As we strive to interpret recent events at the Capitol and across the nation, I find myself drawn further and further in, trying to understand the nature of authoritarian regimes and how they take power. Especially during a Presidential transition.
They try to seize it.
And this attempt by an authoritarian to seize power in the United States, after years of fomenting white nationalism and supremacy, is not over. January 6th was only a prelude of what is to come unless we hold Trump and his extremist base of supporters accountable for incitement and violent insurrection. The FBI and Department of Justice have already charged more than 70 people and expect to arrest hundreds more with crimes related to the riots in DC as investigations continue to uncover new evidence. From an international perspective, US allies echo the concern that this attack on the Capitol was a direct attempt of a coup of the American government.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the American military forces recognize this moment for what it is and issued a statement that condemned the attack on the Capitol and affirmed that military members must hold fast to their duty to protect against all enemies, foreign or domestic, and reject right wing extremism. The National Guard will be at the Capitol during the Presidential Inauguration on January 20th to ensure the event takes place without another attack, and to ensure a peaceful transfer of power. To achieve this, there will be more than 10,000 troops safeguarding the ceremonial proceedings, perhaps even closer to 15,000. It is unfortunate it had to come to this, yet here we are.
While there are only days left before the formal transfer of power, Trump has proven he cannot be trusted one second more. We must act now, before he incites more violence.
Congress must vote to impeach. As the House urges Vice President Pence to take action, Pence has indicated he will not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the President from office. Nevertheless, there is plenty of evidence to proceed with impeachment.
We must protect the American people and show that we will not tolerate fascism. The success of this American democracy, and American diplomacy, for decades to come, depends heavily on what we choose to do today. We fought a world war to triumph over white nationalism and supremacy. Our allies have not forgotten. Neither should we.