In any election there are winners and losers, and disgruntled supporters among the electorate. That’s the nature of democracies, and the way things work in our constitutional republic. In dictatorships like China, North Korea and Cuba where rival parties are forbidden and only the Communist Party is allowed, there’s little cause for surprise or disappointment after an election.
The peaceful transition of power following elections has been a hallmark of our nation’s governing stability throughout its history. The recent undermining of that tradition has its roots in the aftermath of the 2016 election when Trump-hating, sore-loser, leftists formed “The Resistance,” even before Trump took office. In Denver, they acted out by marching and chanting in LoDo, and blocking traffic on I-25 near the Broncos stadium, simply because they didn’t like the election results. The dominant liberal media became their echo chamber, openly forsaking any pretense of objectivity and fairness. Most of academia followed suit.
The outcome of this presidential election was disputed by Trump and some Republicans who believe it was “stolen” through voter fraud. Their suspicions are understandable given the questionable validity of an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots and anecdotal evidence of, at best, accidental or, at worst, intentional ballot mishandling. Trump’s lawyers had their day in court, even in front of judges placed on the bench by Republicans, but failed to produce evidence of mass election fraud, nor was proof presented that Dominion voting systems were deviously programmed to favor Democrats. The fact that down-ballot Republicans did better than Trump and that the GOP actually gained seats in the U.S. House and state legislatures suggests that many voters still prefer Republicans but soured on Trump.
Following the example set by the anti-Trump “Resistance,” (and the Black Lives Matters movement), Trump loyalists, at the president’s urging, descended upon Washington to pressure Congress to overturn the election, perhaps reasoning that if civil disobedience and violent protests by the left produced results, why shouldn’t the right use the same tactics?
What followed was not only counterproductive but, ultimately, obscene. Anger and frustration don’t justify violence or lawlessness in a free and civil society with representative government. I flatly condemn mob rule whether from the left or right. Of the many thousands of Trump supporters who rallied peacefully in Washington, only a relative few broke into and desecrated the Capitol building. Just 13 were arrested. Nor was this handful of thugs representative of the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump. The sight of some in the mob beating Capitol police officers with a staff bearing an American flag was sickening. I hope these outlaws get the criminal punishment they deserve. It’s too bad that hardly any among the leftist mobs that rioted, looted, destroyed property and attacked police this summer were punished.
As it turned out, the small band of Capitol marauders accomplished nothing. They failed, even, to derail Congressional certification of the election, which was in progress and inevitable as a procedural formality. As disgraceful as the performance of the Capitol mob was, if this were truly an attempted “coup” to overthrow the government — as Democrats absurdly labeled it — it was surely the most feeble one in history. Real coups ouster heads of state with armed backing by the military or police. Even the preposterous CHAZ insurrection during the June riots in Seattle was better planned and held its ground longer. On top of that, the mob at the Capitol undermined their own cause, their credibility and their honor, while giving Democrats and the liberal media yet another opportunity to flail Trump and demonize his supporters. This was instantly exploited by Pelosi and House Democrats to take one last-minute, spiteful bite at the apple to disgrace Trump with a theatrical second impeachment they knew would go nowhere in the Senate.
A major factor in Trump’s reelection defeat was his insistence on playing exclusively to his MAGA core, for whom he could do no wrong, while he failed to expand his appeal to swing voters, especially suburban, married women who historically lean Republican. He also turned off too many others with his daily barrage of petulant and ill-considered tweets.
Unfortunately, Trump’s many public-policy achievements will now be overshadowed by his behavior in his final days in office and his appearance as an ungracious, sore loser. Just as history has stigmatized Richard Nixon’s presidency with the stupid Watergate break-in and the criminal cover-up that followed, Trump’s association with the desecration of our nation’s Capitol and two (politically-contrived) impeachments may stand as his presidential epitaph.
As Trump would tweet, SAD!
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.
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