Donald Trump made a mockery of the presidential office.
Now he’s doing the same thing with our democracy.
That is what irks me most about the chaos that broke out in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, as lawmakers came together for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College results. Among the lawmakers who were forced to scurry out of the chamber were the lawmakers who supported Trump’s lie that President-elect Joe Biden stole the election.
Instead of giving Trump a reality check then, they grabbed ahold of his coattails. Once again, Trump showed the entire world that we are a nation led astray by a madman.
During the chaos, all our elected officials could do was beg Trump to call off the assault.
That was “too little, too late.”
I appreciate that Biden went before the cameras and called these Trump supporters what they are — a mob. But Biden shouldn’t have to beg Trump to follow the law. Every time Trump does something unthinkable, like trying to convince a Georgia official to “find votes,” the powerful elite in Washington make idle threats about what they aren’t going to tolerate.
The trouble is, they have tolerated it, and now the democracy itself is under attack. Frankly, I don’t know what else Trump can do before his supporters figure out that something is dangerously wrong with him.
And while some of his supporters that participated in the violent protest may be misinformed, others are using this issue to foment distrust between Americans. For instance, it is not surprising that the MAGA supporters that stormed the Capitol were as white as the Republican Party.
What is surprising, however, is how gently police treated the flag-waving anarchists that breached the barricades. Out of hundreds of protesters, one person was shot inside the Capitol building and died. An explosive device was found on the Capitol grounds, NBC News reported.
For the most part, the mob was allowed to take over this government building, smashing windows and breaking down doors. I can’t imagine that would have happened if the protesters had been mostly Black.
Quite often, police treat white protesters like they are within their rights even when they cross the line, while Black activists fighting for police reforms are dealt with harshly when they step over the line.
The majority of Americans are as horrified by the mayhem that took place in D.C. Wednesday as they were with the violent uprisings that occurred in the aftermath of police shootings. But at least the police protests attempt to change a racist policing system that disproportionately impacts Black and Brown communities.
The only person who stands to benefit from what happened Wednesday is Donald Trump. He gets a few more days to pretend to be a leader.
Because of Trump’s desperate attempt to hold onto power, this is a moment that will go down in history as a colossal fail. Because of Trump’s ego, we can never again hold out our form of government as an example of what a “peaceful transfer of power” looks like.
But the saddest part of this saga is that many young people who were fully engaged in the political process are now witnessing political hypocrisy. Both Democratic and Republican leaders knew Trump wasn’t going to leave office without a brawl, but neither party was prepared to deal with it.
That has put our democracy in peril.