Almost as disgusting as the siege on the U.S. Capitol was the support some members of Congress gave, in the aftermath of that attack, to the man who initiated it. I am talking to you, Mike Bost.
What happened Wednesday in Washington, D.C., was a terrorist attack carried out at the urging of Donald Trump. After failing to strong-arm Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” enough votes for him to win the state, Trump invited his supporters to Washington on the day Congress was to certify the Electoral College vote. “Be there. Will be wild.” And at the rally, after Rudy Giuliani framed the political battle as a “trial by combat,” Trump incited the crowd to “fight” and march on the Capitol. “I’ll be with you,” he said, before waving goodbye and retreating to the White House.
This was a brazen attempt to intimidate the elected representatives of the people, nothing short of an attack on our democratic system of government, to overturn the results of an election he lost by 7 million votes. It was an insurrection, an attempted coup d’état. And still, some members of Congress inexplicably agreed to carry his water.
So, Mike, how can you continue to do the bidding of this man? Please don’t tell us you’re fighting for the integrity of future elections, to re-instill confidence in our democratic system. The hypocrisy of that argument would be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic. Not to mention dangerous. What has shaken confidence in our election system is plainly Donald Trump himself — he and his enablers, who are complicit in this seditious, treasonous act. I am talking to you, Mike Bost.
The only reason some people believe there was fraud in the 2020 election is because they choose to believe the inflammatory words of a known liar and a narcissistic conman. He panders to people’s basest instincts. People latch onto conspiracy theories — the wackier the better — because it’s like joining a secret society, a club, a cult. Conspiracy theories make them feel smarter — “I know something you don’t know” — and they don’t have to think too much. They choose to ignore facts and statements from election officials from every contested state. And they disregard the discernment of the courts, including the Supreme one. More than 60 lawsuits filed by Trump, Giuliani and other sycophants have been denied for lack of evidence.
So, Mike, do you believe evidence that does not exist? Please don’t say you simply want to investigate the claims of fraud. Given the lack of credible evidence to support the ravings of a deranged man, isn’t that akin to saying we should investigate the claims of flat-Earthers? Unlike your spine, Mike, the truth is not that difficult to find.
Jan. 6, 2021, was a sad and momentous day in American history. And it was illustrative. It showed how fragile our democracy is. It showed how dangerous and unhinged Donald Trump actually is, and how pathetic some of our representatives and senators really are.
How does it feel, Mike, to stand with Josh Hawley, who gave a supportive power fist to the terrorists who would soon storm the Capitol? Let’s not forget Hawley tweeted a campaign fundraising pitch while the Capitol was under siege, while he was under a desk and there was blood on the floor of the Rotunda. And how does it feel, Mike, to stand with Mary Miller, who is the only other U.S. representative from Illinois who sided with this attempt to overturn the will of the people? Let’s not forget that Miller invoked the wisdom of Adolf Hitler on the steps of the Capitol this week.
Yes, Jan. 6, 2021, was a sad day for the country, and it was even sadder because you are still our congressman. Anyone’s congressman.
Editor's note: This column has been updated to clarify when Mary Miller made the remarks in which she invoked Adolf Hilter.
Gary Marx is an editor, writer and former newspaper journalist. He lives in Carbondale.