“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” — Charles Baudelaire
The results of the 2020 presidential election were demonstrably freely cast and fairly counted. Every state, even those that historically voted Republican, certified the final results. Eighty-one million people voted for President Biden because they wanted a leader who told us the truth, prioritized combatting the pandemic and restoring the economy, and took his oath to the Constitution seriously. We wanted a president who would be accountable to the voters for his actions, both his successes and failures.
A clear majority of U.S. voters decided that we didn’t want a president who vilified immigrants, separated families seeking asylum, called the press “the enemy” and tried to blackmail a foreign leader into investigating a Democratic opponent. We rejected a president who conspired with Russia to steal an election, called state election officials and pressured them to “find” enough votes for him to win their states and lied, lied, lied about a pandemic that has claimed over 465,000 lives. We know that Donald Trump committed these offenses while president. But they are not the reasons the Senate is about to begin a historic second impeachment trial.
The purpose of this second trial is to judge Trump on one count of Incitement of Insurrection. The evidence is overwhelming. Instead of honoring our sacred tradition of a peaceful transfer of power, Trump continuously declared to his devoted followers that he had won the election, but it had been stolen from him. As Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted for impeachment, said: “President Trump claimed for months that the election was stolen and then apparently set out to do everything he could to steal it himself, and that ended up in an attack on the Capitol, five people killed that day.”
The criminals who attacked the Capitol were there because the former president told them to come to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. He held a rally that morning where he told the crowd to “march to the Capitol.” He deceitfully declared that VP Mike Pence could refuse to certify the electoral college and instead accept electors who would vote for Trump. As he was finishing his speech, the mob took his words as instructions and headed to the Capitol demanding the head of VP Pence, who had announced his intention to do his constitutional duty and certify the election. The people who stormed the Capitol believed they were obeying the orders of their leader, Donald J. Trump — many of the criminal rioters are on video saying that’s what they were doing. He incited them to participate in chaos and destruction in an unlawful attempt to retain power.
Trump’s four years as president may be taken by some as proof that the devil does exist. But he is not a demon, nor an all powerful source of evil. He is a dangerous man, who has been able to get his base to believe his multitude of lies. We must forcefully tell the senators to put justice, their oath and our democracy ahead of their political fortunes. They have to vote to “stop the steal” of our government by an immoral crime boss and grifter. Every senator — no matter their party — must stand up for our flag, our beloved Stars and Stripes, which represents freedom, justice and our democracy. These ideals along with fair and free elections have always defined this country. Senators must show their love of America by voting to convict Donald Trump.
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