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Stop the Insanity

I went to work in the US Senate in the fall of 1978. I was introduced to the magnificence of all the Capitol and the City had to offer. The monuments, the government buildings, many in which I would work over the course of the ensuring 22 years, the beauty of cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin, the ease with which you could access National Airport, and a city filled with museums, galleries, and the Kennedy Center that would prove to be a treasure trove honoring historical significance.

Each time I would return from weekend trips out of town I would find myself bursting with pride traveling down East Capitol Street as I marveled at the magnificent dome of our nation’s Capitol building. Back then one could visit that building through any of dozens of entrances without the inconvenience of a metal detector. While working in the Richard Russell Senate Office Building on warming spring days or crisp fall days it was common to eschew the underground subway system in favor of a short walk above ground to the Senate floor or to the occasional trips across the Hill to the House side.

Our shrine to freedom was free and open to all. On the evening of November 7, 1983, however, that openness was shattered by a bomb that ripped through the hallway next to the grand entrance to the Senate floor on the second floor, only hours after the Senate had adjourned for the day. The bomb was a statement by the Resistance Conspiracy protesting US involvement in Granada and Lebanon. The blast stopped a grandfather clock sitting next to the entrance since 1859.

The blast also shattered the days when unencumbered entrance would bow to legitimate security concerns. The reality of a new world where acts of violence and terrorism threatened all public places brought with it a level of security that was inconvenient but necessary.

This is deadly serious stuff. Stop the insanity before it has more disastrous consequences than we have already witnessed.

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The insurrection that held all America and I imagine the entire world captive to their television sets yesterday represented a violent attack on the very concept of democracy itself. It was directly aided and abetted by a vengeful President of the United States in reaction to the hard, cold truth that the American people, by a large margin, have voted to go in a different direction. The American people have exercised the greatest contribution our representative democracy has to offer the world: namely, the freedom to elect whom they choose to run the country for the next four years. It is a simple as that, Mr. President, you ran and you lost in an election that was fair and square. The ministerial act of validating the certification of the election by all 50 states had just begun when the seditious maelstrom that would envelop America’s Capitol, our Capitol, America’s shining symbol to democratic rule would thrust us upon the world’s stage for all to see.

There is no doubt whatsoever that it was the direct result of prodding, whining, vengeance, and demented inspiration that has become the hallmark of the man-child whose twisted narcissism, intellectual vacuousness, and unrestrained hatred and bigotry have wickedly snaked their way into every facet of his leadership and agenda setting. He is simply incapable of accepting reality and exists in a bubbling cauldron of alternative facts that distort and demean everything this nation and its people stand for. His selfish devotion to personal gain, financial and political, make a mockery of all that is worthy and good.

Donald Trump’s instigation and encouragement of the actions which rocked America and the world today truly meet any common definition of treason and this President should face a jury of his peers and face the consequences.

Three and a half years ago I wrote an article imploring the Trump Cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment, which states the following: “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

The President is simply dangerous and incapacitated to the extent that he is willing to sacrifice the foundations of our government, the lives of its citizens, and subversion of bedrock principles of right and wrong. He is beyond incompetent, he is certifiably insane. Can we even risk having him one more minute in possession of the nuclear codes? Can we trust him with the power of our military? Can we risk having him involved in any decisions affecting the citizens of this country in the midst of this devastating pandemic? Simply, how much damage can this demented mind cause in the time left until January 20?

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This is deadly serious stuff. Stop the insanity before it has more disastrous consequences than we have already witnessed. But more important than anything else, Mr. President-elect, we must ensure that there are consequences for the transgressions that Trump has committed. Anything short of that will only encourage further sedition. The people deserve better.

Lance Simmens