By Olivia A. Jackson, PhD
Florida Memorial University, Associate Professor
The Buck Stops here… Enough is Enough…Trump lost, we can now get back to some sense of normalcy…. Sounds familiar? Then, came the unthinkable when a marauding band of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the official winner of the presidential election. So, why such shock? Indeed, the beast was already unleashed and refuses to be tamed. President Donald Trump, with only a few days left in office, unveiled his greatest accomplishment—his ability to implore “Us against Them” rhetoric fueled by multiple conspiracy theories to permeate the arteries of America’s democracy, and he did not do this alone.
His willing GOP sycophants, including our own Florida governor and congressional lawmakers, have willingly enabled him, putting politics over the soul of this nation. Many continued to enable him, doing his bidding by supporting over 50 failed law suits on his behalf, claiming the election was fraudulent and stolen from him. Despite these failed attempts to overturn the election results, Trump’s last stand was to incite his base via various modes, calling on them to take back the country to continue to Make America Great Again. Still shocked? Trump has always been transparent about his intent via Tweets, lambasting news interviews, and phone calls to various state election officials imploring them to overturn the election in his favor. As he brazenly stated in a taped phone call to Georgia election officials, “I just want to find 11,780 votes.”
Fast forward to January 6. Leading up to that date Trump had already called on his base to rise up and block Congress from performing its ceremonial duty of certifying Joe Biden as the next President. Trump openly called on Vice President Mike Pence to not certify the votes, which of course would be against the basic rule of law instituted to begin the peaceful transfer of power. Well, his base heeded the call. We all saw the results. Once inside, his supporters like rabid dogs, did his bidding by storming through both congressional chambers and trashing law makers’ offices while chanting “hang Mike Pence.” By the way, interesting how easily this was carried out. Imagine the outcome had this been a crowd of Black folks.
In the end, order was restored, Congress reconvened and President-Elect Biden was certified as the winner, but not without objections from 139 Republican lawmakers and the loss of five lives. These same law makers who, fearing for their lives and cowering like skittish little cowards as the insurgents were storming the Capitol, demonstrated that America continues to be under siege as Trumpism is clearly embedded in the fabric of society and will continue long after the President’s departure on January 20. Undoubtedly, these recent events revealed the GOP is in a crisis as lawmakers—fearing losing their seats if they abandon the Trumpian movement—have shown that even when Trump puts their lives at risk, they continue to value their political futures over the soul of this nation. So, America, take heed and buckle up as the country transitions to the next episode of the Trump reality TV…It’s going to be a long and bumpy ride.