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Much Cooler Heads Need to Prevail

Much Cooler Heads Need to Prevail

Wednesday was obviously a horrible day for the Republican party. Democratic President-elect Joe Biden was officially confirmed as our next president, the Republican party lost two seats in the Senate and the Senate majority, leaving the Democratic party in control of the House, the Senate and the presidency.
However, the day got a lot worse for everybody when our nation’s capitol itself was under assault. Thousands of President Trump supporters squared off with police, broke down fences outside of the U.S. Capitol building and stormed and occupied the building. Hundreds of people breached the U.S. Capitol Building. Vice President Mike Pence and the U.S. senators who were there to confirm the presidential election results had to be evacuated.
Four people died during the occupation of the U.S. Capitol Building. Ashli Babbitt, 35, was shot and killed by a plainclothes policeman as she tried to climb through a broken window into the barricaded Congressional Chambers. Babbitt was a 14-year veteran with the U.S. Air Force who served four tours in the Middle East as a high-level security officer. Three people reportedly died from medical emergencies, 15 police officers were injured and one died from his injuries.
Hundreds of thousands of people were in the area on Wednesday to protest the presidential election results. Trump openly supported and encouraged this protest, which like many protests turned into not just a riot, but an attack on our nation’s capitol. The attack came after Trump spoke to the crowd, encouraged them to march to the building and said “you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.”
Needless to say, Trump did not tell the crowd to storm and occupy the building. However, what would he or any logical person expect a huge riled up crowd to do in this situation? Trump not only showed exceptionally poor judgment in what he said at the protest, but also by encouraging the protest at all.
There is no excuse for what happened, but one can’t put all of the blame on Trump. People didn’t have to attend the protest, and Trump did not make them do anything. The vast majority of the people gathered in Washington were there to peacefully protest and, regardless of the purpose of a protest, everybody has the right to peacefully protest. However, the hundreds of people that decided to occupy the U.S. Capitol building should all be arrested and charged to the full extent of the law. We would say the same thing about any protesters, regardless of their political cause, who turn to rioting, looting, starting fires and destroying property. There should be no political double standards here. Wrong is wrong, and the law is the law.
As sad as the death of Babbitt is, when one tries to break through the barricaded door of Congressional Chambers one is taking a huge risk of being shot. Babbitt, with her military background had to have known this. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) witnessed the shooting and said the officer had no choice. The only other option was to be overrun by a huge mob and have police officers and members of Congress be at the very limited mercy of an angry mob.
Numerous politicians on both sides of the aisle and even former presidents are rightfully very angry at Trump. Former President Obama called the attack on the capitol “a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation.” We have to agree. Many politicians, including some Republicans in Congress, believe Trump should be removed from office immediately. Some are suggesting Trump be removed under the 25th Amendment. Under a provision of the 25th Amendment, the vice president can, with the support of the majority of the president’s cabinet, invoke the measure and declare Trump unfit for office, leading to his early removal. This would make Pence the president until Jan. 20 when Biden is inaugurated. Many politicians, such as presumptive Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, are calling for Trump to be impeached if the 25th Amendment option is not used.
In our opinion using the 25th Amendment option or trying to impeach Trump are both extremely bad ideas. Common sense tells us that Pence would invoke the 25th Amendment if he thought Trump was going to do something terribly reckless or egregious in his last days in office. Additionally, the odds of impeaching Trump when he only has 11 days left in his term are extremely small. It is not going to do any harm to let him finish his term, but it might do a whole lot of harm if gets booted out of office before the term is over. Congressional revenge and the voters have a long memory.
There is a pretty big percentage of the population that highly questions the validity of the presidential election results, and a lot of them are not even Trump supporters. A big part of the population still supports Trump, and the nation obviously needs more unity. Throwing Trump out of office would infuriate millions of people even more than they are already. We don’t ever want a repeat of what happened on Wednesday in Washington D.C., or anywhere else for that matter. Ending Trump’s term early with an unneeded and vindictive political gesture would only further divide an already far too divided nation, and increase the chances of politically motivated vengeance in the future.
-Kernersville News Editorial

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