Letter: Democracy is at stake; the Senate must convict Trump

Editor,

I am a small-business owner in Clinton. I implore the U.S. Senate to convict Donald Trump and to prevent him from ever running for office again.

Violence in numerous forms has risen dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Participation in violent QAnon groups rose 10 times last March, when COVID cases began to rise exponentially. That’s a sign that folks were really stressed, trying to make sense of why their lives were suddenly turned upside down.

Trump selfishly and cruelly aggravated that stress by spreading conspiracy theories to avoid responsibility for his failures and in the vain hope he could still be re-elected.

Trump’s initial denial, and later ignoring of the pandemic, together with his undermining the wearing of masks, testing, etc., effectively destroyed any attempts to crush the pandemic. Feb. 9 count: 27,000,000 cases, 469,438 dead and millions of severely traumatized, devastated lives, especially of children.

Recently, 4 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the cases.

Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress threw gasoline on this horrendous situation by knowingly advancing false claims of election fraud over many months. At his “Insurrection Day” rally, he incited supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol to “stop the steal,” urging them to “fight.” He then watched approvingly on TV for more than two hours.

Due to his failure to call for law enforcement to restore law and order during the seditious riot, at least seven people lost their lives, including a policeman; 140-plus law enforcement officers were injured; one had his eye gouged; one was speared repeatedly with a flag pole bearing the American flag; and hundreds of congresspeople, the vice president and, in some cases, their families barely escaped with their lives.

Trump’s response: “We love you … you’re very special.” A couple of hours later, in a video, he again claimed election fraud as the justification for the riot, the death and the physical injury and destruction.

“This is what happens … great patriots … remember this day forever,” Trump said.

Trump’s incitement of violence over the past four years, his failure to deal with the pandemic and his continuous attempts to overthrow the will of a majority of American voters by his proven-to-be-false lies about “electoral fraud” contributed directly to widespread violence and death.

We must not normalize his authoritarian acts. Our democracy is literally at stake. The Senate must convict.

Robert Kenny

Clinton

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