Shades of "Olympus Has Fallen!" I never in my wildest dream ever thought that I would witness what occurred last Wednesday when our United States Capitol was literally assaulted by people supporting President Trump. I had already written my article for this week but it will have to wait. This historical event has to be addressed.
It is common knowledge that President Trump has refused to accept the results of the presidential election, declaring that he lost the election, but who would have thought that he would resort to engineering a "coup" in order to maintain his presidency? And yet, that is precisely what he did!
Consider that he addressed the huge group of people from all over the country as they began to gather in his support while Congress met to certify the result of the Electoral College. He stood before the people in attendance, thoroughly denounced the election as fraudulent and told them to march right up to the Capitol's steps in protest, and that he would lead them there. He also told them to be on the watch for "something great" that was going to happen, a direct reference to the storming of the Capitol in order to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the election. This was President Trump's rally, and he directed it. Any careful observer has no problem noting that this rally was well-planned and orchestrated.
In addition, I listened to President Trump outline in detail why the election was fraudulent. He stated over and over the erroneous result of five major states that voted against him and declared that there were huge voting irregularities in all of them and that he should be considered the winner in all of them. In doing so, he denounced the media, the Supreme Court and the people he nominated for it, all of the other state and federal courts that had rejected his contentions that the election was rigged by the Democrats and flatly ignored the fact that every state governor had certified the results of the election in their states.
In some states, the votes had been counted numerous times, usually resulting in giving Biden a higher win quota. President Trump also ignored the fact that more than 50 court appeals filed by his lawyers were either defeated or rejected. Not once, did President Trump suggest that there was fraud in the states where he won. It obviously was an attempt to "steal" the presidency back to himself.
In order to maintain the presidency, President Trump clearly attacked anyone or part of Congress that disagreed with him. The attorney general was one of the first to go because he declared there was no fraud with the election. Then, on Wednesday, while speaking to the huge crowd in Washington, D.C., he declared that the Supreme Court was in error and that the people he had nominated to the Court were wrong to support the Constitution instead of him. Since the vice-president is in charge of the senate, he also instructed him to declare the Electoral College's results invalid and to send the issue back to the states. When Vice-President Pence refused to comply with his request, he both threatened him and put him on a future "hit" list. In addition, he called the Secretary of State of Georgia and threatened him if he did not make sure he found some way to give the state's delegates to him (it's recorded). Thus, anyone disagreeing with President Trump has been threatened with future problems for not making sure he won the election.
It has been known for some time now that President Trump really appreciates the power various dictators enjoy while leading their countries. Wednesday's attempted coup and open insurrection support this. American citizens should not be led astray by countless lies and blatant misstating of the truth. If President Trump somehow finds a way to keep the presidency after losing by over seven million votes nationwide and the Electoral College by a decisive amount, he would de facto become a dictator or king. Democracy would disappear. Presidential elections are the property of the voting American citizens, not Congress nor the president.
It also is demoralizing to note the number of people, especially those who have been elected, blindly follow President Trump in spite of the truth of what has been happening. It is unfortunate that Wednesday's rally may actually become the demise of the Republican Party and the rise of the Trump Party which I am sure he will call the "American Party."
Let me be clear here. I have not written these observations easily. I have a very strong respect for what the Republican Party has stood for throughout the years, and have voted for many Republicans at election time. However, it is obvious that the Republican Party has degenerated into the Trump Party, and I will do whatever I can to maintain our democracy and resist changing it to an autocratic country. It is to their credit that Senators Cotton and Boozman have refused to become a part of this travesty.
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Robert Box is the former chaplain for the Bella Vista Police Department and is currently the Fire Department chaplain. Opinions expressed are those of the author.