We should all believe in reconciliation, bringing Americans together. We are one nation. However, in order to reconcile, there must be the right conditions, chief among them repentance and acknowledgment of wrongdoing. 

After the South had been driven to its knees during the Civil War, they wanted to negotiate peace but keep slavery. After Andersonville and many long years of gruesome battle leading to their military defeat, they were told to unconditionally surrender. Things would have been very different if Jeff Davis sought reconciliation in the early years of the war, admitting that slavery was intrinsically evil and that Southern succession was wrong. But he did not. And true reconciliation never took place; Confederate flags were waved by the rioters on January 6th

For the last four years, we have had a cultural and political war in the United States. It has been a battle between, a. those Democrats and Republicans who want the US to remain a Democratic Republic with a balance of power and b. those who believe in a “full authority” President who can do virtually anything with no checks, balances or consequences. 

Although they lost far too many battles, the Americans who believe in preserving our democratic traditions and values (people like Senator Mitt Romney) have won the war. On the other side, much like the Confederates, the response of those who supported the “strongman” concept has been to continue to say they were correct. And, after they have clearly lost the war, to hypocritically use words like “bridge building” and “reconciliation” to avoid having any real consequences for their actions. 

Along these lines, it was disgusting to see 95% of House Republicans vote against impeaching a President who refused to concede a fair and honest election and encouraged insurrection instead. Their excuse was that we need to build bridges and reconcile, even after some of them, like Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, openly encouraged the violence. And after some, like Rep. Gaetz of Florida, falsely blamed the left (antifa) for infiltrating the rightwing murderous crowd of traitors (they did not). 

But these enablers chose to ignore the fact that we have a President that has yet to admit his guilt. He has still not acknowledged that Biden was fairly chosen (nor have many of his enablers). He has also failed to acknowledge his own role in the right-wing rebellion that ransacked the Capital and caused Congress to go into hiding. 

Trump asked thousands of his followers to come to Washington, not to peacefully protest, but rather to “fight” to overturn the election. That’s insurrection. These Trump inspired traitorous thugs then proceeded to attack our Congress and temporarily stop the certification of the incoming President. 

Meanwhile, Trump stood by, watching TV as it happened and making no effort to call out the National Guard or to make a statement to the murderous mob asking them to disperse when they were breaching the meager Capital defenses. Only afterwards, when the insurrectionists had already failed in their goal to kidnap and physically assault members of Congress, did he make an extremely weak statement about needing peace. 

To her credit, Rep. Liz Chaney had the courage to say Trump should be impeached and voted that way, the only one in House GOP leadership to do so. However, Senator Mitch McConnell has been gutless, showing a total lack of integrity.  

While publicly criticizing the invasion of the Capital by the white supremacist mob (and Trump in private), he still has not come out in public and forcefully said Trump should be removed. His political strategy is obvious. Let the Democrats move forward alone … and then benefit from the right-winger backlash in the 2022 midterm elections. As usual, Mitch cares nothing about right or wrong, only getting power. 

All Senate Democrats will vote to remove Trump when they meet after inauguration (note: it would be symbolic in that he would be gone). That’s 50 of the 67 needed. Of the 50 GOP Senators, will 17 stand up and be counted? As it stands, there’s no chance because they are too afraid of the base and Trump’s vindictiveness. The one mitigating factor would be if McConnell shows some integrity and comes out strongly for removal, monumental change for him.  

If by some miracle this does occur, the Senate could bar Trump from running again by a simple majority vote. But my bet is that, just like bad money, he will be back in 2024 as the GOP Presidential candidate. 

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Image Credit: Stop The Steal taken by Tyler Merbler (flickr/Creative Commons).

Jack Bernard

Jack Bernard

Jack A Bernard is a retired SVP with a national healthcare corporation. He was Chair of the Jasper County, Ga Board of Commissioners and Republican Party. He was also on the Board of Health for Jasper County and is currently on the Fayette County BOH. Bernard has over 100 columns published annually, primarily in the South.