Tragic end to Trump’s deceit

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The National Statuary Hall.

It’s not a name that trips readily off the tongue. It’s a big hall with about a hundred statues in it, in the US Capitol building in Washington DC. Each state is allowed to choose two statues, which they can replace if wanted.

When I was shown round it in 2019, I noticed Rosa Parks. Her statue was not chosen by her home state, Alabama. In an exception to the rule, she was placed there by unanimous vote of both chambers of the Congress. That speaks volumes.

When I watched the mob invasion of the US Capitol this evening, the first interior image showed mob members strolling though the National Statuary Hall.

I have no idea what the police were thinking of. They seemed to tactically withdraw inside the Capitol to protect the people inside. They could have put up a fight at the doors but they decided not to.

Tragically and horribly, a woman was shot and died during this mob invasion. Three others died in “medical emergencies”.

Order was then finally restored.

This was the culmination of Trump’s disgraceful and deceitful web of lies about the election.

Before the mob takeover, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell made a dignified speech upholding the best of the USA’s democratic traditions.

Also, Vice President Pence finally told Trump that he would not seek to overturn the election result.

And we also heard that the Democrats have now won both Senate seats in Georgia, meaning they will control both houses of the Congress.

One can only hope that the Trump deceit has reached its culmination and that the USA, who many of us respect as a beacon, albeit a tarnished beacon, of democratic hope, can return to more peaceful times.

But it is the cause of great regret and distress that four people had to die to get us over the bridge into, hopefully, a more settled period.

This is all Trump’s responsibility. A man who is completely self-obsessed and without a scintilla of civic responsibility in his body.

Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley also bear some responsibility, as the main supporters of Trump in the US Senate.

This article was revised at 06:30hrs 7/1/2021.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is currently taking a break from his role as one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Michael Bukola 7th Jan '21 - 12:58am

    If its wasn’t so serious it would be funny. The Democracy of the United States is descending into a “Carry On” film like ‘Carry on up the Khyber’ or ‘Carry on Cleo’. Like the films, Trump, and his base, still retains the capacity to shock and annoy. Now, before the fount of pomposity start to burst with outrage and dyspepsia at my choice as though to recognise the value of the Carry Ons was to place Throne and Altar in danger, hear me out..

    In a way, it does. The first and most important thing to say about the Carry Ons is that they are devoted to puncturing the absurd claims of authority whether that is represented by Caesar or the Commanding Officer, Robespierre or Matron. Indeed, perhaps the most endearing charm of this series is its assumption that there is no difference between petty and real Hitlers; that at bottom, and I use the term advisedly, authority is little more than a ridiculous attempt to deny the reality and presence of the body politic.

    “Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.” – Winston Churchill

  • Lorenzo Cherin 7th Jan '21 - 1:46am

    Paul thanks, and our friendly comments from a friend above, here.

    I watched with my American , born and indeed, New York, bred wife.

    ” He should be arrested!”

    She is not one to make overblown comments.

    she is correct. He is guilty of incitement to hate and now, violence.

    He is a criminal, even as Nixon said he himself, was not a crook, that man was correct, for compared to Trump he was small potatoes.

    Trump is dangerously out of kilter with the norm.

  • Government by lying conmen can lead to violence. We have been warned.

  • Helen Dudden 7th Jan '21 - 7:51am

    I have sent my sympathy this morning to my American colleagues from the charity I work with.
    I feel greatly saddened, at the state of Government and law keeping.

  • Can there ever have been a better time or a more necessary time for applying the 25th Amendment? America must show what it thinks of a president who has no regard for democracy, and who has more in common with Putin and Kim Jong-un than with his often illustrious predecessors. What we see today is a grim reminder of easily democracy could slip away from us.

  • Ian Sanderson. First sentence very important. Politics matters. But one other important lesson from yesterday was underlined by Stacey Abrams. Authentic politics derives strength from bottom-up political campaigning which ultimately makes a difference to top leadership.

  • Paul Murray 7th Jan '21 - 9:29am

    Trump is apparently too dangerous to have access to Twitter but OK to have access to the nuclear launch codes. Fully expecting an attempted self-pardon any day now.

