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Opinion

I accuse… virtually the entire US establishment over the events leading to President Donald Trump’s impeachment

There are plenty more people to blame for Trump’s downfall than simply Trump himself. In a nod to a classic piece of writing of the past, let us individually identify those responsible for the predicament America finds itself in.

Influential French writer Emile Zola famously published, on the front page of newspaper L’Aurore, an open letter to the president of France. In it he called out, one by one, various members of the French military and the government itself for perpetrating a cover-up in the wrongful espionage conviction of French officer Alfred Dreyfus

Zola laid blame squarely at the feet of various individuals for the part that each of them had played in a fiasco that had culminated in the convenient scapegoating of a single man.

This was in 1898, but there’s a connection to recent events in Washington, DC, where outgoing US President Donald Trump is being scapegoated for an attack on Congress by an angry mob at the very moment when lawmakers were meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s November victory over Trump.

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US President Donald Trump departs the White House for a campaign rally while the House debates impeachment, December 18, 2019.
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It wasn’t a single speech by Trump just before events unfolded that led to the violence of January 6 during which five people died. Many of the same people now pointing fingers at Trump bear responsibility for the tragedy themselves. So, in the spirit of Zola…

I accuse the Washington establishment of reducing the concept of democracy itself to little more than a convenient pretext for foreign invasion of countries that don’t align with America’s interests. You’ve perverted the concept for the average foreigner of target countries that have seen little more than enduring chaos and destruction borne of ‘democracy’. So why should the average American trust in the notion when you cry about ‘democracy’ itself being attacked by a mob?

I accuse the Democratic Party of spending the past four years since Trump was legitimately elected trying to disenfranchise the near-63 million Americans who cast their ballot in his favor by portraying them as useful idiots of a foreign power (namely Russia), rather than people who simply wanted someone in charge who wasn’t going to kowtow to the insidious corruption in Washington.

I accuse the Republican Party of placing its own personal interests over those of the citizens by enabling – or even cheerleading – Trump’s behavior when it risked becoming a liability for his presidency, for the party, and for the hopes of millions of average Americans who voted for him.

I accuse Big Tech – specifically, social media giants – of rank hypocrisy. The more extreme and buzzworthy the comments on your platforms by Trump and his most fervent supporters, the more money it has made you. And now you have the gall to admonish and blacklist Trump and his supporters while pretending that it’s all such a shock. You played just as much a role in all of this as they did. Own it. And to clarify, are you in favor of free speech, or strictly speech that squares with the prevailing political winds and social pressures at any given time?

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FILE PHOTO: The suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on an iPhone screen on January 08, 2021 in San Anselmo, California
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I accuse right-leaning ideological talking heads of self-serving pandering to your audience of consumers – by screaming about unproven ‘election fraud’, for example – rather than providing rational analysis and credible information that might have helped to make your case to a wider audience beyond the handful of radical extremists who didn’t exactly need convincing in the first place. 

I accuse left-leaning pundits of hysteria rather than constructive opposition, and reducing any pushback against your agenda or positions to some form of bigotry.

I accuse the mainstream media of obvious and inherent bias against President Trump from the very outset of his presidency, which has ultimately served to radicalize his base and further erode the average American’s faith in the important work of the free press.

I accuse the sanitary fascists who emerged over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic and who acted like anyone prioritizing their own solvency and ability to feed their families over various, ever-changing restrictions of questionable effectiveness was some kind of terrorist. Many members of the mob that showed up on Capitol Hill felt that they had little left to lose. And it’s in part because of you.

I accuse Wall Street, and the politicians whom it has purchased through lobbying efforts, of failing to see how globalization would ultimately disenfranchise the average American worker by exporting jobs and driving down wages. You, too, contributed to the frustration seen in that mob that congregated in Washington from the four corners of America.

Finally, I accuse President Donald Trump of failing to grow into his presidency, of allowing his own ego to get in the way of his promises, of seemingly prioritizing the interests of friends and associates, and of failing to convert his considerable rhetorical power into lasting achievements and a legacy in which his voters and supporters could take pride. 

Every one of these people hold responsibility for catalyzing the events of January 6. Unless those who remain standing when the dust settles on this fiasco change their ways, America is in for a long, rough ride.

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