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America is in peril and faces a basic alternative about the place it goes subsequent

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Analysts have long believed that the destination of Al Qaeda’s fourth plane on the morning of September 11, 2001 was the Capitol, the cornerstone of American democracy. On January 6, the insurgents who took over the building did what al-Qaeda could not: not only damage the building, but also scar the very fiber of American democracy.

What do we do now? Will we allow the anger and hatred that crushed Pennsylvania to consume us and deepen the divisions that already threaten our nation? Or do the terrible images of the Capitol uprising give us the kick we need to pull ourselves together again?

The choices are just so strong. We just won’t be able to stay where we were on Jan 6th and we have to make a fundamental decision about the road we will ride in the months ahead. Will we perish who marks the United States as a proud nation committed to the ideals of our Constitution, with an obligation to advance them, as our founders wrote in the Preamble to the Constitution, the obligation to “give us the blessings of To secure freedom “and our posterity”? Or a country full of anger, violence, racism and hatred?

We shouldn’t underestimate the danger for a moment. Lesley Goldwasser, a Zimbabwean immigrant to the United States, said a few years ago: “You Americans kick your country around like a football. But it’s not football. It’s a Fabergé egg. You can break it. ”

Pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to evacuate during a joint congressional session to ratify the presidential election votes. Catherine Lucey from WSJ reports. Photo: Reuters

The Capitol invasion threatens to do just that.

When the rioters stormed into the building, they paid little attention to the lessons in the famous portrait of George Washington in the rotunda. It shows the general giving up his sword at the end of the War of Independence, at a time when he could easily have seized personal power in the country. Instead, he resigned to cultivate the fragile egg of American democracy.

If we do not work in the Washington way, we will surely be doomed to the path that breaks the ties of freedom that he and the other Founders worked so hard to create. So what can we do

Some critics of President Trump have argued that he will be prosecuted for sedition, and some overseas observers have even asked if he should be convicted of high treason. And there are good reasons for riot – stimulating people to rebel against the state – because it is impossible to read President Trump’s tweets any other way. But any of these steps would surely only ignite the mob that stormed the Capitol and drive us further down the wrong and dangerous road.

We should certainly take away his megaphone by closing his Twitter account and refusing to broadcast any airtime because the damage he did to the Constitution extended and then violated the constitutional right to freedom of expression. And we must seriously examine the provisions of the 25th Amendment, which provides for the removal of a president who “cannot perform the powers and duties of his office” if he continues his inflammatory provocations.

“With malice to no one”

But we have to dig deeper. Trump might have instigated the uprising, but his words found zealous rioters. Leaders must learn that what they consider harmless political theater to feed the grassroots animal can do permanent damage to American democracy. Could you really be shocked that after you created and motivated the mob, you couldn’t control the mob?

First of all, we can remember that regardless of our differences, we can look from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, where Lincoln’s second inaugural address reminds us of our commitment to a nation after a bitter civil war, “with malice to no one; with charity for all. “

After the nefarious attack on the Capitol, it will take us a long time to regain a foothold. But the lesson taught on 9/11 by a small group of Americans aboard Flight 93 who took control of the plane and saved the Capitol shows us the signpost for the road we must go down. Americans have always known that the defense of our democracy is in each of our hands.

Donald F. Kettl is a Sid Richardson Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Divided States of America: Why Federalism Doesn’t Work.

Read: Re-indict? 25. Change? Various ideas were floating around to get rid of Trump

And: “This is how democracy dies”: Pro-Trump mob storms Capitol to overthrow the elections

Also: Mob attacking the Capitol was unprecedented, but hardly surprising

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