In two speeches in late January, Trump left no doubt of his total disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law, and his—and the Republican Party’s—willingness to turn to violence to restore him to power in 2025.
In a speech on January 30, Trump bluntly stated that Vice President Pence had the right to overturn the 2020 election in his role of presiding over Congress’ official counting of the electoral college vote. The statement was a de facto admission that Trump was willing to support illegal means to stay in office, since the Vice President has no authority whatsoever to overturn the vote.
Media reports on January 31 revealed Trump, after his defeat in 2020, had orders drafted to have federal agencies seize voting machines nationwide. The orders were stymied only because his usually compliant subordinates refused to go along with such a flagrantly illegal act.
On January 29, Trump all but promised that, if re-elected, he would pardon any of the rioters convicted for their role in the January 6 violent mob attack on the Capitol. He also exhorted followers to take to the streets in protest if he is convicted of crimes. His call was a clear intimation of support for violence is he is lawfully found guilty.
Not surprisingly, only a handful of Republicans criticized Trump’s overt approval of illegal and violent acts to keep himself in power, free of any Constitutional or legal restraints. Even Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), asked about Trump’s remarks in a TV interview, refused to rule out supporting Trump for re-election in 2024. Collins had voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial in 2020.
Trump’s endorsement of the ridiculous idea that Pence could have overturned the election, and his attempt to confiscate voting machines, offers indisputable proof of his total separation from reality to the point of clinical insanity. But imagine—an overwhelming majority of Republicans want to again put his finger on the nuclear trigger!
This is proof that Republicans themselves are divorced from reality and cannot be entrusted with the instruments of government. They are replicating the Germans who worshiped Hitler and the American segregationists who turned to murder and violence to maintain their debased system, leading to police beating innocent people almost to death on a bridge in Selma, Alabama.
Trump’s speeches leave Republicans with the need to choose between Trump and volent-prone insurgents, on one hand, and democracy, the Constitution, and the rule of law, on the other. The two are mutually exclusive. There is no middle ground.