I’m writing this in the midst of the Senate trial to decide the future of President Trump after his second impeachment.
Those of us who support his removal claim that he broke his Presidential oath of office where he promised this: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” On January 6, 2021 we believe he betrayed his oath when he called on his supporters to storm the Capitol and prevent the Senate from accepting the American peoples’ decision to elect Joe Biden.
Trump’s defenders claim that he is not guilty, that he didn’t incite his followers, and he didn’t call for the overthrow of the 2020 election.
Now imagine if this had happened four years earlier. In November of 2016 President Obama was prepared to leave office after two terms. He (as well as many of us) believed that Hillary Clinton would defeat Donald Trump and were horrified to learn that while Hillary won the popular vote, Trump won the electoral vote and would be our next President.
So what if President Obama, in his last few weeks in office, claimed the election was stolen and called on his supporters to storm the Capitol on January 7, 2017 to prevent the Senate from certifying the 2016 election. It doesn’t matter if his intent was to remain in office or mandate that Hillary be installed as President.
Can we imagine that Republicans in Congress would have allowed this to happen without consequences? Assuming that President Obama’s attempt to overthrow the 2016 election failed (as did Trump’s attempt to overthrow the 2020 election), does anyone seriously believe that President Obama would have been given a pass because he was no longer in office?
Of course not. The Republican Party does not believe in fairness or justice. They believe that whatever they do is permissible because they are always right and fairness doesn’t matter.
They’re wrong. Rev. Martin Luther King once said that “The Arc of the Moral Universe is Long, But it Bends Toward Justice.” History will not be kind to Trump, but history will also not be kind to his supporters.
History will recognize that Trump’s supporters in the Senate cared little for justice or fairness and cared only for their desire for job security. They will be remembered as cowards.
I pray their cowardice will, ironically, cost them their jobs.