Last Wednesday, right-wing extremists, racists and conspiracy theorists stormed the Capitol in Washington, smashing windows, breaking down doors, attacking Capitol police officers and invading the Democratic building.
The coup was organized and orchestrated by Donald Trump to prevent the confirmation of President-elect Biden. The coup attempt by Donald Trump is not only a failure, but also treason.
This attack on democracy in the U.S., is reminiscent, like a blueprint, of the first attack on democracy in Germany last year, when right-wing extremists, racists and “Querdenker” who have since become radicalized, tried to break into the Reichstag building and, with the help of the far-right AfD, entered the Bundestag.
The House of Representatives and the Sentat reacted immediately after the attack on democracy and confirmed the election of President Biden.
The Democrats are trying for the second time to obtain impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump in the House of Representatives and the Sentat. Not only to defend democracy, to hold Donald Trump accountable, to prevent Donald Trump from running again in 2024, and to cause Donald Trump to never be able to be politically active again and receive any emoluments.
Prof. Robert Reich of the University in California at Berkeley and former Secretary of Labor demanded on Facebook, “He must be removed from office immediately. Allowing him to stay is not only a stain on our democracy, it’s dangerous (a president who instigates a coup attempt will do anything), and it signals to future generations and the world that this kind of thing can happen with impunity.”
Two Republican congressmen have since resigned. Even in Texas, the largest newspaper, is calling for the resignation of Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, two Republicans who supported Trump to the end.
On Monday, Democrats officially filed their resolution to impeach President Donald Trump, charging him with “inciting a riot” for his role in last week’s unrest at the U.S. Capitol. They refer to the 25th Amendment of the American Constitution, now that the vice president has 48 hours to make Donald Trump resign.
Colin Powel has since left the Republican party and more and more Republicans are joining the impeachment of Donald Trump.
After the attack on the Capitol and the great pressure and criticism, the social networks also reacted, which, by the way, were also and especially in Germany permanently criticized after not only right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists organize themselves there, but also fake news, lies, hatred and agitation was spread.
The federal government in Germany, even after the attack on the Reichstag and the invasion of the Bundestag, did nothing against right-wing extremists and radicalized “lateral thinkers”, but let them and had rather found a “culprit” against whom they wanted to act with a new law. With a law against the spread of Hate Speech and Fake News in the social networks, which is now obsolete after the social networks in the U.S. reacted themselves to avoid further damage to democracy by violence after the attack on the Capitol.
The federal government announced at the federal press conference yesterday that it was not worried about the attacks by right-wing extremists, racists and conspiracy theorists on the Capitol and democracy in the U.S., or the invasion of the Bundestag and Reichstag by the mob, but about freedom of expression on social networks – after the deletion and blocking of Donald Trump’s accounts. However, concealed the fact that blocking is absolutely justified, after there are already very long rules and terms of business there, and anyone can protest or sue in the case of a not justified blocking.
Donald Tump now has to look for new distribution channels to spread his lies, fake news, hate and agitation or to orchestrate coup attempts. Donald Trump’s account on Twitter was constantly deleted with 80 million followers, on Facebook his profile was blocked, others like Instagram, Google, Youtube, Snapchat, Tiktok, Apple, Twitch, Shopyfi, Pinterest, Reddit and Discord followed. Amazon deleted the right-wing online service Parler from its server.
This attack on democracy in the U.S., reminds like a blueprint, the first attack on democracy in Germany last year, when right-wing extremists, racists and “Querdenker” who have obviously become radicalized in the meantime, tried to penetrate the Reichstag building and with the help of the far-right AfD entered the Bundestag.
The task of the federal government would have been to act decisively against right-wing extremism! To impart an understanding of democracy to the population through education and to ensure social peace through redistribution. This has not taken place over decades and until today. One watched how the brown ideas, the racism, the anti-Semitism, the nationalism and the xenophobia were passed on from generation to generation. Right-wing extremists were left alone and played down, or pacts were made with them in order to stay in power or to gain power – see CDU and FDP in Thüringen.
The result of this ignorance to keep the conservatives in power was the NSU, right-wing extremist international networks that grew from Germany to Europe to the USA and the right-wing extremist AfD, which is back in the Bundestag and the state parliaments today.
