Robert Erickson: Should never hold office again
By now, there is hardly anyone left in the world who does not know that President Donald Trump virtually commanded his followers to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a last-ditch attempt to undermine and overthrow the election in which a majority of both the popular vote and Electoral College chose his opponent, former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden. This came as a continuation of attempts to declare the election illegitimate beginning even before it was held.
Candidate Trump started during the campaign to allege that the only possible way he could lose was by widespread fraud. Once the results started to flow in and to demonstrate that he was indeed losing, he intensified his campaign to prove the fraud he had predicted. That his allegations were nothing more than that was proven by the failure of more than 60 lawsuits at various levels of the American judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
I do not contest his right to those suits, but that he so overwhelming lost them stands as stark denial of their worth for any but his most committed loyalists. Unfortunately for our democracy, there are legions of these loyalists, and they are willing to do almost anything he asks to show their support, even commit insurrection.
Thus, it really should not have been a surprise that hundreds, perhaps thousands of them were willing to break into the hallowed halls of Congress, threatening the very lives of the senators and representatives gathered there to fulfill their sworn duty to finalize the free and fair election of President Joe Biden.
It is clear and undeniable that they thought they were acting as the president wanted. Indeed, for hours after their assault on the Capitol, he took no action to stop the mayhem. When, under pressure from the the president-elect and others to act he finally told the rioters to stop and “go in peace,” he reiterated his disproven allegations and told them, “We love you.”
I believe that in his rally prior to the assault on the Capitol, he committed incitement to insurrection and thus participated in that insurrection as surely as if he had personally wielded one of the objects that ultimately broke into the edifice.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified on July 9, 1868, provides for the prohibition of future office holding by a person who has engaged in an insurrection or rebellion against the Constitution after previously swearing to support the Constitution.
I call on Congress to act to deny President Trump any ability to again hold the presidency using the authority provided to it by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Robert Erickson lives in Grass Valley.
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