The editorial board of the New York Post proclaimed in a new article that Donald Trump should never again serve as president of the United States — a position Trump may very well end up once again angling to obtain, should he follow through on his endless hinting that direction.
The Post is a generally right-leaning publication owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. “As his followers stormed the Capitol, calling on his vice president to be hanged, President Donald Trump sat in his private dining room, watching TV, doing nothing. For three hours, seven minutes,” the paper said this week. “There has been much debate over whether Trump’s rally speech on Jan. 6, 2021, constituted “incitement.” That’s somewhat of a red herring. What matters more — and has become crystal clear in recent days — is that Trump didn’t lift a finger to stop the violence that followed. And he was the only person who could stop what was happening. He was the only one the crowd was listening to. It was incitement by silence.”
Trump’s consistent attempts in the immediate aftermath of the violence and in the time since to essentially justify what happened make clear his heart basically wasn’t in any eventual efforts in which he engaged to push back against what happened. More than once, Trump’s raised the prospect of issuing pardons for participants in the Capitol riot if he wins the presidency again — although rioters’ charges include serious offenses like assaulting police with dangerous weapons, seditious conspiracy, and destruction of government property. It’s also abundantly clear that it’s basically a matter of chance — a perceptible miracle — the riot wasn’t even worse. What would’ve happened if the crowd reached the then-vice president? They obviously wouldn’t have been inclined towards simply having a chat. Security personnel defending Pence on the ground as the riot unfolded thought they might die, according to testimony to the House riot investigation committee.
Agents were “starting to fear for their own lives,” per that testimony, which was from a then-White House official hearing radio traffic from Secret Service agents working on Pence’s protection. “There were calls to say goodbye to family members, so on and so forth,” the individual told the committee. “For whatever the reason was on the ground, the VP detail thought that this was about to get very ugly.” The people responsible for that chaos are those with whom Trump’s opted to stand. “[Trump’s] only focus was to find any means — damn the consequences — to block the peaceful transfer of power,” the Post said. “There is no other explanation, just as there is no defense, for his refusal to stop the violence. It’s up to the Justice Department to decide if this is a crime. But as a matter of principle, as a matter of character, Trump has proven himself unworthy to be this country’s chief executive again.” In a potential 2024 run, Trump isn’t as unbeatable as he might think.