Will It Matter?

Published: July 26, 2022

By Jim Lichtman
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The country is facing a confluence of alarming events that challenge even the best optimists.

Thus far, the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol has held 8 hearings with testimony from key witnesses. Among them: Capitol police, Justice officials, White House aides, state Republican election officials, a conservative judge, a member of the Oath Keepers whose members were part of the attack, riot embeds, a top advisor to Mike Pence Greg Jacob, and most recently and perhaps most importantly, White House counsel Pat Cipollone—all testifying as to what actions were taken by the Trump administration to overturn the 2020 election and Trump’s part in initiating the insurrection.

Those inside the White House and Oval office have testified as to what they directly heard and witnessed regarding President Trump’s actions and non-actions during the attack.

Most who testified were Republicans.

Thus far, all evidence points to tactics taken by Trump to not only overturn the election and instigate the January 6 attack but continue to build support among many, if not most, Republican candidates around the country to support his lie that the 2020 election was stolen, all of which is leading the country closer and closer to an authoritarian regime.

The nation’s highest-ranking military officer, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the committee regarding Trump’s lack of action during the riot, “You’re the commander in chief. You’ve got an assault going on on the Capitol of the United States of America, and there’s nothing? No call? Nothing? Zero?”

White House counsel, Pat Cipollone testified that Trump, with the attack underway, refused a call from the Pentagon because, in Cipollone’s words, “the president didn’t want anything done.”

Will any of this matter to the Trump faithful?

Conservative retired federal judge J. Michael Luttig—who advised former Vice President Mike Pence regarding his constitutional duties in certifying the election—delivered a grim warning before the committee. “Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy.”

Will his testimony make a difference?

On another front, the world is burning up from Climate Change and yet, despite clear evidence, Republicans will not vote for the Biden Climate initiative or put forth their own legislation in response to an existential threat to the globe.

Will the staggering visuals of growing drought, fires, and floods matter to partisan voters?

The world continues to suffer from an unprecedented virus—COVID-19, and now Monkey Pox—and yet millions continue to go unvaccinated and protest the wearing of masks to protect their family, friends, and coworkers.

Even after videotaped interviews with hospitalized COVID patients who formerly stood against vaccine mandates and now warn that the virus is real and vaccines are necessary, the anti-vax people turn away. None of it matters.

However, throughout crisis after crisis—most of them politically motivated—some have steadfastly done the right thing despite the personal consequences.

Dr. Anthony Faucci, head of the Centers for Disease Control, has continued to issue warnings about the virus despite threats to his life and that of his family.

House republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger continue to investigate the January 6 actions at the Capitol despite threats by republican constituents.

In an interview, Cheney said that the country “stands on the edge of an abyss.” To her colleagues, she said, “Republicans cannot be both loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution.”

Up for re-election in her home state of Wyoming, Cheney could likely lose her seat because Trump Republicans consider her a traitor.

During a recent committee hearing, Adam Kinzinger stated, “After the attack, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy acknowledged the simple truth. ‘The President bears responsibility for the attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”

This was before McCarthy changed his mind when criticized by Trump.

Republican Cassidy Hutchinson, an ex-White House aide, testified as to what she saw and heard in and around the Oval Office on January 6 despite scurrilous attacks from Trump and his allies.

Former deputy White House press secretary, Sarah Matthews was attacked on Twitter as a “liar” and “pawn” of Democrats before she testified.

Matthew Pottinger, the former deputy national security adviser, resigned after Trump tweeted attacking Mike Pence.

Here’s a short list of others who resigned: Education secretary Betsy De Vos, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Cybersecurity official John Costello, White House Council of Economic Advisers Tyler Goodspeed, press secretary to Melania Trump, Stephanie Grisham. And the list goes on.

More hearings are scheduled in September offering more evidence of Trump’s actions against American democracy.

Will any of it matter enough to bring about change?

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