What Did Trump Know and Didn't Know Before January 6th?
For all the talk about how much Trump tried to overturn the election and how much he is responsible for what happened on January 6th, I have a theory which basically lets Trump off the hook and also renders the work of the Congressional January 6th Committee null and void. Because when all is said and done, the Committee is behaving no differently than the way both impeachment investigations behaved – lots of noise, lots of sturm und drang, but no definitive proof that Trump himself did anything wrong.
Clinton, after all, lied about whether he and Monica had sex. Nixon lied about what was on the White House tapes. Trump, on the other hand, didn’t lie to Congress because there was nothing to lie about. And the reason that Trump didn’t lie is because you don’t need to keep anything from anyone when everyone only tells you what they know you want to hear.
How could any American President say what Trump said after Charlottesville? How do you refer to some shitheads walking down the street with swastikas on their arms as ‘good people on both sides?’ And by the way, until Charlottesville, Trump had like-dislike numbers that were more or less the same. After Charlottesville, the numbers collapsed against him, and he never caught up again.
In April 2020, when it was clear that Joe would be the Democratic nominee, the media began running head-to-head polls between Trump and Joe. Those polls showed Joe with a 7-point lead over Trump, a gap which never changed in the slightest over the next six months and was exactly the national vote gap between the two candidates on November 3rd.
If you look at the details of the pre-election polls, you also see something else. It turns out that in just about every poll, Joe was slightly ahead of Trump on foreign affairs, Trump was slightly ahead of Joe on managing the economy. This is typical of issue-based polls, since Republicans tend to be isolationist when it comes to issues overseas, but Republicans always talk about cutting taxes which is what most people think about when they think about how the government should deal with economic matters.
The 2020 pre-election polls also asked voters to rate Joe and Trump on dealing with Covid-19, and this is where Joe held a double-digit lead.
How do you politicize a public health problem which threatens to kill at least one resident of every American home? You don’t.
How do you make an enemy out of Anthony Fauci, who figured out a little health problem known as AIDS? You don’t.
You don’t do those things unless there’s nobody around you who is getting paid to tell you the truth. And when Trump said that he wanted loyalty from his staff, above all he was referring to whether or not anyone would make the mistake of telling him what he didn’t want to hear.
I am convinced, incidentally, that Trump really believes he was the victim of election theft. This kind of paranoid nonsense is the same kind of nonsense which makes hard-core racists like Trump believe that the only reason Blacks get ahead is because the government ‘gives them everything’ for free.
Thanks to Lyndon Johnson, a Southerner who saw the socio-economic devastation of the Great Depression firsthand, we passed a civil rights bill in 1965. Since then, along with the gradual but still-incomplete change in the legal equality of the races, there has also been a rhetorical change, namely, it’s no longer polite to use the word ‘nigger’ in public unless you’re a Black hip-hop artist or sitting in a cramped, $140-doillar Broadway theater seat watching a Pulitzer prize-winning play.
The one, major accomplishment of Trump’s 45th Presidency was to bring racism back into fashion, at least among certain segments of the population who were overly-represented in the crowd that stormed the Capitol on January 6th.
As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t really matter whether Trump aided and abetted the attempt to shut down the government and prevent Joe from becoming Number 46. What matters is that racism and the folks who promote it are shoved back under their rocks which is where they belong and where they should stay.