Teach: After a delay of weeks, they held the trial in the Senate. Given the major evidence afforded by mobile computers with cameras, the House managers made a compelling case against the former president.
Johnny: So they voted to convict? Locked him up!?
Kelly: You don’t get locked up if you’re convicted by the Senate. And they voted to—
Teach: We’ll get there. I want you all to understand the evidence. They knew he’d lied about the election fraud. They showed how he moved the date of the rally. They proved his team was aware that violence was planned. They interlaced his speech with the footage his mob took of themselves. This was as easy a case as the Senate would ever see, outside of a guilty plea.
Johnny: Like I said…
Kelly: You said wrong! They—
Teach: Spoiler alert, Kelly! Not everyone reads ahead. Let me finish.
Just imagine Johnny and Kelly are faced with the fact that a major political party left justice fallow at such an important time, with such compelling evidence. Do you think they’ll give that party the time of day?
Perhaps they will. The Democratic party was instrumental in fomenting the Civil War, and yet they continued to exist. They have changed dramatically over the years, as to be unrecognizable as the party that once sent the worst of us to the legislature. But they did face years of exile, however brief and however weak, during Reconstruction. They did other redemptive acts over the years, finally arriving as the pro-civil-rights party.
Over the coming decades there will be tens of millions of johnnies and kellys learning about the attack on our government and the lame response by the Republican members of the Senate and House. This is poison to all right-thinking school kids against considering a party that would sell its country out given these facts.
What will be the redemption story of the Republicans? When will it start? Even before the Civil War, there were some Democrats who, not abolitionists, at least did fervently rise against expansion of slavery. And even in the cradle of the Confederacy there were American patriots who kept in contact with Washington, who President Lincoln asked to serve as aides to the Union, either as emergency governors or otherwise.
If I were a Republican (there, but for the grace of God!) I would be either jumping ship or agitating outright against this sick and weak and rotten strain that Donald John Trump represents to the party. Stand against this anti-reality, anti-American nonsense, Republicans!
Vote to convict! Do not waste this chance to salvage your party. Do not condemn generations of children to learning how poor examples you are to the virtues of humanity! Do not be forever stained as cowards and gladhands to a demagogue!
Do not condemn generations of teachers to explaining to disappointed children that the Republican party were of no help, did not rise up in the country’s hour of need. And generations of parents the same, to ask, “What did you learn in school today?” only to be reminded of their own schoolday lesson when they found out just how horrible the Republicans circa 2021 were, how little they cared for the country and how they put their own reelections ahead of the most basic principles of justice!
It’s not entirely bleak. Some Republicans have woken up a bit more after their party leader caused an attack on the government itself. But the progression has been dismal:
- 2015–2016: Emergence of some reasonable Never-Trump Republicans.
- 2016–2020 election: Mostly status quo. A few grumbles at key moments, but no major movement.
- 2020 election to 5 January 2021: State Republicans in those places Trump lost and lied about make at least some noise regarding Trump’s simultaneously-pathetic-and-dangerous attacks on their elections.
- 6 January 2021: A bit more movement, even as House Republicans went on to vote against the USA immediately after it was attacked.
The elephant-boiling has largely continued apace. The idea that there will be a break-away moment for most Republican officials seems as dead as those same officials’ souls. While more horrible behavior from Donald John Trump’s supporters might shake a few more loose here and there, there will be no wholesale departure.
The Republican party will only recover if and as it can weed out these elements. Right now they control the party. What happens in 2022, and in whatever state, local, and special elections intervene remains to be seen, but the fact that they’ve spent so much effort warding off primary challenges makes it all the harder to fix their own party.
But here is your chance, Republicans of the Senate. You can stick it to Upton Sinclair, who said, “It is difficult to get a [person] to understand something, when [their] salary depends upon [their] not understanding it.” Prove him wrong. Understand the case, and understand the guilt of Donald John Trump, which will be known evermore.