Let me clarify: Donald Trump is responsible for the insurrection in the Capitol and should be held criminally and civilly liable. In that sense he should be blamed. But he’s like a rabid dog. He can’t control himself. The ones to blame are the people who voted for him. They knew what he was and unleashed the rabid dog on the public.
Let’s examine what voters knew about Trump. Before he even ran for office he started the fake Birther movement even though he knew full well President Obama was born in the U.S. The details are well spelled-out in Michael Cohen’s book Disloyal, so I won’t do so here. In short, Trump is and was a white supremacist who couldn’t stand the idea of a black president. It was also clear that he was willing to lie to challenge the legitimacy of a fair and honest election. He was also so stupid (and so were his followers) that he/they thought it would make a legal difference if Obama was born in Africa. It wouldn’t. He was a natural born citizen since his mother was. Then Trump ran for president and his main slogan in referring to Mexicans was (exact quote): “They’re bringing in drugs. They’re bringing in crime. They’re rapists…” He also ranted about the Chinese, but not the Russians who were the more dangerous enemy (and also white). So voters knew already that he hated black, brown, and Asian people. A typical white supremacist.
Next he bragged about being able to shoot someone on Fifth Ave. and be able to get away with it. Shortly after that he said maybe the 2nd Amendment people would take care of Hillary. So he made clear that he was willing to use deadly force against his enemies, and in fact tried to get his opponent assassinated. This, too, is confirmed in Cohen’s book; just read the first page. It was no joke. He was emulating the New York mob bosses he admired. Don’t order a hit; just let your minions know what you’d like to see happen. That’s to avoid criminal prosecution. Just expect them to follow up. That technique goes back as far as King Henry’s line “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest,” thus sealing Thomas Becket’s fate, not that Trump is likely to know who Becket was.
Then came the Access Hollywood tape where Trump confessed to being a serial sex offender. He said he that liked to grab women he met by their “p****”. Later he claimed this was “locker room talk” and “only words,” but multiple women have confirmed that it happened. Cohen describes at least one such incident that he had to take care of as Trump’s fixer. His close aide Omarosa has also confirmed Trump’s sexual predation in her book.
So even before the 2016 election voters knew he was a violent, white supremacist and sexual predator who tried to incite people to kill an elected government official and to hate and fear people of color. He wasn’t elected despite that; he was elected because of that.
Since he’s taken office he has called the Nazis of Charlottesville “very fine people” and called Haiti and Africa “sh**hole countries.” The only thing linking those two countries is that black people come out of them, so that certainly shows what he thinks black people are. I didn’t hear him say this myself, but both Adam Schiff and Kevin McCarthy have confirmed that he did and neither Trump nor any of the Republicans in the room have denied it, so I think it’s safe to believe. Cohen also says that Trump used to say things like that all the time in private.
Next came the child separation at the border. I didn’t believe it could be as bad as the news said at first, but I watched the documentary Immigration Nation on Netflix, a film made by White House approved documentary makers embedded with ICE and Border Patrol. The filmmakers were never heard on the film. All the dialogue was the ICE officials, immigrants , and people directly involved telling their own views in their own words. Two officials confirmed that they were ordered by the White House not only to separate the immigrant children from their parents but also to torture them so as to deter future immigrants. The word torture wasn’t used. The one official said the instruction was to “cause maximum pain,” but that’s a pretty good definition of torture. The separation from the parents was by itself torture to a young child, but they did a lot more than that, keeping the kids in open cages in 100 degree heat without adequate water or shade, telling them they would never be returned to their parents, that they would be sent to foster homes and never be loved or part of a family again. Despite a court ordering the return of the children to their parents, his administration is still holding over 500. I have two Mexican grandchildren I’ve never seen in person, only in photos and video. If Trump were to have been re-elected, it’s likely they couldn’t come to see me without risking being taken from their parents, tortured, and never returned. So in addition to everything else, voters knew he is a child torturer.
Then he ramped up the violence. When the Black Lives Matter demonstrations started, he encouraged his followers to believe the demonstrators were violent. To be sure, some looters and vandals were in the crowd. But the only killers were the Boogaloo boys hiding in the crowd who shot three officers: two federal officers in Oakland and one Santa Cruz policeman. Two of them died. One shooting took place on the steps of the Oakland federal building, a place I worked on a few occasions. That could have been me on those steps if I was still in the FBI. The killers were caught and confessed that they did the shootings to support Donald Trump. They were trying to fulfill the false narrative Trump was spouting, hoping the public would fear the peaceful protesters rather than the real killers: Trump supporters.
There’s so much more I could cite: the draft dodging, hiring someone to take his SAT, the “anti-terrorist” bill he signed January 31 last year banning immigration from six nations whose people were all people of color (who’d never had a terrorist act against the U.S.), the bankruptcies, the pardons of criminal cronies, the phony investigation of Hillary, ad infinitum. He also made clear throughout his presidency that he would never admit he lost an election and that he would never agree to a peaceful transition of power. So his voters knew in 2020 that he was a serial sex offender who tried to get an opponent assassinated, encouraged cop killers, tortured children, and would use violence to keep from leaving office. Millions of people voted for him anyway, or, more likely, because this is what they wanted. Hillary Clinton grossly underestimated when she said half his followers were deplorables. Double that. And people pretended to be surprised when he incited the mob to attack the Capitol when he lost the election. Don’t buy it. His voters expected it, wanted it, and still want it.
I will never see a Trump voter and see anything other than someone who thinks my grandchildren are drug smugglers and rapists and wants them tortured. You will never be my friend.