  • Prestwick Airport has been told to expect the arrival of a US military Boeing 757 aircraft previously used by Mr Trump on 19 January.

    It is to be hoped that Johnson and Patel will join with Ms Sturgeon to make it clear that Trump is not welcome in Scotland and that he has no legal right of entry during the current lockdown.

  • John Marriott 7th Jan '21 - 9:38am

    And what on Earth were the security forces on Capitol Hill doing? They must surely have been aware of what was likely to happen once Trump started inciting his followers before the White House. An abject failure on their part or could it be that some officers might possibly harbour some sympathy for those whose motivation was spuriously a defence of their ‘freedom’, as several, mostly young, white, bearded and sporting the ubiquitous baseball caps barely articulated to the media afterwards? I sincerely hope not.

    Jim Webber is right. Apply the 25th Amendment ASAP and get rid of the S.O.B. – and while Congress is at it, take another look at the 2nd Amendment as well. We were lucky that yesterday’s bust up didn’t descend into an all out shooting match. Next time, we might not be so lucky. As for the protesters being deal with, as Ian Sanderson proposes, let’s start RIGHT at the top, before he does a moonlight flit (to Scotland or perhaps Brazil?).

  • Toby Keynes 7th Jan '21 - 9:59am

    @Jim Webber: The Section 4 of the 25th amendment begins:
    “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President…”

    It goes on to consider what happens when the President then declares “that no inability exists”, but there is no clarification of the wording “that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

    “Unable”, rather than “unfit”, “dangerous”, “wicked”, “subversive” or whatever term you may come up with (and there are plenty of appropriate words to describe Donald Trump’s temperament and actions).

    Would the Vice-President and a majority of the cabinet feel able to invoke the 25th Amendment on the basis that the President is a danger to democratic institutions and is seeking to overthrow the constitutional order? And if Congress upheld this – as seems probable – would the courts overturn it?

    Just imagine the situation if Trump were removed from office by his own cabinet, and was then restored to office by the Supreme Court, in time to do further mischief.

    If the 25th amendment isn’t a workable option, I guess the remaining options are impeachment or sitting it out and hoping that Trump doesn’t do to much more damage during his remaining days in office.

    Impeachment, on the basis of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors”, seems considerably more credible – and indeed entirely appropriate given yesterday’s events.

    How long would impeachment take?

    I suspect it could happen remarkably fast – but only if two-thirds of the Senate were willing to vote for it. Again, a high-risk strategy unless those pursuing it can be sure that enough Republican senators would vote for it.

  • Mark Seaman 7th Jan '21 - 10:21am

    ‘I have no idea what the police were thinking of. They seemed to tactically withdraw inside the Capitol to protect the people inside. They could have put up a fight at the doors but they decided not to.’ … They were clearly just copying the tactics used against the multiple months of ANTIFA and BLM riots (whoops I should have said protests), which have brought massive destruction to many US cities. The reporting on those riots reached into the comedic with CNN’s epic ‘Protests mostly peaceful’ set against a backdrop of blazing cars and local businesses.

  • According to American legend, the British army band under Lord Cornwallis played ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ tune when they surrendered after the Siege of Yorktown….

    In counries with repressive regimes we see pro-democracy demonstrations, yesteday, we saw an anti democracy demonstration in the US. The world is going mad..

  • David Evershed 7th Jan '21 - 11:41am

    Events in Washington emphasise how irresponsible it is to try to ignore the result of elections.

    The elephant in the chat room is the LibDems’ support and promotion of the STOP BREXIT campaign following the referendum vote.

  • Paul Barker 7th Jan '21 - 12:04pm

    @ David Evershed
    Yeh, I remember when Jo Swinson declared herself to be PM the day after the General Election & then led an armed mob of Remainers to occupy The House of Commons.

    Nb Crude sarcasm alert.

