Why Trump threw mob under the bus

Trump supporters

Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Photo credit: Alex Edelman | AFP

What you need to know:

  • President Trump’s ‘Occupy Congress’ misadventure has rightly been described as an insurrection.
  • Faced with widespread revulsion, Mr Trump abandoned his fighting talk and beat a quick retreat with his tail between his legs.

When President Donald Trump incited his supporters into that violent rampage in the US Capitol last week, it obviously never crossed his limited mind that the shameful imbroglio would rebound so badly.

Four years of the Trump presidency revealed a vain, egotistical self-absorbed leader happy to exploit insecurities of the racist xenophobes who rally round his divisive messaging. The closing days of his tumultuous reign have exposed a megalomaniac willing to subvert democracy and the rule of law in the desperate attempt to hold on to power against the wishes of American voters.

President Trump’s ‘Occupy Congress’ misadventure has rightly been described as an insurrection. It boggles the mind that the President and Commander-in-Chief of the mightiest nation on earth and one of the biggest and oldest democracies seriously thought he could hold on to power through a violent coup.

The most shameful episode in American history backfired badly. Some Republican Congressmen who were ready to humour Mr Trump with symbolic, but worthless, rejection of the popular will recoiled in horror and swiftly changed their vote. Save for a lunatic extremist fringe, most of America was ashamed and horrified by events that made their country a laughing stock of world, likened to some Third World dictatorship.

Did not concede defeat

Faced with widespread revulsion, Mr Trump abandoned his fighting talk and beat a quick retreat with his tail between his legs. He conceded that his time at the White House was up — even though he did not concede defeat to Democratic challenge Joe Biden in the November 3 election — in a recorded television address last Thursday.

He uncharacteristically sounded contrite and conciliatory, at least by his standards, in acknowledging that his multiple challenges against the electoral outcome were over and done with. But the most remarkable part of his spiel was the brutally unapologetic manner in which he threw his wild and loyal hordes under the bus.

Just the previous day as his mobs invaded the Capitol and broke into Halls of Congress, he had justified the intrusion and declared how proud and grateful he was of what he saw as patriotic actions. In abject capitulation, he now condemned the flagrant desecration of Congress.

His words bear repeating: “I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem … The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay.”

There cannot be a more eloquent betrayal. President Trump had fuelled and incited the mobs. In the days leading up to and on the morning of the January 6 Joint Session of the House of Representatives and the Senate to ratify the presidential election results, he had publicised the march on the Capitol.

In doing so he employed fighting language suggesting a violent rejection of the polls, and together with his retard sons Don Jnr and Eric, issued explicit threats against Republic Party legislators who defied his line. Those mobs were not spontaneous. They were primed by Mr Trump to travel from all a parts of the US to enforce his power grab.

Acts of criminal violence

When the evil scheme fell apart, however, his frontline soldiers suddenly became criminals who must be punished. President Trump did what most politician do. They incite rabid supporters into mindless acts of criminal violence, but when the sh*t hits the fan, abandon them to face the music alone.

The Commander-in Chief will most likely escape punishment, but the foot soldiers who marched under his command are now wanted criminals, being hunted down by the FBI to face justice. That must serve as stern warning not just to Mr Trump’s basketful of deplorables in the US, but also here at home in Kenya to the thousands of mindless zombies who unquestionably act on the dictates of powerful politicians.

All over the place we see countrymen and women who invest all their time, intellect and energy to the service of political patrons. We are not here talking just of the regular cannon fodder that takes to the streets on command burn, loot and kill, but to equally mindless automatons amongst the elite in Parliament, the professions, public service, academia and civil society.

We have a surfeit of educated fellows who suspend their mental faculties to be at the beck and call of powerful politicians. As they have seen with Mr Trump, the first loyalty of a politician is to himself. When the ship sinks they will be disowned without apology.

mgaitho@gaitho.co.ke; www.gaitho.co.ke; @MachariaGaitho

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