December 6, 2023

is to blame for the Day of Shame

Today’s Events in Historical Perspective
America’s Longest-Running Column Founded 1932
Who is to blame for the Day of Shame?
By Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift
          WASHINGTON – There is never a point in calling a bully a bully, a liar a liar, a narcissist a narcissist, a misogynist a misogynist, a bigot a bigot, a coward a coward, an autocrat an autocrat, or a megalomaniac a megalomaniac. They know what they are. President Donald Trump knows what he is: all of these things. To his credit, he has never denied it. To the discredit of his enablers and supporters, they also knew these things.
          There was the bragging about grabbing women’s private parts in the Access Hollywood tape, the transcript of his call with the president of Ukraine with “a favor to ask,” and his bullying call to the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” him the votes to win the state. This and so much more is the story of Trump, a coarse and bullying conman, who may finally have pushed the boundaries for those willing to support him beyond where most will tread.
          What he may not know is his level of mental instability.
          So, who is to blame for the events of the shameful Sixth of January? The instigator or the perpetrators? The man whom former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly describes as a “deeply flawed human being” or the enablers who shared this view and enabled him, nonetheless? The voters who knew what he was and voted for him, nonetheless?
          Gullible, marginally educated people who believe a president’s words are gospel bear the least blame. It is incumbent upon those who know better to help susceptible people to distinguish between the real and the unreal.
          The people who stormed the U.S. Capitol did so in blind service to President Donald Trump. They had been mesmerized not only by the president via unfettered social media and demagogic rallies, but also by extremist propaganda media populated by educated charlatans who spew and write false words for money.
          President-elect Biden put it directly: “We could see it coming.” Most Americans know this, and too many of them stood silently by, some out of self-interest, some out of political party allegiance. But in the end, these people who knew the truth, sold their political and patriotic souls to he who would be an autocrat, he who instigated the assault on the Capitol, the assault on the legislative branch of our government. It was not the storming of the Bastille or the slaughter at Tiananmen Square, but only because an organized armed faction was missing.
          This deeply flawed president spoke at his “Save America” rally and urged the throng to take their march to Capitol Hill. He said he would walk alongside them. That didn’t happen, of course, but he egged them on, as did enablers Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump, Jr. Republicans and Democrats alike agree that Trump incited violence and suggested they take their grievances – which are his grievances – to lawmakers meeting that day to officially certify the winner of the 2020 election. As he watched television from the White House, his supporters in red hats and Trump regalia, scaled the walls of Congress and broke windows to enter the Capitol with extraordinarily little pushback from the Capitol Police.
          The vague “bad things” Trump predicted after losing the November election are coming true. He is making them true. He, his enablers, and knowledgeable supporters are guilty, yet it is the duped who are being arrested, they who were least culpable for this Day of Shame.
          Douglas Cohn’s latest books are World War 4: Nine Scenarios (endorsed by seven flag officers) and The President’s First Year: The Only School for Presidents Is the Presidency.
          Twitter:  @douglas_cohn
          © 2020 U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
          Distributed by U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.

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