So, President Trump has been impeached yet again by the U.S. House of Representatives on a largely party line vote. He was impeached for inciting violence and insurrection by his supporters. Victor Fisher, a delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention, called it Trump’s “invitation to the mob to take over the nation’s Capitol.” (ADN 1/12/21)
A group of Anchorage pastors said that Trump’s “provocation of the acts of the rioters is a disgrace to the moral fabric of our nation.”
Trump spoke to his supporters at a rally before the march on the Capitol. Most of his remarks were complaining about the election and praising his record as president. Here is what he specifically said about marching to the Capitol: “Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
The riots of last summer and the refusal to condemn them have come from the progressive half of America.
Reread the last sentence of the statement again: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Note that, far from a call to violence and force, the words are “peaceful” and “patriotic.” With the goal to “make your voices heard.” Also note that the First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
In the poisonous atmosphere in which we live, accusations are enough to establish guilt. Facts are irrelevant. In this case, the facts are up front and plain. Trump did not incite violence or insurrection. Moreover, there was no reason to expect the reaction of some of his supporters. Trump has held countless large rallies over the country in the last four years without any disturbances or vandalism, much less insurrection.
The riots of last summer and the refusal to condemn them have come from the progressive half of America. The immediate response to all acts of violence is to identify the perpetrators and charge, try and sentence them regardless of whether they are far right, far left, or anywhere in between. That goes for the rioters at the Capitol and those besieging Portland and other American cities for months in 2020.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
Mr. Fisher did not stop at allegations of inciting the riots. He then threw the ultimate bomb: “Trump is a Hitler at heart.” Obviously, then, any Trump followers or voters must be latter day Nazis. So much for the unity Biden has promised to bring to the country.
One hundred and sixty years ago Abraham Lincoln, in his first inaugural address, pleaded with the South. “We are not enemies but friends. We must not be enemies.” He failed. We were enemies. He preserved the union with a new burst of freedom but at the terrible cost of over 600,000 lives, most of them young men in their twenties.
Today we are enemies again, but with no Lincoln to lead us and no apparent way out of the mutual animosity that is tearing the country apart.
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Alaska Watchman.