In just a few more days, U.S. President Donald Trump will walk off the stage. His second impeachment has allowed his detractors in the world to gloat victoriously.
But as Trump said on Tuesday—while touring a newly built section of the U.S.-Mexico border in Alamo, Texas—the impeachment is “a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger, and division and pain … which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time.”
He is correct. Day after day, the press and political echelon have been transferring blame for his behavior to the more than 70 million Americans who voted for him. This makes the prospect of a balanced future in the United States almost impossible.
Trump committed an error by challenging the Nov. 3 election results for far too long. It appears that he became possessed by the kind of narcissism that doesn’t allow for him to lose or be remotely categorized as a “loser.”
But this was not a Netflix series, and—as the person in the highest office, responsible for upholding the Constitution and democratic institutions—he should have conceded defeat.
It is evident, however, that the media frenzy of contempt has led to the demand that all conservatives, in America and abroad, engage in penitence and genuflection.
Never mind that Trump is not a conservative in the classical sense. Anyone who doesn’t adhere to the progressive creed is now considered part and parcel of whom former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called “the deplorables.”
This self-declared moral high ground, enabling anti-Trumpers everywhere to ban free speech, hurt careers and cause family rifts, has reached monumental proportions.
But we must not forget that it was this societal expulsion that spurred the criminal riots on Capitol Hill last week. Indeed, the events of Jan. 6 in Washington constituted not only a physical assault on people and property, but on the fair verdict of the ballot box.
What those events did not illustrate, however, is the “insurrection” that Trump’s enemies wish to ascribe to him. As Harvard Law School professor emeritus and celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz has stated, Trump neither planned to rip American democracy apart nor to incite violence against the U.S. government.
While Dershowitz said that he “wouldn’t have given” the speech that Trump delivered outside the White House in the midst of the riots, it was nevertheless protected by the First Amendment. He also said that by pushing for impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “are doing more to endanger the Constitution than even the thugs who invaded Capitol Hill, who will be appropriately punished.”
Yet Pelosi and company—who, by the way, declared that the 2016 election had been stolen from the Democrats through fraud—continue to insist on charging Trump with “willfully inciting violence.”
Frankly, it’s difficult to determine what that essentially means, especially when in Portland, Seattle and other major U.S. cities from May to September 2020, large crowds of Black Lives Matter protestors (whose methods and ties with Antifa, an armed group of violent anarchists, were only condemned by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden this past September) turned the country upside down with their equally violent marches and protests.
The latter have used aggressive tactics, including physical confrontations, to intimidate groups whom they deem authoritarian or racist; bashed cars, looted stores, and tore down or defaced historical monuments. Moreover, they have perpetrated numerous assaults on police officers, and many have called for the defunding of law enforcement altogether.
Was that not insurrection? No, probably not, because the events on Capitol Hill were instigated by the figure whom they insist is the most hated man in America—in spite of his being loved by millions of the country’s citizens.
Federal authorities are currently identifying, one by one, those responsible for the vandalism and violence on Capitol Hill. And rightly so. But Twitter has banned Trump and suspended all comments from users who express the wrong opinion—while allowing Iran’s ayatollahs, the Syrian president, Chinese leaders, ISIS and Hezbollah terrorists to opine freely; PayPal has blocked right-wing accounts; and major political donors (such as the Ford Foundation, ExxonMobil and CVS Pharmacy, among others) are raising money to ingratiate themselves with the incoming administration.
Meanwhile, collective punishment is being carried out in workplaces and at universities against those who back Trump. The message is clear: anyone who defends him in any way is a pariah whose views are outside of the legitimate consensus.
Trump’s entire term is now being delegitimized as a result of his final mistake. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger went as far as to compare the Capitol Hill riots to Kristallnacht and called Trump the worse president ever.
Both assertions are false. Kristallnacht was a Nazi pogrom. And prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump steered the U.S. economy brilliantly. He also brokered the magnificent Abraham Accords with moderate Arabs—and brought hope to all those persecuted throughout the Middle East who had been abandoned by former U.S. President Barack Obama.
In addition, he not only stopped Iran’s genocidal atomic-bomb aspirations in their tracks, but refused to participate in prevailing complacency towards a government that hangs gays and dissidents. He also woke the world up to China’s unfair trade practices and human-rights abuses.
Furthermore, despite all the nonsense that he spouted about the coronavirus, he promoted the fast production of the vaccine now being administered worldwide.
Though he lacked the guts to lose gracefully, he was neither a Mussolini nor a Stalin. On the contrary, it is his enemies who are carrying out a dictatorial purge.
Journalist Fiamma Nirenstein was a member of the Italian Parliament (2008-13), where she served as vice president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Chamber of Deputies. She served in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, and established and chaired the Committee for the Inquiry Into Anti-Semitism. A founding member of the international Friends of Israel Initiative, she has written 13 books, including “Israel Is Us” (2009). Currently, she is a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.