We cannot let this moment pass.
We cannot simply ignore it, because it was too harrowing. We cannot put it out of our minds because we want to move on. We cannot dismiss this because we're "tired of Trump." We cannot forget. We said that on 9/11, the last time our country was attacked by terrorists. Will we say it at 1/6? Are we supposed to forget this time?
We tried and convicted all of those we could find who were reasonable for the mass murders on 9/11. We went after the instigator, the leader, Osama Bin Laden. He couldn't be tried, only killed because he was too dangerous. He eluded capture for so long that the only recourse was his death; however, if he were tried in a court of law, he surely would have faced the harshest punishment possible. He clearly led Al-Qaeda. He spoke of harm to the United States. He trained and brainwashed his tribe of terrorists.
We are trying and will convict all of those we can find responsible for the terrorist's insurgency at the U.S. Capitol on 1/6. We now have the opportunity to go after the instigator, the leader, Donald Trump. He is dangerous, but not to the point where he can't be tried. His day in a court of law is coming - his impeachment trial is now, and he surely must face the harshest punishment possible under the stipulations of said impeachment. He clearly led the violent, bigoted arm of the Trump base. He spoke of harm to those responsible for stealing his election. Of diminishing our great country. He trained and brainwashed his base of insurrectionists.
To those who say you cannot compare Bin Laden to Trump, read above, because you can. Yes, Bin Laden took too many lives tragically, but so did Trump. Five people died through his insurrection, but hundreds of thousands have perished because of his neglect, his selfishness. He only concentrated on the big lie, on brainwashing his base, on overturning the election, of infuriating them to the point of violence. He ignored the suffering of people dying from COVID. There is blood all over Trump's hands for obsessing on the election at the expense of aiding people crying out for help.
The blood that was shed in the shadows of United States senators on 1/6 is still fresh. So why aren't the memories of those who were actually there, who actually supported Trump's lies and illegalities, still fresh? How is it that they quickly forget when and where this insurrection happened? This threat to our democracy? They call the impeachment "unconstitutional" as if Trump perpetrated the insurrectionists - domestic terrorists - after he was president? Are they that foolish to think that we are so foolish to believe their foolishness? Their dismissiveness? On trying to shell game the date 1/6 on an American public that won't forget?
We didn't simply forget about Bin Laden. And we cannot simply forget about Trump or spare him any repercussions for what he did. Trump's trial in the Senate is not what is unconstitutional. Its what Trump did, while he was president, that is unconstitutional. It was barbaric too. Just like what Bin Laden did. Bin Laden's followers carried flags with his face on them. Trump's base stormed the U.S. Capitol with flags emblazoned with his name.
Bin Laden claimed credit for any violence against the United States. He branded it his own. Trump took great pride in his branding, sticking his name on buildings, planes, and casinos. His name was all over the United States Capitol on 1/6. His flag, that grotesque flag, waved everywhere on that cold, dark day. It pugnaciously replaced the stars and stripes throughout the rotunda. It flew in the U.S. Senate. Hung in the U.S. House. The Trump branding of barbarism. He was said to take pride, gleefully claiming credit for the destruction that occurred against the United States on 1/6. While he was still president.
And because he was impeached, a week later, while he was president, he must be convicted by the Senate. Any attempt to distract from what happened on 1/6 by claiming anything other than what happened that day is morally offensive and legally wrong. The United States Senate is bound by an oath to protect this country, from all enemies foreign (Bin Laden) and domestic (Trump).
Republican members of the Senate, and let's name a few here; Cruz, Hawley, Graham, Kennedy, Tuberville and the rest of the 45 who maddeningly thought impeachment was unconstitutional can only be compared to Bin Laden sympathizers. Is it un-American to say that? To liken U.S. Senators to foreign terrorists' sympathizers? Absolutely not, and to the contrary. It would be un-American to equate them with anyone else because they are supporting someone who did great harm to the United States.
But we will remember. We will not forget. We will mourn on 1/6 in the years to come. We will replay the scenes of chaos and carnage at the U.S. Capitol. We will gasp at the mere mention of what happened that day. We will look back in horror at Confederate flags whipping wildly in the House of democracy. We will know who supported our country. We will memorize all those who supported a domestic terrorist. We will know how they voted. We will not be cowed by lies, obfuscation or denial. And the name Trump will be forever indelible as a traitor, a terrorist, and a tyrant. A domestic terrorist. A convict.
John Casey is editor at large for The Advocate.