  • Mark Seaman 7th Jan ’21 – 10:21am
    ‘I have no idea what the police were thinking of. They seemed to tactically withdraw inside the Capitol to protect the people inside. They could have put up a fight at the doors but they decided not to.’ … They were clearly just copying the tactics used against the multiple months of ANTIFA and BLM riots (whoops I should have said protests), which have brought massive destruction to many US cities. The reporting on those riots reached into the comedic with CNN’s epic ‘Protests mostly peaceful’ set against a backdrop of blazing cars and local businesses……………

    The contrast between the tactics used yesterday and those against BLM protesters outside Capitol Hill/White House couldn’t been starker…In one, rows of armed riot police and National Guard units; the other, a thin blue line…

  • Paul Murray 7th Jan '21 - 1:47pm

    Just noticed that Jim Acosta of CNN has reported a “GOP source close to the President” as saying “the President is out of his mind”. Surely congress must act to prevent Trump from causing any further damage in the next two weeks.

  • Paul Barker 7th Jan '21 - 2:28pm

    I dont want to depress you but the latest Polling shows Republican Voters split down the middle about whether to support the Attack on The Capitol.
    Theres been a lot of talk in the Media about Trumps trickery & deluded Trump supporters but I see a simpler explanation. When Trump talks about a Stolen Election what he means (& what his supporters hear) is that White Americans Election was stolen by Black Voters. Deep down, a lot of Republicans dont think that the descendants of Slaves should have Votes at all.
    In the end this all comes down to Americas collective failure to face up to the legacy of Slavery.

  • I always thought Trump would be a one term president and would prove to be as dangerous as he was useless, but I could not predict the GOP actively encouraging his attempt to overturn an election result. Utter madness.

  • Nonconformistradical 7th Jan '21 - 3:33pm

    @ David Evershed
    Those of us who may have supported the Stop Brexit campaign were not the ones telling the British public a pack of lies during the referendum campaign.

    Those who stormed the US Capitol yesterday did so in support of a pack of lies about electoral fraud.

  • Steve Trevethan 7th Jan '21 - 4:39pm

    Might this micro revolt indicate that the U.S.A. is not one of the highest quality democracies?
    Iceland and Switzerland seem to be high quality democracies without going on about it.

    What might be the differentiated attributes which contribute to being a resilient, high quality democracy?
    Might they include:
    *significant equitable access to political power?
    * significant wealth/income equity?
    * significant social equity?

    Might a high quality democracy show practical concern for the well-being of the natural World?
    Is it democratic for a democratic state to attack and cripple other states which, over all, do well by their citizens and present no real existentialist threat, to leave those citizens and their children so much worse off?
    Think Iraq, Libya and ?
    P.S. How do we rate?

  • Steve Trevathan
    I suspect the problem with America is that the two party system is collapsing because the GOP can’t adapt to changing demographics and increased liberal attitudes. So it survives by trying to exclude Democrat voters at a state level. This tendency towards, often racially profiled, gerrymandering has finally has infected national politics. The people who invaded the White House think their vote is special because they are white and therefore should be given more weight. They really are the deplorables.

  • Alex Macfie 7th Jan '21 - 9:37pm

    David Evershed: No anti-Brexit campaigner has ever, as far as I’m aware, advocated armed insurrection as a method of forcing the government to reverse Brexit. Correct me if I’m wrong.
    If anyone was advocating such a path to achieve their aims, it was the Brexiteers. In Autumn 2019 there were plenty of vague threats of riots and civil unrest if Brexit was not delivered. There was even speculation that the government might invoke the Civil Contingencies Act to push Brexit through, using those threats of civil unrest as a pretext.

  • neil sandison 8th Jan '21 - 12:31pm

    We should thank Donald Trump and his ground troops of populism .The riot on Capitol Hill was a wake up call for those who take liberty and democracy for granted and it can only be protected by social liberals and democrats who believe in the right to protest within the boundaries of the law . Trumps followers like Johnson when he perogued parliament they were above the constitutional law of the country like many absolute monarchs and despots who always think they are right and dismiss challenge as a purely left wing action against their rule or dictatorship . Liberalism is based on liberty ,equality and community and we should never bend the knee to autocracy .

  • nvelope2003 8th Jan '21 - 1:42pm

    Maybe the US is a fake democracy like many others, where a majority can impose its will on the minority whose only recourse is to riot for which they will be accused of being anti democratic. I heard a lot of people who were clearly white racists or supporters of racists saying that their wishes could only be resolved by another civil war and they were not just prepared for it but looking forward to it. Amongst them were Republican Senators, Governors etc one of whom had a KKK tattoo

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