Dear Editor: At best, President Trump instigated a riot that shook the nation and left five people dead. At worst, he is the de facto figurehead of a budding, proto-terrorist network that will continue to organize in the weeks, months and years to come. Whether in office or not, Trump will retain the power to control and direct this mob and should be expected to wield it carelessly with little regard for the potential to destroy lives.
Over the past four years, his most radical followers have demonstrated willingness to cross state lines and intimidate, assault, kidnap and murder political opponents he baselessly deems a threat to our democracy. Whether against broad targets like “the media” and “the radical left,” or specific targets like Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Vice President Mike Pence, we have witnessed his reckless rhetoric manifested in disturbing plots, physical assaults, and tragic events. These extremists have been empowered by last week’s events. Future attacks on individuals, gatherings and institutions are likely.
Fortunately, Congress has the power to fortify our defense against this homegrown extremism without appropriating a single dollar. Every vote for impeachment or removal weakens the ability for otherwise reasonable Americans to be recruited and radicalized. By contrast every vote against corrective action is not only tacit approval of last week's violence, but also any future attacks carried out in response to the will of President Trump.
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