Missouri paper slams Trump and his GOP 'enablers' for condoning efforts to 'violently overthrow an election'
No matter how low former President Donald Trump sinks, most Republicans are afraid to say a word against him — even after he acted as an apologist for the January 6 insurrectionists who wanted to lynch then-Vice President Mike Pence. Trump, during an interview with
ABC News' Jonathan Karl, defended the indefensible. And an editorial originally published by the St. Louis Post Dispatch and republished by the South Florida Sun Sentinel on November 15 stresses that anyone who condones the actions of insurrectionists who wanted to lynch a vice president should never be president against.
"In a newly released interview," the editorial explains, "former President Donald Trump was asked about the January 6 Capitol rioters who threatened to kill Vice President Mike Pence. Did Trump respond as any responsible adult would, and condemn that threat? Of course not. Repeating his delusional claim that Pence could have overturned the election, Trump defended the rioters' fury at his vice president, calling it 'common sense.'"
The editorial continues, "With the possibility of another Trump presidential run still in play, every Republican officeholder who hasn't yet disavowed him — which is most of them — should be asked to defend this latest, most grotesque evidence of his unfitness. If they can't, and they can't, then why are they still enabling him?"
The events of January 6 were unprecedented in U.S. history. Never before had supporters of a president who lost an election by over 7 million votes violently stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in the hope of preventing Congress from certifying the winner's Electoral College victory. And never before had a mob called for the lynching of a vice president for his role in that certification. On January 6, far-right insurrectionists were chanting, "Hang Mike Pence, hang Mike Pence" while some of them set up a hangman's gallows outside the Capitol Building.
"Even as the violence raged on January 6," the editorial notes, "Trump's video message to the rioters included, 'We love you.' And now, Trump cannot muster even the mildest rebuke for the insurrectionist thugs who prowled the Capitol in his honor, chanting, 'Hang Mike Pence!' In the newly released audio of the recent interview, Jonathan Karl of ABC News aptly notes that the chants were 'terrible.' Trump responds: 'Well, the people were very angry' at Pence for failing to invalidate the election — something which, in fact, Pence had no power to do."
Trump, during that interview, told Karl, "How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? — how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress? How can you do that?"
The editorial concludes by arguing that Republicans who refuse to condemn Trump's actions must be held accountable.
"Poll after poll shows Trump is still the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination," the editorial laments. "He has never garnered majority national support — not in any reputable poll and not in either of his presidential elections — but as 2016 demonstrated, that doesn't mean he couldn't be seated again as president under America's electoral process. A president who slanders and undermines that process, incites an attempt to violently overthrow an election, and now suggests that death threats against his own vice president were valid has no business being anywhere near power. Nor does any other politician too cowardly to look into the cameras and say that."
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