Wednesday, January 6, was a day that we will never forget, when the unthinkable was brought to life. A day that began with Don Jr., Rudolph Giuliani and Donald Trump threatening lawmakers and inciting a mob with false claims of a stolen election. A day when Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and many other Republicans spread debunked conspiracy theories in the halls of Congress. A day when an incensed mob, many of them armed, breached the Capitol, in a wild, multi-hour insurrection, where five people died.
Wednesday was a horror, but a predictable horror. Trump has lied for months about voter fraud, which was spread by his family and his minions: Republican elected officials, lawyers, right-wing media, and many others. Their endless repetition of the lie, again and again and again, convinced these insurrectionists that the lie was the truth. People in positions of authority and trust continuously lied, and too many people put their faith in those liars.
Those who knew better, who spread the lies, whether for power or to pander, should lose their jobs. Donald Trump should be impeached for inciting an insurrection. He is tearing down the fabric of our democracy and is too dangerous to leave in office.
And after Joe Biden is sworn in, where will our democracy be? There will remain millions of Americans who believe Trump’s lies. How does that get fixed? How does our country, with two sets of facts, two truths, move forward?
In the face of these hard questions, let’s remember our votes and our victories. We have won the Presidency, the House, and the Senate. We can have hope for constructive change.
Gail Teton-Landis is the chair of the Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee.