Wednesday, January 6th, was supposed to be an ordinary step in the peaceful transfer of power from one presidential administration to the next. But as we know that day turned out to be anything but ordinary. Thousands of Trump supporters and allies violently swarmed and penetrated the US Capitol to protest his “stolen election”, causing the deaths of at least five people. In hindsight, we should have expected something like that to happen.
Never before has a sitting US President made such extraordinary comments and assaulted our democracy as President Trump has. We should have foreseen the effect of his exhortation to march to the Capitol. We should have known from past experience that Trump has the power to whip his followers into a frenzy with his heated rhetoric and dangerous demands. We have had more than four years of hate, division, and lies spewn by Trump. We should have seen coming the extraordinary riot and occupation of the US Capitol. The question is what will happen next.
During the presidential campaign in 2016, Trump urged physical attacks on protesters during rallies more than once and last summer he threatened lethal force to intimidate Black Lives Matter activists. Trump has bragged about sexually assaulting women, mocked disabled members of the press, tried to intimidate Georgia state election officials, ripped families apart at the Mexican border, and labelled white supremacists as “good people.” His beliefs and latest actions are not only despicable but criminal and treasonous.
Our Democracy is and has been under threat from its highest elected official. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions implores our country’s leaders to take swift action to protect our people and our democracy.