On Jan. 6, the sitting president, Donald Trump, supported by a handful of Congresspeople and television personalities, incited a riot that was aimed at overthrowing a legitimate Democratic election and in so doing participated in the deaths of five people. This is a fact, not an opinion.
The only question now is what will be done about it. Some people support removing the sitting president immediately, and some urge caution and prefer that nothing provocative be done so that we might pass out of this time as quietly and gently as possible.
Rightly, they worry that those who, with the encouragement of the president and his band of hopefuls, perpetrated this insurrection and most of the domestic terrorism of the last few years would see this as a cause for revolt setting off yet more tragedy. It’s a reasonable position, but we remember the Brooks-Sumner affair and know that this sedition will be a battle cry tomorrow whatever we do today.
If we do nothing, it will be a triumphant cry that inspires further terrorism with the reasonable expectation of no consequences. Parents know that this expectation always breeds more bad behavior.
Republicans have been poor parents to Mr. Trump over the past six years, and it shows in his behavior. If one seeks growth from immaturity and recklessness to maturity and thoughtfulness in a child, then one must not ever defer punishment for bad behavior out of fear that the punishment will inspire more bad behavior.
With moral courage a good parent deals with every bad behavior as quickly and certainly as possible until the behavior stops. If we abdicate our responsibility to quell this evil now while we are still able to do so, it will grow beyond our ability to check, and we will be done. Our only hope of a cessation to this repeating terror is the full force of swift and certain public justice according the rule of law.