Impeachment 2.0 And The Trump Nationalist Party (TNP)
By A. Altieri D’Angelo
The House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump in record-breaking time on January 13, 2021; the House voted 232-197. Trump’s actions leading up to and including January 6, as well as his continued defiance, made an impeachment vote inevitable. Ten Republicans joined with Democrats in voting for impeachment; no Republicans voted for Trump’s impeachment in 2019. The 2020 impeachment made history: the House indicted Trump twice, and he lost more votes than any other president in an impeachment process.
The Senate will hold an impeachment trial after January 20 (the day Trump leaves office). The Senate may not convict Trump; he was declared not guilty in 2019 because the senate republican majority protected him. However, this time there may be enough senate republican votes to achieve the 2/3 majority needed for a conviction. (This may seem strange but keep in mind that if Trump is convicted, he will not be allowed to run for President ever again.)
The impeachment hearing provided great theater. The Democrats focused on Trump’s efforts to have state officials overturn their election results and his incitement of TNP supporters to invade the Capitol (please note TNP is not an official name, just a label I choose to use). They built a strong case that he violated his oath of office, betrayed the country, and should be removed as soon as possible.
The Republicans (except for the ten who voted for impeachment) responded in several ways, but they all failed to mount a successful defense. One group attempted to acknowledge that Trump was partially responsible for the Capitol Building invasion but then stated that there should be no impeachment because the President only had few days remaining in office and that the process would further divide the country. They also pointed out that the impeachment was a rushed process and unconstitutional. A majority of House Republicans, however, did not support any effort to acknowledge Trump’s responsibility. These Republicans chose to compare the January 6th insurrection to the summer protests. They argued that the Democrats were using a double standard to judge “protests”. They, in effect, said Trump was as guilty as Antifa was in the summer riots. (Attempting to make the summer riots equal to the insurrection was rejected out of hand. The simple facts are Trump incited an insurrection, and his mob invaded the Capitol Building, and five people died. There cannot be any moral equivalency.)
The last attempt, and perhaps the most outrageous, was expressed by Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader of the House. He stated that Joe Biden was elected legitimately and that everyone should work together; this was utterly hypocritical. He was one of the highest-profile spreaders of election lies. He can’t rewrite history and avoid blame.
At the same time, the TNP shows no remorse. They are feeling jubilant about trashing the Capitol; they still believe they did the right thing. It is incredible that these people, who say they believe in law and order, are feeling proud about invading D.C. There is no logic to their position. TNP members refuse to accept that they have no case to make. They point to the election fraud lies as support for their actions. TNP supporters do not acknowledge that under the U.S. Constitution, each state has sole authority to oversee elections; they have the final say on whether their elections were valid. Also, Republican governors and state legislatures accepted the votes. Lastly, the Trump campaign filed over 60 lawsuits in several states and was rebuffed in all cases, but for one or two, by democratic and republican judges. The TNP has no way of countering the above facts.
But facts don’t matter to the TNP. TNP supporters are very frustrated (unreasonably so) about the changes occurring in America; diversity (in all forms) is their enemy. They see the growing power of multi-racial and religious people operating at all levels of government and society as an existential threat to their white Christian dominance. They do not accept that the Constitution allows and protects diversity (in race and religion). The TNP is fiercely anti-immigrant. They resent any actions that limit their freedom even though such measures could benefit society as a whole; face masks are a perfect example. And some are not opposed to using violence to achieve their goals. Election fraud is just a cover story to give the TNP a flimsy excuse to hold on to power.
The insurgents, and the groups they belong to, are considered domestic terrorists and will be dealt with accordingly. But the more significant issue is how do we bring the non-violent TNP members back into American society. We need to start by having an honest discussion about their real fears. We can then begin to ease their concerns. We can build on that to unite all factions.