By Sebastian Giarratana
Just when we thought it could not get any worse, 45 struck again. This time with circumstances even worse than the regularly scheduled asinine tweet. It is no secret that Trump’s base has thrived off of the fanatical and extreme ideas he has fed them for four years and marketed his followers an empty patriotic promise that he is an “outsider” and will do things differently. Well, he proved that to us once again in an disordered and messy attempt at a final coup d’etat on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
Since the 2020 election, Trump’s loss to now President Joe Biden has allowed the nation to see Trump’s character stripped down to the bone: a malignant narcissist. As Trump stomped his little feet and fluttered his tiny twitter fingers across his phone he knew he could still manipulate his base with the narrative that the election was rigged and that he was robbed. So he did exactly that.
On Wednesday, Jan. 6 ex-president Trump tweeted, “These are the things and events that will happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long….”
Trump’s actions might feel eerily similar and they should. Circa 2016, Trump spun a similar story whilst running against Hillary Clinton. Trump was extremely vocal that he would not accept the election results if they ruled in Clinton’s favor. He did so once more with the 2020 election and even with hard evidence of his loss, he continued to misrepresent the election results. Trump has many character flaws but it is his authoritarian delusions that set the tone for his presidency and carried through his followers.
Later that day, the riff-raff of America followed orders of their cockamamie leader and stormed the Capitol. Trump’s ragtag army managed to reach the Capitol destroying barricades, fighting Capitol police, and scaling walls. As legislators were dragged off of the House stage and forced into hiding, protestors ransacked the building, stole property, and destroyed furniture. Five were killed in the midst of the violence. At the peak of the riot, Trump was even advised to send in the National Guard to bail out politicians in the House chamber to which he resisted the requests of.
Insurrection and protest on our Capitol of this proportion has never been seen, evidently because we have never had such a divided country filled with hatred for either side. Even more vexing was the response to the peaceful Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest for George Floyd in comparison to the Capitol riots. One notable difference is the lack of police force used during the Capitol riots in comparison to the tactics used during the BLM riots.
Rioters at the Capitol were escorted down the steps by law enforcement, some seen opening up barricades for protesters, and officers even photographed taking selfies with rioters. Even more disturbing is that Trump applauded this behavior calling the protesters “special.” I could not imagine the response ex-president Trump would have had if those protesters were wearing BLM hats instead of MAGA ones.
Now, many politicians have questioned Trump’s legitimacy as a president and believe he is guilty of inciting insurrection on the Capitol. Approximately, three days later Trump found himself banned from his favorite social media platform, Twitter. The platform’s reasoning was as written, “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and context around them have permanently suspended the account due to risk of further incitement of violence.”
Trump responded to his Twitter ban and claimed he was being “silenced” and that this move was a direct infringement on his first amendment right and an uppercut to the United States Constitution. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League spoke on ex-president Trump’s ban claiming that it was “a fitting end to a legacy of spewing hate and vitriol.”
I could not agree more with Greenblatt; Trump has received a hall pass on many occasions when he has sprouted hateful and often false information to the public. It was time that Twitter stood up to the bully and shut off any conduits through which he could influence the country in a negative manner.
Indeed Donald Trump being barred from social media feels like the happy ending we have all been waiting for. The scales of justice now seem impartial, retribution completed, and the karmic cycle making its final way around the bend.
As ex-president Trump becomes irrelevant and his power begins to dissipate, many of his supporters that remain are seemingly detaching themselves from his administration in order to salvage their reputations. Democrats and Republicans alike also lean towards possible prosecution and even a second impeachment to ensure the unhinged man-child can no longer take office. If there’s anything “45” has taught us, it is that America is not immune to populist politics, political strongmen, and potential monarchical takeovers.
In present day, real leaders have emerged; Joseph R. Biden is now the President of the United States and Kamala Harris is the first Asian and African American Vice President. It’s time to rebuild our country and reconstruct our egalitarian ideals. In the words of Vice President Harris, it is time “To do what is hard, to do what is good, to unite, to believe in ourselves, believe in our country, believe in what we can do together.” A new light is forming ahead, America now looks towards a brighter future. One that boasts of bi-partisan cooperation and compromise, unity & cohesiveness amongst the American people, and prideful but high-toned patriotism.