Four years ago, Donald Trump referred to “American carnage” in his inaugural address. How prophetic were his words to describe the United States at the end of the Trump presidency?
It was estimated that between three hundred and six hundred thousand came to Trump’s inauguration ceremony. There was some security, but it was not out of the ordinary. For Biden’s inauguration, the National Mall is closed, and 25,000 National Guard Troops are now present in Washington. I do not believe that there have been that many troops protecting Washington since the Civil War.
Trump had the traditional inaugural parade. Biden could not even take a train to the event because of security issues.
There was a “million women” march the day after Trump was sworn in. The marchers were disappointed that Hillary Clinton did not win. Some of them thought that it was unfair that Trump became president since Hillary won the popular vote. It was a peaceful march. There was the typical security but few if any issues.
On January 6, 2021, during a protest to stop the vote to certify Joseph Biden as president, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and then engaged in destruction of property. It appears that some of them were trying to locate members of Congress and Vice President Pence and cause them bodily harm. “Only” five deaths resulted from their conduct. It was a miracle that no elected official was harmed. The coup participants were encouraged by Trump, who did nothing during the insurrection to try to stop it and instead praised the terrorists.
When Trump became president, few people thought that there were domestic terrorists. Now it is the number one terrorist threat.
Hillary Clinton conceded that she lost the day after the election and showed up to Trump’s inauguration. Trump has not conceded and has no plans to show up to Biden’s inauguration. Few if any Americans thought that the election was marred by fraud and that Clinton really won. Trump repeatedly claimed that he won by a lot and that there was pervasive fraud in the states where he lost such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. He repeatedly stated that the election was rigged and was stolen from him. Trump tried to muscle the Secretary of State of Georgia to “find” enough votes for him to win the state. Despite the more than 50 lawsuits, the confirmation by Republican officials in some of the states, and by Congress, a Pew Research poll found that 64% of Republicans still believe that Trump won the election and that it was taken away from him by fraud. Some of these individuals on January 6 decided to take decisive action to take down the government and install Trump as president for a second term.
Four years ago, all 50 state capitals and the United States Capitol were easily accessible to members of the public. Now all fifty are closed to the public until after inauguration day and are being guarded to protect them from attack.
According to the ADL, anti-Semitic incidents for the year 2016 numbered 1,266. One quarter occurred in November and December 2016. For 2019 they increased to 2107, the highest since the ADL has been tracking incidents in the US since 1979. The number for 2020 is not yet published. One of the Capitol rioters wore a shirt that said “Camp Auschwitz” and “Work Brings Freedom.” The fact that he felt that he can wear this shirt in public is a sad state of affairs. Where is the outrage from the Jewish Trumpians, especially those who are children of Holocaust survivors? CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, who is a children of Holocaust survivors and whose grandparents were murdered at Auschwitz, was horrified and noted that it was a blessing that his parents were no longer alive to see what the county that took them in has become.
At the beginning of Trump’s presidency, the big debate was whether to take a flu shot. Now there are 400,000 dead and counting from COVID-19 that Trump has downplayed and mismanaged from the beginning.
From 1792 until 2017, there were only two impeachments; now there are four. There are some who argue that since Trump is no longer president that there is no need for impeachment. The practical reason to continue with the trial is for the Senate to sustain the article of impeachment and then to vote to prohibit him from running again from any public office.
It would be a mistake to count Trump out. You must read some of the letters to the editor who are still sticking by Trump. Hitler, after he engaged in a failed putsch in November 1923, was arrested and convicted for his conduct. I bet if you took a poll back in 1923-1924 with the political establishment, they thought that Hitler was finished politically. Imagine if Germany in 1924 had banned Hitler from running from any public office. Although Trump is no Hitler, the point is the same. When someone engages in dangerous and illegal conduct and encourages others to do so, you need to use all legally available measures to stop them from ever regaining power.
If you look at how the country has regressed in the past four years, it is easy to become depressed. However, consider the bright side: Although the system was figuratively and literally attacked by Trump and his followers, due to the courage of a few great people, the system worked. There is a new president who is the anti-Trump in tone, character and in personal conduct.
Let’s hope that four years from now, when we look back at the Biden Presidency, it will be a positive report.