways means that America has come eeringly close to becoming a defacto dictatorship.
And speaking of dictatorships, you know what’s the one thing the people who run them hate to do? Lose power. Or worse yet, watch someone take it in front of their very eyes. And that brings us to the third potential cite for violence after the Capitol invasion — in the space of two weeks: inauguration day.
I mean, we all know how Trump fanatics feel about Biden. To them, he’s the face of the “evil establishment” that’s “stolen America” from them. He’s the one they’re going to hold responsible for stopping America from “becoming great again.” Is it really a surprise that there’s talk of 20,000 members of the National Guard being deployed in Washington D.C.? After all, the job of the fascists is pretty simple — pick up your weapons and march. And it seems as if they understand that. Because they’ve already been planning more violence for inauguration day on the very dark corners of the web they used to orchestrate the coup at the Capitol.
That is how Trump and his enablers are leaving America — a broken, gaslit nation that is, in some respects, worse than failed states. And I do mean that. Because an incoming president needs 20,000 armed personnel to protect him from his own people. Yes, dictators in the Third World, my country including, need to be protected from their own people too. But that’s because they know they’ve done wrong by them. This on the other hand? This is political and religious extremism centered on white supremacy and incited by a sitting president.
And that brings me to this inevitable question — when will the violence stop? The likely answer is that it won’t — in the short term at least. Because this is more than simply fighting to keep Trump in office. This is about the fight for a Trumpist America. That purpose, however evil, is far more motivating than merely trying to keep a president in office could have ever been.
You see, Trump is their ticket to the America of their dreams. He’s the one politician who had the gall to back them and champion their cause publicly. That’s why they fell in love with him. And right now, they know he’s their only chance. That’s why they’re willing to storm federal buildings at his command. Besides, in their minds, what they’re doing is right. To them, Trump’s America is what America was always meant to be. They think they’re fighting for country and not against it. After all, they call themselves “American patriots.”
But what Trump and his army are doing is turning this into a war for America — a war whose first battle saw five losing their lives. And that — their willingness to take it to the bitter end is what makes this all the more dangerous. Because America, right now, is like a sitting duck. It’s expecting punches, knows who’s going to throw them, and possibly even when they’re going to. But it doesn’t know if it can stop them. I mean, how much confidence do the American people have in their law enforcement right now? Once they saw how white privilege allowed Trumpists to desecrate the very home of American democracy? And what about how their government was complicit? How the police chief’s request to have the National Guard on standby was turned down? How Americans and their democracy were left at the mercy of armed fascists?
You see, this isn’t a threat like any other that America’s faced. And with their president on the side of the domestic terrorists, America can only take it one day at a time until the inauguration, hoping for no repeats of the events of January 6.
But once it comes, then what? Will everything change overnight? The short answer is no. Sure, it’ll be harder for the people who stormed the Capitol to pull off something like that again without presidential help, but that doesn't mean they won't try. Don’t forget that Trump has gaslit the nation beyond recognition. Or the fact that the invasion of the Capitol will have given the Trump army immense confidence going forward. After all, they were able to take the democracy of the most powerful country in the world and hold it hostage.
Not to mention the fact that what the Trump army feels like right now is betrayed. They did what they did to “stop the steal” and “take back their country.” In their minds, the “patriots,” fighting “for their country,” are being called terrorists. Are they going to lash out? And what will happen if they do? Because the man alleged to have assaulted a police officer with the American flag at the Capitol said: “Death is the only remedy.”
Make no mistake — what you’re seeing here are acts of terrorism being planned by Americans against America on American soil. And all the state can do is call in the Guard to minimize the consequences. So when things have gotten this bad, how is one to believe it’ll suddenly change with a new administration?
After all, will Trump have become irrelevant? Because not only is he going to claim martyrdom in the eyes of his supporters, his impeachment is going to drag on into the Biden administration. And you know what those two things combined are going to do? Add fuel to the fire. How? First, with martyrdom, he’s going to have his base emotional. And remember these aren’t ordinary people — they’re prone to violence. So how’s that going to play out when they feel like they’re really in a war to rescue America? And second, with the impeachment, it’s going to remind the Trump army of how they’re being “cheated” and their election was “stolen.” Couple rising emotions and high tensions with constant reminders of how the America of their dreams is slipping away — and you've got a volcano of violence that’s itching to erupt.
Which means what? The violence against the state that Trump has incited doesn’t end at the Capitol attack. This could very well blow over into something much bigger. And in times where Trump has, mentally and emotionally, already bled the country dry, you do wonder whether America has more left in the tank. After all, it’s had it worse than some failed democracies. There you can see dictators getting worse over time. America got it all in one go — and it looks like it’s only going to get worse.
Which leads me to this question — will America make it?
If the Trumpists keep their focus on the state, then yes. That’s a war they cannot win. But that doesn’t mean they can’t do damage in the process. Besides, that’s not the real threat America faces. Violence fueled by Trumpism will only have full force when it’s either backed by or results in political power. Which means what? America needs to take its elections seriously. Yes, the evil that Trump fanatics run on always existed. But what America is seeing today is the direct result of handing that evil political power. And that means — far from making that mistake again — Americans need to identify every single politician who enabled Trump, silently or publicly, and fire them come the midterms. They need to “clean house” — literally, and then keep it that way.
Otherwise? One America will survive — but it won’t be the one that you and I know.