Capitol chaos smears all Trump voters

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Wednesday’s violent debacle in Washington, D.C., will forever be part of President Trump’s legacy, overshadowing “Operation Warp Speed” and his administration’s history-making peace deals in the Middle East. He will be known as the president who told his supporters to “remember this day” — after they breached the Capitol building and wreaked havoc on the landmark of American democracy. Four people died, dozens of officers were injured.

© Provided by Boston Herald Damaged lawn signs supporting President Donald Trump lie in the grass outside a polling station across the street from Trump International Golf Club, in West Palm Beach, Fla., Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

The day will be remembered — and not as a triumph of any kind.

As much as the D.C. mob and its actions inform Trump’s presidential narrative, so too does it cast dark shadows on the 74 million Americans who voted for him.

These are the people who felt like Trump listened to them when no one else did. Who reaped the benefits of the economic boom during his tenure, and voted for him in hopes he’d bring back prosperity. They’re the ones who were sick of being dismissed as backward rubes because they attend church. With sons and daughters in the military, they voted for a man who vowed to put American first, and not brand the country as the World’s Policeman. And they weren’t buying the vision of an everything-for-free America that progressives were selling.

They were exasperated with business as usual in Washington, and felt empowered by a president who vowed to “drain the swamp.”

They lost friends because of their Trump support, and family members may have stopped speaking to them. They endured years of the mainstream media painting them as ignorant sheep. They put Trump signs on their lawn, only to have them torn down. Worse, some were assaulted for their political views.

They voted in alliance with their convictions. That was the protest of 74 million Americans. It took about 5,000 to seize the stage.

After Jan. 6, the laid-off factory workers, struggling single parents and conservative Christians will be lumped in with the braying yob in a horned helmet draped in pelts, shouting in the halls of the Capitol that he and the mob muscled their way into.

The image of selfie-taking zealots posing on top of statues in the Capitol building will forever be associated with the term “Trump voter.”

And no matter how often they rightly point out all that was achieved in Trump’s term — a robust economy, fast-tracked coronavirus vaccine, Mid-East peace pacts, etc. — and how Democrats were gunning for him from the get-go, the travesty on Jan. 6 renders all debate moot.

The headline of an Orlando Sentinel editorial, posted hours after the mayhem, summed up the situation succinctly: “Happy now, Trump supporters?”

The same accusation is leveled at Republicans, who many cast as the president’s enablers.

The idea of a comeback in 2024 has to be off the table.

Where does that leave the 74 million non-violent conservative voters who want a strong economy and secure country? Some in Congress acquitted themselves well during this chaotic week, they may emerge as future presidential candidates.

But coming back from Jan. 6 will be a tough slog, especially with the perception that the Republican Party is flatlining after four years under Trump.

The actions of a violent rabble on Jan. 6 will have repercussions, for both politicians and ordinary Americans. Despite assertions that their actions were their “patriotic duty,” the mob didn’t do America any favors.

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