Leading Red-State Paper Ditches Trump & GOP Over Political Violence

0
1025

The threat that is represented by last January’s attack on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Trump doesn’t end there. Just recently, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) approvingly spoke on Twitter of what she called a prospective “national divorce,” and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has open-mindedly talked — however flippantly — about the possibility of Texas splitting from the rest of the United States. More acutely: violent, far-right groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers — both of which were involved in the Capitol violence — remain in operation, while Trump, alongside numerous allies, continues to reject the documented processes of democracy.

The Editorial Board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sounded the alarm about these trends in a new article. The paper is situated in a state that generally leans towards the GOP — and which even has procedural insurrectionist Josh Hawley as one of its current Senators, but this environment didn’t temper the paper’s concern. As the outlet put it:

‘In perhaps the saddest statement since Jan. 6 on the state of American Democracy, Republican lawmakers across the country have been asked to say three simple words: Joe. Biden. Won. But they just can’t bring themselves to do it, even though Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 7 million popular votes and trounced him in the Electoral College toll. In other words, those GOP lawmakers refuse to recognize the will of the people. Which means they no longer recognize democracy.’

It’s true: it doesn’t matter what excuses that Republicans come up with. The fact is that what they’ve positioned themselves against in claiming Trump to be the election’s rightful winner is democracy itself. The facts are there: what unfolded in 2020 was the expression of the will of the people. And still, Republicans lash out with their damaging nonsense. The Post-Dispatch added the following:

‘An October poll found that nearly a third of Republican respondents said violence may be necessary to put Trump back in power. Which means those Republicans no longer recognize democracy as the only correct way to install leaders and peacefully transfer power… The storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 was the starkest example of a willingness to use violence to achieve what a free election couldn’t. Before insurrectionists attacked from the outside, a few members of Congress inside had forwarded to the White House an elaborate scheme to effectively stage a military-backed coup to keep Trump in power.’

These observations led the paper to pose the following, troubling question:

‘When one side comes this close to abandoning the fundamental pillars upon which this nation is founded, the question becomes more than just theoretical: Can American democracy, or America itself, survive if this radical faction doesn’t come to its senses?’

Holding Trump accountable for his destructiveness could be an important first step, and the House committee investigating the Capitol riot is working on it. The possibility of the panel issuing criminal referrals for Trump has been raised, although a referral would not force the Justice Department to bring charges — although it could increase the pressure for such a move. Offenses that would be the subject of the referrals could include obstruction of an official proceeding. Read more at this link.