History Proves America Can Withstand

On August 8, 1974, a reflective and less defiant Richard Nixon became the first American President to resign his office. As a member of the black community who had seen friends and fathers of friends leave for Vietnam and never return, most of us were thrilled. The Watergate Hearings continued for two years amidst talk of a Constitutional crisis and possible chaos in the streets. When Nixon finally uttered the words, “Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow…,” a sense of relief washed over me. On foot, my friends and I walked from southeast DC to the White House to celebrate.

What was proven to me that night was that the law was more powerful than fear

There has been a lot of speculation about future successors of Presidents turning America into a third-world country, persecuting their predecessors and future opponents—much like Vladimir Putin. I heard some of the same fears and down the wormhole dismay in 1974. As it turns out, Nixon engineering a two-bit break-in looks minor to Trump engineering an overthrow of the government.

Law and order are not based on the manner of crime.

Donald Trump called the Georgia Secretary of State and gave a specific number of votes he wanted to “find” to overturn the state’s total number of votes. “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to ‘find’ 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state,” said Trump in the phone call. It is beyond speculation because of testimony from White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson,  who told the committee Mr. Trump said, I don’t f— care that they have weapons. The audio traffic between DC and Capitol Police and facts on the ground corroborated her recall of the former Presidents knowing the insurrectionists were armed. With that knowledge, Mr. Trump incited and deployed an armed group to disrupt the electoral count in Congress.

Republicans who have been silent on the facts brought out in the hearing are crying foul because they chose not to participate. Despite the glut of former Trump officials testifying that the President sat on his hands while the first direct attack on the Capitol transpired since the British in 1814. The inconceivable dereliction of duty by the former President was borne out by the recent revelation of Chris Miller, former acting Defense Secretary. Miller told the J6 Committee under oath, “I was never given any direction or order or knew of any plans [to deploy 10,000 National Guardsmen] of that nature,” Miller said. Instead, Republicans and Trump have hidden behind lies and the skirts of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, blaming them for the lack of adequate reinforcements.

Because Washington, DC has been denied statehood, the President, not local authorities, including the mayor, deploys the National Guard. That responsibility is solely on the President in times of emergency. Not only did Mr. Trump delay the response of the DC Guard, but he also denied intervention by Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan, who offered 500 of his Guardsmen. A failed conspiracy does not absolve the former President’s criminality; it just points out one more failure of his character. Extortion, vote tampering, and violence were all a part of the Trump toolbox of lawbreaking. Just like disgraced Richard Nixon, ridding the world of Trump’s poisoned politics injected into our society is not a loss for America but a gain for Democracy.          

Continue to Vote for Change.

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