Dark Times: Past and Present – Conclusion

Published: June 17, 2022

By Jim Lichtman
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The third public hearing from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol should serve as a chilling wake-up call to America.

Here’s what we learned from the committee’s report, yesterday:

– A former federal judge who consulted with an advisor to Mike Pence said that if the vice president obeyed Trump’s orders not to certify the Electoral College votes, it would have “plunged America. . .  [into] a constitutional crisis.”

– A Trump loyalist and attorney “claimed in an email after Election Day 2020 to have insight into a ‘heated fight’ among the Supreme Court justices over whether to hear arguments about the president’s efforts to overturn his defeat at the polls, two people briefed on the email said,” The New York Times reported.

– Trump knew that the plan to order his vice president to overturn the election count was illegal. However, while he pushed Pence to do so, thus far, no evidence has been presented that showed he conspired with others to achieve his ends.

– Vice President Pence was rushed from the floor of the Senate to a secure location away from rioters, many of whom were heard to say that they were willing to kill him. At one point, attackers came within 40 feet of the location where the vice president and his staff were located.

– According to witnesses, Trump, watching events unfold on TV, never once called Pence to check on the vice president’s safety.

After the third installment of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack I was impressed with the character and courage demonstrated by Pence and a handful of attorneys who quite literally saved the Republic from a constitutional crisis and further violence.

Through interviews, emails and text messages, the committee presented clear and compelling evidence that Trump not only knew the truth of election results from his inner circle of family members, attorneys and advisors but privately and publicly pressured his vice president to subvert the will of the people.

More disturbing is the fact that the events of January 6 might forecast an greater crisis in November by Trump candidates who continue to reinforce the former president’s claims of election fraud.

The country is headed for a existential showdown between those who willingly support a lie and those who believe in the  constitution.

When McCarthyism imploded, the Wisconsin senator was held accountable. While he only faced censure by his colleagues, he lost the credibility and respect of the American public and his power and presence quickly faded.

Armed with the testimony of John Dean, and recorded White House conversations, a handful of Republicans not only proved Nixon was a crook but forced him to resign.

In our current crisis, this is what concerns me most:

Will any supporters’ minds be changed?

Will Donald Trump and his allies be held accountable?

Will his lies eventually replace a rational democracy?

Will the country survive?

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