After the federal holiday, on Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris will be sworn in to office under the protection of police, federal law enforcement and more than 20,000 National Guard troops, whose presence was prompted by fears of a return of the pro-Trump mobs that smashed their way into the Capitol last week.
The inauguration of the former vice president and the first female vice president — a Black and Asian woman — is an occasion for joy. And the impeachment of Trump, betrayer of the Constitution and hero of white supremacists, produced great satisfaction.
The convergence, however, of the Capitol siege and the war climate now engulfing Washington is cause for profound sadness. Yes, they represent the reality of the world around us. But that world is one of pain, agony, rage and loss that King gave his life trying to overcome.
Trump will exit Washington, but the threat to democracy ignited by Trumpism will remain. The far-right, gun-toting, pro-Trump extremists aren’t going to disappear.
They were seen near the governor’s mansion in Minnesota on Jan. 6 cheering on the riotous events in Washington, D.C. That same day, about 100 pro-Trump demonstrators, some armed, reportedly stormed the gate of the governor’s mansion in the Washington state capital while the governor was inside.
Governors in at least a half-dozen states, including North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania, have activated National Guard troops, The Post reported.
Martin Holsome, a Rusk City Council member who is aligned with several armed Texas groups, said some far-right adherents “want to take over the capital of Texas” because they are upset with Trump’s election loss. Based upon false allegations of fraud, they believe that America’s electoral system is “broken.”
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said during in interview on CNN on Tuesday night, “Trumpism is not dead and it won’t die on Jan. 20.”
Bowser knows of what she speaks.
She may have had in mind Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr., who allegedly drove his truck and trailer to town from Colorado late on Jan. 6. At the time of his arrest the next day, Meredith was allegedly in possession of a Glock 9mm pistol and a Tavor X95 semiautomatic rifle with a telescopic sight, as well as about 2,500 rounds of ammunition.
Meredith is in law-enforcement custody because, among other accusations, he allegedly sent a text on Jan. 7 stating, “I may wander over to the Mayor’s office and put a 5.56 in her skull, FKG [expletive].”
Trump has been a beacon to the bigoted, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic and warped fringes of American society. That light still shines.
It shines brightly on the Republicans in the House and Senate he’s leaving behind.
All but a handful stood by and let Trump happen. Some embraced him wholeheartedly. But others saw the narcissistic, undisciplined, ranting bully who exaggerated and lied without shame, and they looked the other way. They averted their gaze from his character defects and his misuse of the powers of the presidency. Did they convince themselves that if Trump’s base loves it, it must be right? Or if he gets away with it, it must be right? Either way, when it came to Trump, those Republicans feared it was too dangerous to stand up and speak out.
So they shamefully adjusted their voices, votes and behavior relative to Trump’s twisted state of mind.
The swearing-in of Biden and Harris can’t come too soon. But it is hard to be completely joyful. Donald Trump is going, but he does not leave behind the “reign of freedom and rule of justice” that King called for in his Dec. 10, 1964, address accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. Trump’s congressional collaborators, like his stormtroopers in the streets, will still be here on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
So the fight is destined to go on.
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