If ever there was a case to impeach a US President for sedition, it is now. Donald Trump, the megalomaniac, a not-so-successful real estate wheeler-dealer, who disgraced the most powerful office in the world for four years, ought to be made accountable for a wanton assault on American democracy. When on January 20, Joe Biden, the popularly- and-legitimately elected Democratic successor, takes oath as the 46th President, ex-president Trump should be marched straight to prison --- in handcuffs.
For, what he perpetrated on Wednesday on Capitol Hill was a naked assault on the sanctum sanctorum of American democracy. His incendiary rhetoric calling the rag-tag group of supporters, a good number of them white supremacists, only a few hundred yards away from the two highest deliberative chambers of the US Congress, constituted the clearest possible incitement to violence and rioting.
Moments earlier, before they stormed Capitol Hill, breaking barriers, neutralising the outnumbered Capitol Hill security force and brandishing firearms, a demented Trump had ordered the 'deplorables', as Hillary Clinton called his supporters, to “march on Pennsylvania Avenue, we are going to try give our Republicans – the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need our help – we are going to try and give them kind of pride and boldness they need to take back our country…”
A joint session of the House and the Senate was set to formally certify the election of Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris in what should have been a routine exercise, leaving little scope for any speculation. But for weeks, Trump had banked on this last step in the formal electoral process for the US president, to steal the election. Bullying and intimidating Vice-President Mike Pence who was to preside over the joint session and a handful of Republican legislators, to reject the election returns from individual States and instead, anoint him the winner, he had summoned his supporters from all over the country in a bid to show that 'I had won the election with millions of votes but it was stolen from me'.
He harangued the noisy and restless crowd, hammering away at the theme that the 'fake media, the big tech', were against him, that the election was stolen from him. This was the clearest incitement to the motley mob to go and raid the Capitol. The resulting carnage, which left at least four people dead, left America, the oldest democracy in the world in tatters, ruing its loss of face at the hands of a mad man who had fluked his way into the White House despite winning three million fewer votes than his Democratic rival.
Despite the ransacking of the Capitol, the narcissist-in-chief Trump remained unrepentant, refusing to condemn violence and telling its perpetrators, 'I love you'. Also, he remained adamant: “We will never concede, never give up… the election was stolen from us.” If after the violent siege of their democracy, Americans fail to impeach the disgraced Trump, they will forfeit any claim to be a civilised and law-abiding people. Trump must be punished so that no dictator in a democrat’s clothing ever succeeds in usurping the most powerful office in the world.