Photo [CC BY-SA 3.0] BY David Maiolo via Wikimedia Commons
Fountain Valley High School

Column: I am a Republican, but the storming of the Capitol was a disgrace

Embarrassing.

That’s the one word I can use to describe the storming of the US Capitol building; it’s an embarrassment to the Republican Party and to the country. Those who stormed the Capitol violated what it means to be an American and a Republican, and they were rightfully condemned for their actions.

I am a Republican, and I like President Trump. However, he is losing my support for his actions in the past couple of months and it is becoming difficult to support him.

After the actions of those who stormed the Capitol, I’m starting to lose faith in my fellow Republicans, too. The events at the Capitol shouldn’t represent the Republican Party; they were perpetrated by a faction in the party that believes in conspiracy theories and lies. President Trump had the power to stop this faction, but he didn’t. Instead, he fueled them.

President Trump is largely to blame for the assault on the Capitol, thanks to his speech on Jan. 6 — in which he made the same baseless claims of voter fraud and said he “won” the election in a landslide, even though he lost.

Trump and some of his allies have contributed to the mess that occurred by encouraging his supporters to march to the Capitol — and while that itself isn’t bad, that led to some taking the protests out of hand and eventually storming the building. Those protestors handed Democrats and the media an easy opportunity to paint the Republican Party and Trump supporters as extremists and those who violate our democracy.

Like many Americans, I was disgusted at the events that occurred at the Capitol and I was mad about the disruption of the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Those who stormed the Capitol showed that they’re willing to undermine democracy due to their die-hard support for Trump instead of moving on and accepting that we lost. Their actions led to the death of 5 people that easily could have been avoided and should not have happened.

Now, due to Trump’s reckless personality, he is facing a second impeachment for inciting violence during his speech and for his controversial phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (in which Trump told Raffensperger to find “find 11,780 votes,” and that not doing so would be a “criminal offense”).

This looming impeachment, which might satisfy Democrats and some Republicans, is ultimately dangerous, and it’s the president’s fault. Trump has pushed Democrats and even some Republicans to an action that will lead to a rise in extremism from the far right and produce greater division in politics when we need to unite.

Trump’s relationship with some of the GOP has fractured including lawmakers and even his own Vice President Mike Pence. The feud between Trump and Pence started when Pence said he would fulfill his constitutional duty and wouldn’t throw out the election results like Trump suggested.

Pence is definitely on the right side with this; he has no constitutional right to just throw the results out. The fact that Pence’s rightful actions have caused his support with Republican voters to dwindle, with some even saying he committed political suicide by following the Constitution, demonstrates how Trump’s hold on Republicans is poisoning the party’s values.

The Republican Party needs to put what happened aside and learn from their mistakes. This cannot happen again and the storming of the Capitol provides a great lesson: the age of Trump is over.

We need to put the bad side of “Trumpism” behind us while keeping the good. We have to accept this loss and do what we can to take back both chambers in 2022 and eventually take back the White House in 2024. We have to quell the extremism in the party and condemn those who do such actions as storming the Capitol.

We cannot undermine our democracy and change what we have done for almost 250 years.