From November 1994 to October 1995, the so-called trial of the century took place. It centered around murder, race, sex, athletics, and hero-worship. America was drawn to it like a badly made tv melodrama. We were subjected to constant tv break-ins, with breathless reporters recounting every gasp, sigh, and eye-roll from the participants. Before it ended we knew more about Orenthal James “Juice” Simpson than any other American in history. The only juice worth the squeezing, Nicole Brown- Simpson, almost became an afterthought to the cottage industry of O.J. I brought up that shameless piece of our recent history because the real trial of the century starts tomorrow, and I fear it will be ignored.
At no time in this century or the preceding three has an American president been accused of trying to violently overturn our government’s election process. We have had men of low morals, questionable character, and slaveholders occupy the office but no traitors. It is argued that George Washington was so fearful of a president amassing unfettered power, he in effect, refused the offer to be America’s de facto king. The last time someone stood in the public square and ordered a march on the then unfinished Capitol buildings was when the British stormed our seat of governing and burnt it to the ground in 1814. The attack was led by Major General Robert Ross; history recorded,
‘When the British entered the halls of the House and Senate, they passed through monumental interiors of stone adorned with fluted columns and arched entrances below domed vestibules. They raced up grand staircases into ornate rooms with vaulted ceilings,’ according to Whitehouse history.
Weeks later when the British invaded Fort McHenry, in Maryland, it inspired the Anthem we all stand for, with our hands over our hearts to salute the country. The above description of soldiers marching past the ornate columns of Congress sound eerily familiar to January sixth. Tomorrow, the Senate begins the second trial of the twice impeached former President Donald John Trump. Much like in the OJ trial, we will hear and see evidence of what we already know, Mr. Trump is guilty and like Simpson, he will go free.
Five people died the afternoon of January 6, 2021, and even a blue life did not matter. The British raised the Union Jack in 1814 and the insurrectionist replaced Old Glory with the Trump flag. They debased the building with urine and feces while the former President delighted in the mayhem. They stole the Speaker’s laptop and pillaged the building. They erected a working gallows, with a noose, brought along zip-tie handcuffs, relayed to each other the physical positions of key members of the House and Senate, and called for the execution of the Vice President. Most importantly the rioters proudly told anyone who would listen, they were there at the behest of the President, who told them to “fight like hell.”
Despite the obvious, the Senate will acquit Mr. Trump, because the Democrats will not find 17 Republicans who can get past their cowardice to do the right thing. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) summed up the fealty to Mr. Trump by him and Trump’s followers,
“I would leave my House seat. I would leave my home. I would do anything I had to do to ensure that the greatest president in my lifetime, one of the greatest presidents our country’s ever had, maybe the greatest president our country has ever had, got a full-throated defense that wasn’t crouched down, that wasn’t in fear of losing some moderate Republican senator, but that was worthy of the fight he gave to the great people of this country for four years, ” said Gaetz.
If that statement sounds cultish and dangerous, the thousands who stormed the Capitol agreed with Gaetz. The former president provided the tinder and the matches to start the blaze of insurrection. The dream is that the GOP can summon the courage to dowse the flames, but they are in REM sleep and scared by the nightmare of Trump’s ghost.
Continue to Vote for Change.