As I write, the House is debating an article of impeachment whereby the current President of the United States is charged with orchestrating and instigating an insurrection, a coup to overthrow our democracy and Constitution.

Impeachment will be voted, and conviction in the Senate looks likely as well as disqualification from holding future offices of our Federal republic.

Why the individual I write of instigated this coup, is for historians to speculate about. I really don’t care what his motives were. The deed was done. Now come the consequences f or those involved, all who assisted him in launching this insurrection.

That said, there are degrees of culpability. The punishment must be fitting and just, not driven by revenge, though the passion for revenge runs deep and not without good reason. The following are my recommendations:

For those members of Congress who, AFTER the insurrection ended, still objected to acceptance of the electoral votes duly certified by the States : censure by the House or Senate.

For all the insurrectionists themselves, including their organizations, criminal prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

For the members of Congress — there appear to have been three — who, from inside the Capitol, aided and abetted the insurrectionists by tweet, text or other communication : expulsion from Congress and criminal prosecution where proven.

For Senators Cruz and Hawley and Congressmen Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, who spoke at the pre-insurrection rally and whipped up the crowd to do its worst, expulsion from Congress

For immediate aides of the President, who helped organize the rally — and there were several — and/or who spoke at the rally and encouraged the mob to “kick ass” or the like, knowing full well that the mob included known militias including Proud Boys, criminal prosecution for abetting and aiding incitement to riot.

Do I include Donald Trump Jr in that category ? Possibly so. If so, then the same punishment as I ask for the others applies to him as well. You don’t get a pass from insurrection because you love your insurrectionist Dad. That said, it does not appear that Trump Jr specifically incited mob violence. In addition, during the Georgia Senate runoffs, while his Dad was trying to extort State officials, Trump Jr stuck to normal campaigning. Mercy may well be shown him, and justly: but punishment first, before moving to temper it with mercy.

And what of Mr. Trump himself ? Impeachment, conviction, and disqualification, of course. But also prosecution at law and severance of business ties between any of his companies and entities they have a business relationship with. Mr., Trump must be cut off from the normal course of things. He is damn lucky to be living in 21st Century America. What he has done is no less than Charles the First attempted in 1640-1649 England, and for wreaking insurrection and dictatorship upon his kingdom, King Charles was convicted of treason and sentenced to an ultimate punishment. In America today, we do not do that, cannot do that, shouldn’t do that. Mr. Trump’s punishment, other than those rendered b y the Senate’s conviction, should be social. Impose upon him pariah status wherever feasible.

The insurrection is NOT over. Far from it. A substantial number of Americans support a coup, support Trump, consider him a god. As I have written, religious fascism abounds in parts of our nation, a fascism that wants to abolish our democracy and our Constitution and impose its religion on all of us. The fanatics of this fascism will stop at nothing, as we have seen, and I doubt that many will disavow the obsession merely because the coup failed.

As for the insurrection’s bigots — fascist gangs like the Proud Boys, various militias, lone-wolf anti-Semites, and disgruntled veterans — they too are unlikely to dial it down. Many of them have criminal records, some of it ongoing; they are outlaws, and by connection with one another appear to revel in outlaw status. Curiously, many Proud Boys are Latino. Their bigotry is not as universally “white supremacy” as some on the left want to tag them. Nonetheless, the Boys stand shoulder to shoulder in insurrection with anti-Semites, neo-nazis, and haters of Black Americans, and I give them, no pass at all for being “inclusive fascists.” We will have to fight all of these folks by all means legal and social, and maybe worse, for quite a while before the stench of Trumpism is cleaned from our national wardrobe.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

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