This is Not Us as a Democracy – Part 1

Published: January 13, 2021

By Jim Lichtman
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The Incitement —

There’s an old Russian fable that goes like this…

A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river on the frog’s back. Afraid of being stung, the frog hesitates. The scorpion argues that if it did that, they’d both drown. The frog considers this sensible and agrees to carry the scorpion. Midway across the river, however, the scorpion stings the frog, dooming them both. Dying, the frog asks, “Why did you sting me?” The scorpion says, “I couldn’t help it. It’s in my nature.”

That story is a perfect metaphor not only for last week’s violence-inducing speech by President Trump resulting in an attack on the Capitol, but the last four years of Republican appeasement. The only difference is that the frog is only stung once; Republicans have been stung repeatedly and learned nothing.

After Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert had his election suit for fraud thrown out of court, he took to Newsmax and said, “The bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy’ — basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and BLM [Black Lives Matter].”

Trump’s March to the Sea in an unconscionable act of chaos and now violence in his last remaining days in office is proof that many Republicans not only fear for their careers but are willing to support anything he wants even when they have no evidence of fraud in an election that was certified by every state, including those run by Republicans.

Trump forecast his displeasure in a tweet in December:

“…Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2020

CNN Reporter Jim Acosta said that sources told him “that Trump understands that he lost the election but was willfully lying, telling his supporters that the election was rigged.”

Before Trump took the stage last week in his Save America rally, Trump lieutenant and absolute disgrace to the legal profession, Rudy Giuliani, warmed up the crowd by telling supporters that the election needs to be resolved through “Trial by combat!”

Could Trump’s intentions be any more explicit?

Trump takes to the stage and begins with his usual victimization tirade. Triggering moments from His speech are italicized:

“They rigged it like they’ve never rigged an election before…. All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats…. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about.

“…these people are not going to take it any longer. They’re not going to take it any longer.”

“We’re going to have to fight much harder…”

Supporters: “Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump!” …

“I just spoke to Mike [Pence]. All Vice-President Pence has to do is send it back to the States to recertify, and we become president, and you are the happiest people. …

“For years, Democrats have gotten away with election fraud and weak Republicans, and that’s what they are….

“Our country has been under siege for a long time, far longer than this four-year period, and now we’re out here fighting.

“We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn’t happen…. “I’d fight, they’d fight. I’d fight, they’d fight.

“Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong…. And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.

“So, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue… and we’re going to the Capitol… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.

“We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

At the same time Trump was stirring up the crowd, Republican Senator Ted Cruz argued that the Senate should not certify Arizona’s electoral votes.

Absent any proof, Cruz, considered a smart legal scholar argued, “We’ve seen in the last two months unprecedented allegations of voter fraud. And that’s produced a deep, deep distrust of our democratic process across the country. I think we in Congress have an obligation to do something about that,” he told Fox News.

However, “GOP Senator Pat Toomey points out, Cruz and his allies ‘fail to acknowledge that these allegations have been adjudicated in courtrooms across America and were found to be unsupported by evidence.’ ”

Cruz doesn’t sound so smart to me.

Fellow Republican Senator Josh Hawley added fuel to the debate by questioning the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting.

Even after the Capitol was stormed by the mob of Trump supporters, Hawley and Cruz continued to fan the flames of insurrection.

What has all this got to do with ethics? Last week reeks of irresponsibility on the part of Republicans in not holding this president accountable. It reeks of dishonesty when Senators know better. And it destroys trust between our nation’s leaders and the American people.

Asked to comment on the Capitol attack last week, Melinda Gates said, “I think we need to reckon with the fact that this president incited this mob. That is not us as an American people. That is not us as a democracy.”

Events in Washington have changed so rapidly, it’s hard to keep up. As a result, I dropped the second part of this commentary and will return on Friday.


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