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Legitimate Political Discourse

March 11, 2022

Recent statements published by the Republican National Committee (RNC) made a mockery of the English language by depicting the attempted coup and overturning of the results of the 2020 US Presidential election on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC as an example of Legitimate Political Discourse caused many to wonder what would constitute Illegitimate Political Discourse. Live televised coverage of what appeared to most observers to be a violent riot/insurrection were likened to a mere exercise of the Constitutional First Amendment Right to Free Speech.

Prior to the outbreak of this riot, attendees of a then-President Donald Trump rally across the city were urged to march on the United States Capitol and demand that the electoral vote count to certify the election of Joseph Biden to replace the previously impeached Trump be overturned so that he could remain in office despite losing the popular vote by several million votes in more than enough states with sufficient electoral votes to guarantee Biden victory. An unprecedented number of lawsuits claiming blatant voter fraud and illegal election tampering were unanimously thrown out of courts in a number of key battleground states as having absolutely no merit whatsoever.

Throughout both of his Presidential campaigns, Donald Trump was extremely virulent in asserting that the only way he could lose the election would be illegal rigging of the results favoring his opponents. There was never any danger of him admitting electoral defeat. His antics in both campaigns were consistent. He would have put just as much effort into attempting to overturn a loss to Hilary Clinton in 2016 as he did to Biden in 2020, though he likely would not have achieved infamy he earned by inciting the riot/insurrection/failed coup attempt of 1/6/21 – if only because he had none of the Presidential powers he abused so blatantly last year.

Trump’s negative influence in regard to political discourse is still with us. His willingness to use rhetoric to encourage his sycophants to participate in violent responses to perceived mistreatment and unfair rigging of the election results to the detriment of their beloved and fearless leader is seen by many as permitting similar behavior on their part. A case in point would be the recent posturing by Senator Lindsey Graham when he publicly advocated for citizens of Russia to assassinate Vladimir Putin to end his dictatorial reign and restore peace in Ukraine.

Such volatile language was often present in speeches that Trump gave to rallies before, during and after both elections. Remember when he claimed that he could shoot someone in broad daylight in New York City and still retain the favor of his devoted followers? Whether this was true or not (hopefully, we will never find out which) he seemed convinced that it was and his hard core followers did as well. His penchant for demeaning and insulting anyone and everyone who dared question the veracity of his pronouncements or the appropriateness of his actions seems to be affecting a significant portion of the campaigns which have begun  for the midterm elections which will be held this coming November.

The American people and especially registered Republicans deserve better leadership than has ever been provided Donald Trump and the talking heads who currently use ridiculous sophistry in an attempt to hide the fact that their fearless (or is that feckless?) leader used all his skills to attempt to incite a violent insurrection to gain in a riot in the nation’s capital what they failed to achieve at the polls the previous November. A riot that killed and injured innocent people and threatened the health and safety of many others is not legitimate political discourse. It is criminal activity deserving of charges and trial in a court of law.

The conduct of the vast majority of those Republicans unwilling or too fearful of the consequences to their future political careers to stand up to the lies and rantings of a former Commander-in-Chief totally devoid of common human decency or moral integrity is unacceptable. If they refuse to fulfill their oaths of office by letting Trump do whatever suits his fancy, they and their political party deserve to be dealt an unprecedented landslide defeat in the November elections. For our federal government to devolve into one of, by and for Donald Trump or whatever fascist authoritarian pretender seeking to rule in his place is a travesty of justice we simply cannot abide if we hope to thrive in the days to come.

Further Suggested Readings:

GOP Mocked For Calling Jan. 6 Capitol Riot ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’

Maybe we can’t handle the truth about the Trump coup

Opinion | The Republican Embrace of Trumpian Fascism Is Complete—and Now Must Be Defeated

Opinion | GOP Calling Trump Coup Effort ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’ Should Still Be Frontpage News

Cartoon: Legitimate Political Discourse

On “Legitimate Political Discourse”

Lindsey Graham took to Twitter to tell Russians to "step up to the plate" and take out Putin

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