As I See It – America Under Siege, a Reality Show?

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By Elpidio R. Estioko 

While watching the television on January 6 when US President Donald Trump’s-inspired supporters were staging a riot in the Capitol while Congress was in session, I was reminded of a reality movie Under Siege starring Steven Seagal.

I thought it was a reality television (just like Trump’s The Apprentice) where his unknown supporters were rampaging in the halls of Congress, “a genre of television programming that documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations, often starring unknown individuals rather than professional actors,” under his direction.

I was wrong! It was real! No less than our president is directing the siege and inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol and seize power. That is outrageous! Is this the kind of president we have? I know he has only a few days (about 8 more days) to stay in power. Why can’t he not just accept the reality that he lost and pave the way for a peaceful transition? He is insane and no longer capable of leading the country. In fact, he has been, it is just that this is an official confirmation that he really is a mad leader and no longer capable of being the president.

The Indian Express. wrote: US Capitol Hill Siege: An armed and angry mob of Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill and clashed with police on Wednesday as Congress convened to validate Joe Biden’s presidential win.

“US President Donald Trump’s relentless efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 election took a dangerous turn Wednesday, when an armed and angry mob of his supporters stormed Capitol Hill and clashed with police just as Congress convened to validate Joe Biden’s presidential win,” the paper narrated.

The violence led to five deaths, including a police officer who was performing his duty. He died in line of duty!

The Indian Express said: “The pro-Trump protestors breached barricades and advanced into the halls of the Capitol building, smashing windows and brawled with police officers in what is widely being considered one of the worst security breaches in US history. The pandemonium appears to have deepened the divide within the Republican Party, with several leaders pointing a finger at Trump for inciting violence by urging his supporters to reject the results of the presidential election.”

The paper further detailed the incident as “A raucous group of demonstrators — many of whom were waving ‘Trump 2020’ flags and wearing T-shirts and hats with the president’s signature ‘Keep America Great’ tagline printed — entered the second-floor lobby of the building right outside the Senate chamber, the doors of which were being guarded by law enforcement officials. The mob managed to get past the guards and enter the Senate chamber, where just moments earlier the election results were being certified.”

It is heartbreaking to see protesters roam through the halls freely, breaking windows, some even entering and looting the offices used by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers. I saw on television their anger and rage in perpetuating havoc in the Capitol.

The Trump supporters even stopped to take photographs and film themselves as they made their way around the building. What a blatant display of arrogance and indiscretion on their part! Videos show people breaking windows and pushing past barricades to forcefully enter rooms and offices in the Capitol. What a barbarous scene!

Hours before the rioters stormed the US Capitol, reports say huge crowds of Trump supporters had already filled the streets to protest the certification of Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. Many had even camped out overnight to catch a glimpse of President Trump and his top advisors and family members at the ‘Save America Rally’ that took place on Wednesday at the Ellipse, a park near the White House. Trump spoke for around an hour, following which thousands began marching towards the Capitol.

The New York Times also described it as a deadly siege… and a restive crowd encouraged by President Trump set the stage for the unthinkable. The crowd is acting in response to Trump’s instructions to storm the lawmakers place of work.

According to Jason Andrew for The New York Times, “President Trump’s call at a rally that day for the crowd to march on the nearby Capitol was surely a spark that helped ignite the deadly riots that left five dead — including a policeman and a woman who stormed the building — injured dozens of others and damaged the country’s reputation for carrying out peaceful transfers of power. But the tinder for the blaze had been gathering for months, with every tweet that the election had been stolen, every refusal by Republican lawmakers to recognize Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the next president, every dog-whistle call that emboldened white supremacist groups to violently strike.”

Coming from the Office of the Attending Physician on Sunday, “many of the House members remained in one secure location where they might have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus.”

Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, Democrat of Delaware, pushed, according to reports, a handful of Republicans to wear masks, to no avail. As of this writing, reports said there were three lawmakers who were found positive after the riot in the Capitol.

There was chaos and confusion. When the rioters breached the Capitol, Republican Senator Kevin Cramer from North Dakota, reports said a quick prayer. as he and the other senators made their way out of the chamber to the basement because the rioters were closing in.

Inside the secure location, some senators grew increasingly angry, in addition to Trump, at Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri — Republicans who had vowed to fight the election certification unless a commission was established to investigate Mr. Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud. Their calls added to the fire already started by Trump.

Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a moderate Democrat, said he approached Senators Steve Daines of Montana and James Lankford of Oklahoma, Republicans who had planned to object to the election to send a message.

“‘Steve, c’mon, you don’t want to be part of this,’” Mr. Manchin recalled saying. “I said, ‘James, you’re better than this.’” Mr. Manchin said the appeals affected them, but Mr. Hawley showed no remorse.

“Josh Hawley started the whole thing, and all who assisted him, they’ve got to be held accountable,” Mr. Manchin said.

As of this writing, Democrats in Congress filed the 2nd impeachment move against Trump due to rebellion (incitement of insurrection) and are deliberating on it. With this, a source believes that “impeachment will help rid Trump from the GOP” so he can never run to office again. In fact, the Representative from Wyoming, Rep. Liz Cheney, party’s 3rd ranking House leader, announced on Tuesday that she will vote to impeach Trump.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, the husband of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao who resigned from the cabinet as a result of the riot, believed “Trump committed impeachable offenses.”

If this happens, Trump will become the only US president who will be impeached twice!

Mr. President, “You are fired!”

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author @ estiokoelpidio@gmail.com.

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