All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical-left Democrats, which is what they’re doing. And stolen by the fake news media. That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up, we will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. – Donald J. Trump, January 6, 2021
Lest we forget.
One year ago today, a defiant, unrepentant, and narcissistic President Donald John Trump, enabled by a cohort of sycophants and conspirators, exhorted thousands of his supporters – “patriots,” as they love to call themselves – to march to the U.S. Capitol and prevent the Congress from ratifying Joe Biden’s victory in the November 3, 2020 Presidential election.
The January 6, 2021 Capitol riot was the culmination of Trump’s sixty-four day-long campaign to convince his Make America Great Again/Keep America Great (MAGA/KAG) base that he had won the electoral vote and that somehow the “emboldened radical-left Democrats” and the “fake news media” had committed electoral fraud in six states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – to steal his “yuge” victory at the polls.
In every single swing state, local officials, state officials, almost all Democrats, made illegal and unconstitutional changes to election procedures without the mandated approvals by the state legislatures.
That these changes paved a way for fraud on a scale never seen before. I think we go a long way outside of our country when I say that. – Donald J. Trump, January 6, 2021
Lest we forget.
One does not have to have a PhD in Political Science to understand that Trump’s efforts to overturn the election did not begin in November of 2020 when the initial reports came in that Joe Biden had won both the popular vote (Biden: 81,268,924, Trump: 74,216,154) and the Electoral College vote (306 for Biden, 232 for Trump).Trump’s desperate bid to stay in the White House by any means necessary started months before the election when it became apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic would have an impact on in-person voting and cause an increase in mail-in votes.
In August of 2020, with less than three months before the election, then-President Trump railed against voting by mail. Per an August 16 article on the BBC’s website, Trump insisted that allowing voters to mail their ballots rather than risk getting sick from COVID was a bad idea.
Speaking at a news conference on Saturday evening, the president said he had no issue with absentee voting, which he himself uses.
But he added: “Universal mail-in voting is going to be catastrophic, it’s going to make our country the laughing stock of the world.”
“The problem with the mail-in voting, number one, is you’re never going to know when the election is over,” he continued.
He went on to say that the result of November’s vote might not be known “for months or for years, because these ballots are going to be lost, they’re going to be gone”.
Lest we forget.
Trump’s many failed attempts to overturn the 2020 election – legal challenges in federal courts, pleas to state officials to “find” thousands of non-existent changed or “stolen” votes, and finally, the Stop the Steal rally-turned-riot – may not have kept him In the White House until January 20, 2025, but they did score one blow to our constitutional democracy.
As Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague write in The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It:
Distrust. If there was anything like genius in Donald Trump’s methodology, this was it. Democracy depends on that modicum of trust it takes to bring competing parties together after an election to govern. Without it, there can be no majority rule. With the vote itself discredited, the will of the people is sacrificed to a mob of self-styled “patriots” who have decided that they and only they speak for everyone – the opposite of democracy. From the day he entered public life, Trump had chipped away at the vote, that cornerstone. He sowed and planted and nurtured widespread distrust of many things, of government, of institutional and academic expertise of any kind, of mainstream media, of judges, of whole industries, but most important and most insistently, he chipped away at trust in elections. And when he lost, he mobilized that distrust to try to stay in power.
We should never forget – or forgive – Donald J. Trump and his supporters for perpetuating the Big Lie and attempting to reverse a free and fair election.
National Public Radio, Read Trump’s Jan. 6 Speech, A Key Part Of Impeachment Trial, February 10, 2021
BBC.com, Trump says universal mail-in voting would be ‘catastrophic’, 16 August 2020
The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It, Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague, Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 2022 (pp. 210-211)
One thought on “After the Assault on the Capitol: One Year Later – Lest We Forget”
That was beautifully written, Alex. Like you said in the post that follows this one, Trump wants to sow distrust. I hope that Trump will not succeed in destroying our unity and our country.
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