Especially Germany with its dark history has the duty to act consistently against enemies of democracy and to defend democracy. Even after the attack on the Reichstag building last year and the penetration of right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists, with the support of the far-right AfD in the Bundestag, nothing happened!
At the latest after Charlottesville it was known that an internatial network of right-wing extremists, racists and conspiracy theorists exists for decades, is getting bigger and bigger and reaches from Germany, over Europe and the USA and spreads, as was also published several times by serious and critical media in Germany.
Nevertheless, no consequences took place in Germany, but the usual relativizations, looking away, Fair talk-, and writing. The only thing that took place were the usual discussions, which are never followed by consequences. As always, when it comes to the dark past, right-wing extremism, neo-Nazis, nationalism, conspiracy theorists, Reich citizens and now “lateral thinkers”.
The population was told after the attack on the Reichstag in Germany that “certain” people who were involved in storming the Reichstag building were being watched by the Defense of Constitution. This is as credible as the promise to have the right-wing extremist AfD in the Bundestag observed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. From the Defense of Constitution, which enabled the NSU and whose dismissed chief, sympathizes with the far-right AfD and continues to be politically active today with the Werteunion.
A ruthless, honest, public reappraisal, clarification of the dark history and the many deaths by old Nazis, neo-Nazis or the NSU never took place. Instead, they prefer to point the finger at others and present themselves as a “clean nation” with the help of a certain press and media.
Like Friedrich Merz (CDU), who, in the style of Donald Trump, could think of nothing else after the attack on the Capitol in Washington than to claim, as usual with conservatives, that frustrated leftists had perpetrated the attack. With it he meant apparently also the voters of the Democrats. This, although the FBI had already announced that in the attack on the Capitol not leftists and left-wing extremists, but right-wing extremists, racists and conspiracy heretics were involved – so the same “clientele” that also threatens democracy in Germany.
As long as the conservatives (CDU/CSU) and the FDP spare right-wing extremists and pact with them to stay in power or to come to power with the votes of the right-wing extremists, which enabled the entry of the right-wing extremists into the Bundestag and state parliaments, democracy in Germany is not only endangered, but constantly erodes itself from the inside – if enemies of democracy and populists are not consistently fought.
Defending a democracy is a different matter, as the USA is now showing after the attack on the Capitol. As I already predicted in this article, the Americans will also cope with Donald Trump and learn from it. Germany did not and still does not cope with the old and new Nazis.
The shift to the right and the disenchantment with politics in Germany are homemade and very dangerous. To think that nationalists, right-wing populists and right-wing extremists would disappear by themselves has fatal consequences not only for Germany, but for all of Europe.
Two police officers have since died after the attack on the Capitol. Unlike Germany, in the U.S., after the attack on democracy, all those involved in the coup were immediately sought, arrested and will be held accountable. A relentless public and honest reappraisal with the causes is still taking place today.
According to NBC News, the FBI sent a memo to law enforcement agencies across the country warning of possible armed protests in all 50 state capitals beginning Saturday. An armed group has threatened to travel to Washington DC the same day to stage a riot if Congress recalls the president and removes Donald Trump from office, according to a senior law enforcement official.
This article by historian Timothy Snyder in the New York Times Magazine on the meaning of truth, Trump, the mob and what comes next should be read by all, especially conservative politicians in Germany, who to this day downplay right-wing extremism, do nothing about it or sympathize and pact with right-wing extremists, to stay in power. As well as a certain press and mainstream media with the part of the population in Germany, which today again right-wing extremists, nationalists, racists, conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites run after, make themselves common with them and elected them.
Every politician who reacts with ignorance to fascism, right-wing extremism and racism, as has happened in Germany for decades, is jointly responsible for the consequences and damages democracy, which is increasingly eroding from within in Germany. The consequences of such an ignorance for own advantage and power preservation are just visible in the USA!
Fascism and right-wing extremism do not disappear by themselves – especially not by symbol politics!
Democracy is not self-evident, but must be defended every day, with a society that resolutely opposes enemies of democracy.
Update: On January 13, 2021, the House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump for the second time and voted by a majority to impeach him. This is the first time in U.S. history that a president has been impeached more than once.
Astid Ebenhoch is journalist, founder and editor of Hounds & People.
Here in german: Trump greift die Demokatie an