By Perry Diaz
With a 21-gun salute, a color guard, marching band, and red carpet, ex-President Donald Trump bade good-bye to a handful of his followers at the tarmac of Joint Base Andrews at about 10 am on January 20, 2020. Two hours later President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. took his oath of office at the Capitol.
But peaceful transition came with a big price! We almost lost democracy when Trump incited insurrection on January 6, 2021. A mob encouraged by Trump, attacked the Capitol where lawmakers were debating the Electoral College tabulation. Within a minute of breaching the door and windows to the Capitol, the mob chanted, “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!” Vice President Pence was able to evade the murderous insurrectionists and hid in a secure room. Outside the Capitol, a makeshift structure with a noose was erected waiting for Pence to be escorted out of the building to meet his death by hanging. The mob also went from room to room looking for the lawmakers, ready to assassinate them. By just a few seconds, the revolution that would have overthrown the government of the United States failed to materialize when the rebels failed to locate Pence.
The National Guard arrived and drove the mob out of the building. Thus ended an attempt to stage a coup d’état by Trump’s supporters for the purpose of keeping him in power. Pence assembled the lawmakers back into session and proceeded with the tabulation of the Electoral College votes. By 3:30 AM, the tabulation was complete with Biden garnering 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, exactly the same votes that were originally submitted by the 50 states on December 14th. Pence declared Biden winner of the November 3rd election to the consternation of Trump, who had urged Pence to change the votes and declare Trump re-elected. But Pence followed the dictate of his conscience and stuck to the results of the Electoral College, which he couldn’t change.
The events that began on January 6th, was followed a week later by the House of Representatives impeaching Trump. After a span of two weeks — for three Wednesdays in a row — Biden was inaugurated on January 20th. It will be known as the Three “I’s” – Insurrection, Impeachment, and Inauguration. These three Wednesdays in January 2021 will long be remembered in U.S. history as the “uncivil war” that almost changed the “government of the people” to a Trump dictatorship that would have ushered in a dynastic autocratic rule of the Trumps. But the failed attempt only reminded the American people that vigilance couldn’t be taken for granted. It was a reminder that America and her people will answer the clarion call of heroes to come to the aid of Liberty. It was the determination of the elected lawmakers to not panic and surrender to the rabid mob in the Capitol’s gallery who thirsted for blood. Had the lawmakers come out of their hiding places and raised their hands in surrender, they would have been massacred to the last person without mercy. It would have ignited the Second American Civil War! States will take sides just like it was in 1861 when seven states seceded to form the Confederate States of America (CSA), which advocated states’ rights to uphold slavery.
Second Civil War
But the Second Civil War wouldn’t be about slavery, it would have been due to the cultic power of Trump, who had held the blind obedience of 70 million Americans who professed their loyalty to him – right or wrong – as was demonstrated by the Capitol mob, ready to die for him. They came from all over the U.S. Yes; it was sheer idolatry that had mesmerized them into submission.
Trump had a Hitler-like power that kept his followers in line. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump boasted that his campaign would not decline even if he shot someone in the middle of a crowded street. “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump said at a campaign rally.
While Hitler had an army of storm troopers who were ready to die for him, Trump had 88 million Tweeter followers who received tweets in the wee hours of the morning. They would tune in to his tweets ready to start the day with Trump’s orders.
But luck finally ran out on Trump when Tweeter, Facebook, and Instagram suspended his accounts permanently for spreading misinformation. In effect, that stopped him from communicating with his followers. And without his daily tweets – that sometimes numbered more than a hundred a day – his mouthpiece was silenced… permanently. Suddenly, his followers were no longer receiving orders and benediction from the High Priest of Hate. By de-platforming Trump’s social media accounts, it stopped his attempts to spread lies and misinformation.
After the January 6th riot, Trump lost the ability to communicate with his followers. Suddenly, the social media platforms went dark. No more tweets, no more messages to tens of millions of his followers. Like zombies, they were lost in the wilderness of mindless devotion.
On January 12th, the nation’s top military commanders condemned the January 6th’s acts of “sedition and insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol and acknowledged Biden’s victory.
On January 15th, Mike Lindell, the “My Pillow Guy,” visited Trump in the Oval Office. It was a well-publicized visit. After he left the office, he was photographed outside carrying notes about using “martial law if necessary,” “Insurrection Act now,” and “Move Kash Patel to CIA Director.” (Patel is a Trump loyalist.)
In a video filmed after the insurrection, Lindell told Fox 9 in Minnesota, “This is a fight for everything we’ve grown up with, everything we live for, everything this country stands for. The whole world is watching, and 100%, Donald Trump is going to be your president for the next four years.” Indeed, up to the final days of his presidency, Trump was still thinking of ways of how to prevent Biden from being sworn in as president! He was about to declare martial law! But the military’s acknowledgment of Biden’s victory threw out any attempt to install Trump in a military-backed coup. Trump saw his reign disintegrating; it’s time for him to step down.
On January 19th, Trump delivered his farewell address at the White House. It lasted 18 minutes. Once again and for the last time during his presidency, he repeated a litany of achievements – all spoken in the superlatives – that would only become boringly repetitive to say it here. So let me just say those that are new. He began his speech, saying, “This week we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck, a very important word.”
Towards the end, he said: “Now, as I leave the White House, I have been reflecting on the dangers that threaten the priceless inheritance we all share. As the world’s most powerful nation, America faces constant threats and challenges from abroad. But the greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves, a loss of confidence in our national greatness. A nation is only as strong as its spirit.”
In conclusion he said, “Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning. There’s never been anything like it…”
“I go from this majestic place with a loyal and joyful heart, an optimistic spirit, and a supreme confidence that for our country and for our children, the best is yet to come. Thank you and farewell. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.”
Two things that struck my mind was when Trump said, “I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning.” The other one was when he said, “The best is yet to come.” Yes, after what Trump had done to bring the country down, there could only be one way to go, “Up!”
We all know that he was thinking of a comeback 2024, after Biden’s first term. With that in mind, it is presumed that he would remain a voice in the Republican wilderness. But without his mouthpieces, like Tweeter and Facebook, how is he going to reach out to his followers? He has to remember that there are other Republicans who would like to run for president like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri. All in all, there would probably be a dozen wannabe presidents running in 2024. But Trump beat them all in 2016. Can he repeat his success? If the 2020 election were a harbinger of his future in politics, I’d take a pessimistic view.
At the end of the day, the question is: How loyal are Trump’s supporters? Are they still under the cultic spell of Trump? And finally, is Trump seriously planning a comeback?
Yesterday, I received an email from a Trumpist friend of mine. He said, “Trump will come back in the future. If not sooner.” Well, all I can say is: “That’s an optimistic view that came out of a pessimistic event. Good luck.”(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)