Letter: New US president faces a devil of a quandary

Prosecuting former president and his followers could lead to civil war

To the Expositor:

The violence that erupted in Washington, DC last Wednesday stands in stark contrast to that which plagued the entire United States last July and August. In a matter of months, we have seen violent spasms firstly by movements like Black Lives Matter and then this recent eruption of white supremacist rage that led to a mindless horde attacking the US Capitol Building. The only difference between the two movements is that the first group rose up over historical and recent injustices against African Americans. It is the latter that is more terrifying: these were President Donald Trump supporters spurred on by his hateful words into refusing the declaration of Joe Biden as new president. Some brandished hate symbols like the Confederate flag or wore Nazi symbols. Their refusal led to murder, trespassing and willful destruction of government property as they tramped through the White House and clashed with security forces.

Newly-crowned President Biden is facing a devil of a quandary. It may be that prosecuting the abductors, killers and scoundrels who attacked the White House may trigger a kind of little civil war. Or it might be that prosecuting the former President Donald Trump and the followers who engaged in these attacks and placed bombs outside the two party headquarters revives the rule of law. Either way, the US administration must punish each of these characters. The incident is proof positive that extremism remains alive and well.  


Christopher Mansour