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How Trump and his people self-destructed

Of the thousands of blunders the U.S. president has made in his life, the one on Jan. 6 was the one that finally took him down.

DAVID SUISSA Editor-in-Chief Tribe Media/Jewish Journal (Israeli American Council)
David Suissa
David Suissa is editor-in-chief and publisher of Tribe Media Corp and Jewish Journal. He can be reached at [email protected]

They came by the thousands from all over to support him, but in the end, all they did was put the last nail in his coffin.

For more than two months, U.S. President Donald Trump’s fans were led to believe by their leader that the election was stolen, and the game was not over. Jan. 6 was the day of the final showdown, when Congress would certify the winner.

At a rally that fateful morning, the raucous crowd heard the same message—the game was not over. Trump kept feeding the delusion that if only Vice President Mike Pence would do the “right thing,” their man Trump would stay in power.

Emboldened by this last ray of hope, they headed up to the U.S. Capitol. The rampage that ensued will go down as arguably the darkest day in modern American political history.

It’s also the darkest day in Trump’s life. He’s now tarnished beyond repair. His video message on the day after the riots when he conceded defeat and urged reconciliation was not just a day late; it was two months late.

As a power junkie, Trump always leaned towards pleasing his base. As long as his 80 million Twitter followers saw him fighting to the bitter end, he would keep them in his pocket.

He knew his followers tolerated his character flaws and his reckless antics—they figured that’s what it took to “stick it” to the establishment that had abandoned them. Trump and his millions of fans understood each other. That may help explain how he got 11 million more votes in 2020 than he did in 2016.

But after a lifetime of dodging bullets, Trump’s recklessness met a mortal enemy on Jan. 6. That enemy was the day itself—and location, location, location.

Maybe Trump assumed he was at another one of his countless rallies across the country where he could spew anything and be treated like a rock star. But Jan. 6 was different. At this rally, the fans would not go home after they finished cheering. Now, there was a real, purposeful destination—the Capitol a short distance away, where they could “fight” for their man.

Of the thousands of blunders Trump has made in his life, the one on Jan. 6 was the one that finally took him down. All his flaws came together at once. His delusion that he still had a chance led to a reckless speech that spurred his followers to take over the Capitol and create indelibly destructive images.

As a man who understands image, he surely must see how the spectacle of violent fans invading the sacred cathedral of American democracy will forever mark his legacy. His decisive blunder has left him alone and cornered. Many of his people have abandoned ship. There’s a growing movement to impeach him before inauguration day on Jan. 20.

Connect the dots of this Greek tragedy. The same fans who created President Trump ended up poisoning him. And by sending them to the Capitol with false hopes, the same man who rescued these fans five years ago ended up poisoning them. A day of collective and mutual self-destruction.

In the end, losing an election to remain the “most powerful man in the world” was simply unbearable for Trump, and his recklessness finally caught up to him. Now, after four years at the very top, and forced to accept reality, he’s lost everything, including his Twitter account.

Curtain closes.

David Suissa is editor-in-chief and publisher of Tribe Media Corp, and the “Jewish Journal.” He can be reached at [email protected]

This article was first published by the Jewish Journal.

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