To the Republicans in Congress,
This is what you asked for.
Four years of enabling an autocratic, anti-democratic, narcissistic and deranged man has now led to where we are now.
On January 6th, you and Vice President Pence were huddled in secure locations inside the US Capitol as a horde of Trump loyalists broke through measly security protocols and took control of the building, the first time it had been done so by an alternate entity since 1814. Many of them were reportedly there to kill and/or capture members of Congress, and perhaps even the Vice President.
And I will remind you, they did so at Trump’s behest.
“We’re going to march down to the Capitol,” he said.
“You have to be strong,” he said. “You can’t show weakness.”
And, of course, it wasn’t just him. His lunatic lawyer, the formerly loved and now disgraced Rudy Guliani, added gasoline to the fire. “Let’s have trial by combat.”
And we did. A policeman died. A dozen others injured. Why?
Because a violent mob stormed the US Capitol in an insurrectionist move to try to change the course of a free and fair election, one which had no conspiratorial voter fraud, no dead people voting, no double voting, no undocumented immigrant voting, and no fake people voting.
If there was evidence of this, the courts would have listened. But judges across the country threw out these cases because there was no evidence. And some of these judges were appointed by Trump himself.
For months you let Trump build his powderkeg of lies about election fraud and claiming of only agreeing to the election results if he won the election.
You shrugged it off. It’s okay, you thought, it’s just Trump being Trump. Everything will be fine.
And that’s the issue, right? Let Trump be Trump.
And that’s the problem, right?
Lindsay Graham knew. “I think he’s a kook. I think he’s unfit for office.”
Ted Cruz knew, especially when Trump called him a liar, called his wife ugly, and implicated Cruz’s father in the JFK assassination.
Mitch McConnell knew. They all knew. And they stood by, putting politics over principle.
And you stood by for the last four years, as Trump lied, and lied, and lied, more than any other president in history. You watched as he directed children be put in cages, phoned the Ukrainian president to put his political ambition ahead of US national security interests, order thousands of federal police officers to snatch protesters off the streets and put them in unmarked white vans, meet with Kim Jung Un without any concessions, share highly sensitive Israeli intelligence with Russia, and most recently downplay a deadly virus that has killed about 400,000 Americans…when he knew how deadly it was.
Every day, the pillars of democracy were crumbling at his will.
America was dying. And you were in the front row, watching it all burn down.
“Let’s get back to work,” Pence said from the Senate floor after followers of his boss sat in his very chair a few hours before.
Pence, you could have…should have…been telling your boss to get back to work a long time ago. But, no, you let him stew in his binging of Fox News, One America News Network, Breitbart, and whatever other garbage was on television that day.
Congressional Republicans, you could have…should have…been exercising your ability to check the president when he went on his tirades. But you didn’t.
Now, there are death threats against you for not voting to object to states’ electoral college votes. Lindsay Graham is being heckled and threatened by Trump supporters as he tries to board an airplane. Other Republican members of Congress are receiving the same, especially those 10 who voted to impeach the president for inciting an insurrection. QAnon conspiracy theorists now walk the halls of the House of Representatives as elected officials.
But that’s where we are. And that’s how you wanted it right?
The warning signs were there…day after day…month after month…year after year. Many of us said it. Most Americans agreed. But you didn’t. Because Trump was giving you your judges, signing laws that restricted immigration, reduced benefits for people of color, pulled us away from our international allies, reversed climate policy, etc.
Trump was doing his bidding and getting you what you wanted. And you felt good.
But like any drug abuser. You took a little more Trump each day. And by the time you realized it, you were a full blown addict along with 10% of the American people who are full blown Trump addicts.
You still refuse to recognize yourselves as Trump addicts. “No, I don’t have a problem,” you say. “You can count me out,” said Lindsay Graham, and only a few days later, he was back on his Trump addiction flying with him to Florida.
Just like it took only a few hours to knock down the Twin Towers after taking years to build. Our democracy, which has taken more than 200 years to build, has been eviscerated to its core. Even during the Civil War, American democracy was not threatened like it is today.
Civil War. That’s what many of the insurrectionists wanted right? They wanted a revolution. They wanted a new civil war.
Law enforcement intelligence indicates that every state capitol is under threat of attack on or around inauguration day. The presidential inauguration itself will have no public participation because of the fear of assassination of new members of the administration. Washington DC, my former home, is almost entirely locked down with a green zone and a red zone.
The last time I was in a city with those restrictions was in 2011 in Baghdad, Iraq. Why? Because there were terrorists and insurrectionists who would kill Americans at a moments notice if they could.
And now that is my backyard. This is America.
And that’s what you get. Because this is what you asked for.