Donald Trump should immediately be impeached. Vice President Pence should immediately invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. These things should happen not just because Trump continues to commit crimes against democracy, but because what he incited on January 6 can only be described as a defilement of his own government by white supremacists, some carrying the Confederate battle flag into the Capitol.
Race, as with all things Trump, is at the heart of what happened on January 6. Think about it. If it had been Black Lives Matter protestors, instead of white supremacists, do you really think the seditionists would have been able to enter the Capitol, hold it hostage, and threaten lawmakers, who were in the process of carrying out their constitutional duty to certify a presidential election?
His base, which stormed the Capitol, was dominated by: the Proud Boys, neo-Nazis, “Baked Alaska” (a white supremacist group), and “Angry Viking,” another racist group which broadcast from inside the Capitol. QAnon’s “Q Shaman” was on the Senate floor posing in front of men with MAGA hats. His Congressional supporters only challenged swing states with large populations Black and Latino voters.
Neither Trump nor his base is going to disappear after January 20. They have both been emboldened by their assault on the Capitol. After the shock of what we saw on the 6th, the government needs to send a message not just to Trumpists, but to those of us, including African American and Latino citizens, who stand for democracy: In America we demonstrate peacefully. We do not, without consequences, desecrate our Capitol. We prosecute those who do, and impeach and remove those who lead an attempted coup d’etat against democracy.
I realize that given the timeline to the end of Donald Trump as president, it is not likely that there exists the political will for either an impeachment or the invocation of the 25th Amendment. Nevertheless, there should be. Perhaps our democracy was fragile before Trump. However, he has torn at its fabric. American democracy stands for the peaceful transition of power. Our elected officials need to support that by using the Constitution’s safeguards: the 25th Amendment and Impeachment.
It would take six days for removal to take place under the 25th Amendment. Vice-President Pence should invoke the Amendment. Donald Trump’s actions on the 6th clearly show he is deranged and “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” which includes protecting our government from out-of-control mobs of seditionists. Nancy Pelosi should end the House recess and immediately begin a second impeachment proceeding against the 45th president, regardless of whether it is likely the Senate would convict. Trump has created a record of High Crimes and Misdemeanors that includes sedition and, in Georgia, election fraud.
For our Vice-President and Speaker of the House to ignore this is to endorse Trump’s credo: “If you’re president, you can shoot someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it.”