The Attempted Coup Involved Much More than January 6th

As we move into the Senate trial for the impeachment of Donald Trump, I am concerned that we might be beginning to miss the forest for the trees. If everything boils down to how much did Trump indirectly spark the attack on the capitol, it at times could become a little bit blurred and we risk miss the larger issue that Trump attempted to cause a coup in the United States. This is the first time that this has been tried by a sitting president. Now that some of the craziness has subsided, we should reflect on the absurdity and danger of what really happened.

First of all, there were the constant lies starting before the election about fraudulent votes. Regardless of what any evidence came out, that was going to be the narrative. They broadcasted that before the election. That in and of itself, putting out false information without legitimate evidence is criminal behavior from a sitting president. On top of that, it is also clear that Trump was trying to pressure the Georgia Secretary of State in ways that were certainly unlawful and unethical. In addition, he was trying to strong arm state legislators in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania to overturn their own elections. When that did not work, he was active in bringing a case before the Supreme Court. When that failed, he pressured members of Congress to not certify the election in a clearly unconstitutional move. At the end, he tried to pressure his vice-president to not accept the elections-again something that’s not possible in a constitutional republic, but something that he tried nonetheless.

There was also talk of him actually trying to implement martial law or the Insurrection Act. Fortunately he did not go through with this I believe this was partially due to the fact of the events that happened on January 6th. I don’t think it is beyond the realm of possibility that he might have called out the military if he would have felt empowered instead of slightly embarrassed about what occurred that day. Trump should be convicted by the Senate,, but it should go beyond just the one speech he gave on January 6th. It will be easy for those who don’t want to see the truth to dissect it in such a way that will make it at least create a reasonable doubt if he was the one who inspired them to violently attack or was more symbolically telling them to resist what Congress was doing. We are missing the point though. In a multitude of ways the president and many of his collaborators his his party attempted to overthrow a legitimate election. Those who are involved in this effort should be held accountable and the members of Congress should be removed from their posst. It’s not about revenge. It’s about assuring that this does not happen again. And let’s be guaranteed if all this leads to is a light reprimand, someone who is much more skilled and intelligent will try to pull something like this again maybe as soon as 2024. It might just be Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley instead of Donald Trump. If we do nothing about the attempted coup, we will only have ourselves to blame if it happens for real

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Will McCorkle

Will McCorkle

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I am an education professor in South Carolina with an emphasis in immigrant rights and peace education