Think about this for a moment. On Wednesday, the US Capitol was attacked as part of an attempted violent coup. No American who watched that should approve. That is, at least no American who supports our Constitution, our democracy and our nation. The anger I hold for those who committed this attack and those who approve of it is boundless.
It’s now time for the GOP to put party behind and stand up for America by joining in impeaching and removing Trump. That would send a clear message to all that any elected official involved in an insurrection will swiftly be removed from office.
Second, they must address the extremists within their party by either working to de-radicalize or expel them.
GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted Friday similarly that impeaching Trump will “only divide our country more,” adding, that instead “we must work together to lower the temperature & unite the country to solve America’s challenges.”
First, unity won’t happen if Trump is given a pass. Only by holding him and all involved accountable can we send a message that hopefully will deter others from replicating this violent insurrection. The GOP should put party behind and stand up for America by joining in impeaching and removing Trump. That would send a clear message to all that any elected official involved in an insurrection will swiftly be removed from office.
Second, they must address the extremists within their party by either working to deradicalize or expel them.
Republicans now need to do the same. GOP leaders like Jordan, McCarthy, Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and others should be taking the lead in helping identify the Trump supporters who attacked our Capitol by reviewing pictures from this incident to see if they recognize them. If so, they should alert law enforcement.
In addition, they need to address immediately the fact that 20% or more of their base apparently supports violence to achieve their political goals before that view can metastasize. One way is for GOP leaders to declare with one voice that Republican officials who express any support for the insurrection should be removed from office. At the very least, the party should pledge to support a primary opponent. Leaders should also tell the rank-and-file Republicans that those who support this kind of violent protest are not welcome in the party.
If GOP leaders sincerely want unity, the road map is clear: Hold all involved in this violence — including Trump — fully accountable and remove all within the GOP who support it. Anything less means we could, tragically, see even more deadly right-wing violence in the near future. Republicans now have the chance to show that they’re finally ready to put country over partisanship. They need to take it. It’s that simple.