As the fallout from President Trump’s participation in the insurgency that devastated the nation on January 6th mounts, he responds by trying truthfulness. Unfortunately, even in admitting his failed re-election attempt, his rancor was still evident and did nothing to quell the insurgents who plan to disrupt the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021.
During the riots, the president reached out to encourage the rioters to stop. He used passive language, calling them great patriots, said they were very special, and continued to tell them the election was lost — stolen. The messages were posted on various social media platforms that promptly suspended his accounts.
After a 12-hour Twitter suspension, his tone was different. Using a video format, he talked about the new administration was going to begin on January 20th, and his focus was on having a smooth transition. Trump told them to be calm. He complained there were no further legal avenues available to contest the election results.
Then he turned his attention to the insurgency. The president admonished those who engaged in violence and destruction at the Capitol, saying they do not represent America. He promised that whoever broke the law would be prosecuted.
At this point, Trump could concede and tell the insurgents to stand down, but whatever he says would not likely change the minds of his most ardent and militant followers. These domestic terrorists are determined to see Trump’s election-loss overturned and upend Democracy.
Chris Krebs, former U.S. Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency suggests Trump should change the script:
[Trump] has to declare that this was a free and fair election. He still has time to do what’s right.
The problem with this kind of thinking assumes his rabid followers will hear Trump saying this on media they trust. Since social platforms are making it harder for the home-grown terrorists, this might be difficult. Also, right-leaning news outlets will likely tweak their reports so that he sounds coerced into making a statement.
Moreover, Trump has referred to liberals and progressives as Communists, Marxists, and Socialists, among other derogatory falsehoods. His followers choose to believe him without understanding the primary three listed. They have bought into his lies and hatefully spread them for years.
The president doubled-down with the Communist references during the rally leading up to the masses marching down Pennsylvania Avenue and attacking the United States Capitol on January 6th.
A call to all so-called patriots to meet in Washington D.C. on January 19 was posted the day after the failed but bloody coup attempt. A commenter on the pro-Trump online forum thedonald.win wrote:
Trump WILL be sworn in for a second term on January 20th!! We must not let the communists win. Even if we have to burn DC to the ground. Tomorrow we take back DC and take back our country!
NPR reports another home-grown terrorist wrote on Parler:
Many of Us will return on January 19, 2021, carrying Our weapons, in support of Our nation’s resolve, towhich [sic] the world will never forget!!! We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Wrap: Trump Says MAGA Rioters Have ‘Defiled the Seat of American Democracy;’ by J. Clara Chan
Politico: ‘Coward’: MAGA internet turns on Trump; by Tina Nguyen
NPR: As Inauguration Nears, Concern Of More Violence Grows; by Matthew S. Schwartz
Images Courtesy of Blink O’fanaye’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License