In the aftermath of the pro-Trump siege of the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, ABC News Political Director Rick Klein is calling for a “cleansing” of the Trump “movement,” across America. Getting rid of Trump “is the easy part,” Klien tweeted; getting rid of the movement Trump “commands” is another.
“Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days. The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands is going to be something else.”
“Cleansing the movement”? Just me, or does that sound a tad too close to “cleansing” Adolf Hitler and the Nazis from post-WWII Germany?
The following tweet became “unavailable” shortly before the publication of my piece.
— Rick Klein (@rickklein) January 7, 2021
In an op-ed titled Threats that will outlast Donald Trump exposed in siege of Capitol, Klein seemed to suggest he wasn’t all that worried about Trump’s “mob of extremists” until Wednesday and the “attempted insurrection.”
It was bad, unspeakably and unfathomably so — utter lawlessness and disorder, carnage in the seat of American government, happening with the seeming encouragement of the outgoing president.
Until Wednesday’s siege, when a mob of extremists engaged in an attempted insurrection and violent occupation of the Capitol, there seemed to be little cost to some Republicans in indulging Trump’s conspiracy theories, lies and fantasies.
Will there be justice now?
“The nation will need to process the events of Wednesday — for weeks and years to come,” Klein wrote. Not only must those who caused it and participated in it “face justice,” he said, but we must also “acknowledge that we police Americans unevenly in this country” and make a “commitment to try to fix that.”
Until Wednesday, there seemed to be little cost to Republicans indulging Trump. https://t.co/LdiX4QytrJ
— Rick Klein (@rickklein) January 7, 2021
There it is. I will not defend the events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol on Monday because in my mind they are indefensible, but I will point out that buildings were not looted and burned to the ground, police cars were not torched and police officers were not indiscriminately murdered, Mr. Klein — so there’s that…
Wednesday’s chaos came to an end, but our federal government’s ability to function was threatened for hours.
He told rioters to go home, but also reportedly delayed allowing the national guard to help to end a siege of the U.S. Capitol.
We don’t know how many arrests will be made in the end, or who has been charged, but it’s shocking arrests were in the dozens as of 10:30 p.m. and not the hundreds.
The nation will need to process the events of Wednesday for weeks and years to come, but a part of the many layers of healing will be a demonstration that those involved in an insurrection face justice, an acknowledgment that we police Americans unevenly in this country and a commitment to try to fix that.
So what’s to be done, Mr. Klein?
From Veterans for Responsible Leaders, an organization founded “to provide former service members a supportive ‘tribe to compete with the white nationalism of Trump’ loyalists” to the Orwellian-sounding Truth and Reconciliation Commission to “investigate wrongdoings by the Trump, administration,” it all amounts to little more than left-wing word salad passed around by faux-intellectual liberals, designed to make them feel good about themselves; to feel like they are “finally doing something about Trump.” And “Trumpism.”
While Rick Klein is generally respected and certainly not a left-wing flamethrower, he is a “listened-to” voice in the “mainstream” media; listened to by Democrats and the left, that is.
But with all due respect, Mr. Klein is slyly playing the race card — barely disguised as fear of millions of patriotic Americans who believe the presidential election was stolen from them and are, like Peter Finch’s character in the classic movie “Network,” “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.”
And it is nonsense, Mr. Klein.
In a Tuesday op-ed titled Opinion: Hold the Senate or Lose It, Either Case Could Benefit the Conservative Cause in Long Run, for which I was roundly skewered (all good) — I did appear on a Boston radio show to “cut through the gloom and doom,” as the host said — I suggested while Trump might soon be gone from the presidency, Trumpism isn’t going anywhere; “Trumpism” defined in a “Make America Great,” “America First” mentality.
Contrary to the bitter beliefs — and ardent desire — of the Left, placing one’s country ahead of all others is hardly Trumpian. While globalists like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders might want to knock America down a peg or ten on the world stage, I have a single question:
Name one country on the planet that does not — forcefully so when necessary —place its interests above all others? Just one? Even “perfect,” haughty France, whose late leader Charles de Gaulle famously said: “France has no friends; only interests.”
Donald Trump might soon be gone from the White House, my left-wing friends. “Make America Great” Trumpism is gonna hang around for a while.
Perhaps for longer than you can imagine.