Excerpt from Jonathan Freedland. Guardian 12 Feb. – with commentary from Opher Goodwin.

There is something extremely wrong with America. Trump has unleashed something monstrous. It seems that democracy, truth and law and order count for nothing.

The USA does not have to take any notice of election results. They can simply declare them fraudulent and claim that the election has been stolen. You do not need evidence.

Likewise, there is no need to take any notice of law and order. You can threaten peoples lives or the lives of their families with impunity. You can rampage around as an armed militia and plan to overthrow a legally elected government. Hell, you can even incite your followers to storm the Capitol and attempt a coup without any repercussions.

The truth should not be allowed to get in the way either. You can simply say whatever you want and claim it is the truth. You can claim that millions of ballot papers were fraudulent. You can claim that the counting machines were tampered with. You can claim that it wasn’t the Proud Boys and their ilk who stormed the Capitol – they were left-wing provocateurs pretending to be Trump supporters (contrary to the film evidence). You can say what you want, make up the truth, and tens of millions will believe you. You can even say that baby-eating alien lizards are conspiring with the democrats. They’ll believe you.

Now, as Republican senators are threatened, we see the real face of the Trumpists. It is a fascist front. The rule by armed bully-boys.

Isn’t this so reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s???

It was the Brown Shirts then. It’s the MAGA boot-boys now.

How on earth does America get out of this death spiral??

Excerpt from Jonathan Freedland. Guardian 12 Feb. 
Rare is the trial that takes place at the scene of the crime. Rarer still is the trial where the jurors are also witnesses to, if not victims of, that crime. Which means that the case of Donald Trump should be open and shut, a slam-dunk. Because those sitting in judgment saw the consequences of what Trump did on 6 January. They heard it. And, as security footage played during this week’s proceedings showed, they ran for their lives because of it.
The law is not driving these people to say Trump should be given a free pass for his crime. It is fear. They felt fear on 6 January, when some of them went on camera to beg Trump to call off his mob, but they feel a greater fear now. They fear the threat Trump made in his speech that day, when he told the crowd “we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight”. Republican senators fear internal party challenges from Trumpists in their states, and they fear a base that is now the obedient creature of Donald Trump. Their only way out, they think, is to acquit a man they surely know – must know – is guilty as charged.

The consequences are perilous. Most directly, Trump will be able to run again, and will be free to try the same trick anew – unleashing his shock troops to ensure his will is done. If Trump loses, say, the New Hampshire primary in 2024, what’s to prevent him urging his devotees to “stop the steal” once more? Even after Trump is gone, a grim precedent will exist. House Democrat Jamie Raskin was right to warn Republicans that acquittal would “set a new terrible standard for presidential misconduct”. When a future president doesn’t get their way, they can simply incite violence against the system they are pledged to defend.

Still, the greatest danger is not in the future. It is clear and present. It is that one of the US’s two governing parties is poised to approve the notion that democracy can be overturned by force. By acquitting Trump, the Republicans will declare themselves no longer bound by the constitution or the rule of law or even reality, refusing to break from the lie that their party won an election that it lost. This poison is not confined to the extremities of the US body politic. It is now in its blood and in its heart.

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