These are the facts:
On the third of last November, more Americans voted in our Presidential election than ever before in U.S. history. The highest percentage of eligible American voters ever cast their ballots to elect our leaders. Despite continued efforts at voter suppression aimed at Americans of color, this was America’s most inclusive election since the founding of our nation.
The 2020 election was also the most error and fraud free of any of the 59 national elections in our land. So said Chris Krebs, Trump’s election security chief at Homeland Security. So said the Republican and Democratic Attorney Generals of States most in contention: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. So said the multiple machine and hand recounts of all votes in States where the election was contested. So said, more than fifty federal court judges where the President’s party claimed foul play with virtual no evidence to back up its protest.
It is also a fact that the President’s nonstop assertion that he won the election by millions of votes is a lie. Nowhere is this clearer than in the recorded phone call where Trump pressures Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find one more vote than he lost by to Biden in order to overturn the Georgia election. Republican elected official’s polite response was that the President did not have the facts on his side.
No matter how often the President tweeted his conspiracy theories, no matter how often his Attorney Rudy Giuliani raged in front of the press, no matter how many Trump Face Book followers passed on the claim that that the election was stolen, no matter how many elected officials in Congress called for an election review because people believed the lie, the lie is still a lie. The truth is that Biden and Harris won the popular vote by six million ballots and the Electoral College by the same margin that Trump beat Clinton in 2016.
Also fact: When his attack on state election officials failed, the defeated President of the United States called upon his followers to come to Washington D.C. by the thousands and storm the Capitol to force the Vice President to take extraconstitutional steps to alter the vote. When the Vice President refused, the President incited his followers to subvert the will of the people and the United States government by violent insurrection.
This reign of terror resulted in the violation of the citadel of our democracy, the death of a Capitol Hill policeman, the near death of another and the deaths of four other people. Our elected representatives and their staff huddled under and behind furnishings, fearing for their lives. The terrorists narrowly missed the Vice President who some sought to hang and the Speaker of the House whose life they threatened,
At no time did the President call on the rioting mob to stand down, to avoid violence, and to obey the law. Indeed, it was reported by eye witnesses that the Commander in Chief was enjoying the storming of the Capitol on TV while members of congress were using cell phones calling for his assistance.
What is also factual is that the protestors and insurrectionists were almost exclusively white and virtually unopposed in their assault on the Capitol. They demonstrated no shame in their violent assault on journalists, the capitol building, and the relatively few members of law enforcement and members of Congress. The air of the protestors was one of brazen entitlement, of celebration, and a party gone out of control as they took selfies of themselves and their friends amidst the brutality and devastation.
The contrast of how different the situation would have been had the mob been black, even a large peaceful Black Lives Matter event was painfully evident. In that case, there would have been an overabundance of police and National Guard in riot gear, with hundreds of arrests on the spot, and dead bodies of any person who dared to breach the Capitol building.
We now know that this brutal assault on democracy was not a United States intelligence failure. All of our major law enforcement agencies knew well in advance from social media what was planned for January 6th. It was a law enforcement disaster with suspicion that there were sectors of law enforcement and even members of congress who had taken steps to facilitate the planning and execution of this domestic terrorist assault. Trump’s head of the FBI had already been clear that the greatest terrorist threat to our nation and democracy was domestic white supremacy militias.
On January 13th, the House of Representatives called on the Vice President to exercise the 25th amendment to remove Donald J. Trump as a threat to this democracy and the people of the United States. When the Vice President failed to take action, the House of Representatives – with the largest number of votes cast by a minority party in an impeachment – impeached Donald Trump for the second time accusing him of high crimes and misdemeanors by violating his oath of office and duty to faithfully carry out the laws of the United States. The article calls for impeachment, a Senate trial, his removal from office and disqualification from ever holding “any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”
There is much to be thankful for. We can be thankful that the heart of democracy, the election of our representatives by the votes of the American people prevailed. We can be proud that state elected officials, Republicans and Democrats, overseeing the fairness and accuracy of the election results held firm.
At the same time, we must hold that everyone is responsible for their choices on what to believe and their behavior. All violations of the law must be dealt with by our courts and law enforcement beginning with those carrying out this insurrection. It includes those who have conspired with the insurrectionists with their lies and encouragement and all who played a leadership and conspiratorial role against our democracy.
As Americans seek to put an end to the mismanaged pandemic which has resulted in more than 400,000 American deaths and rebuild our economy, we must also take serious steps to counteract the real threat of domestic terrorism and create the laws and safeguards so we never again suffer the travesty to the American people and our institutions that we experienced in January 6th of 2021.
We must at the same time make it a top priority to finally heal our country by attacking systemic racism in all of our institutions which played hand in hand with the autocratic instincts of a President and supporting politicians who fanned the embers of racism into a flaming passion to reverse the results of the American civil war.
We must pass the John Lewis voting rights act, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 and see that that all disadvantaged populations receive quality health care and educational opportunities that they deserve. It is past time to legislate federal background checks on all of fire arm purchases and to ban automatic assault weapons of war from our streets. Once and for all, let’s be clear on the facts of history and cease to rewrite history that recasts traitors as either heroes or victims.