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Now Is Not the Time for Revenge

Now Is Not the Time for Revenge

Al-Etihad, UAE, January 28

What the United States desperately needs right now, in the early days of the Biden presidency, is wisdom, moderation, and tolerance. The US is confronting the deepest domestic crisis it has faced since the end of slavery in the mid-19th century. The social and political divisions in the US are so deeply ingrained in American society that they threaten the very existence of the country. Indeed, they far outweigh the danger posed by America’s greatest adversaries, including China and Russia, because the rupture in the American societal fabric weakens the country from within. The insistence of many Democratic Party leaders to take revenge against former President Donald Trump by continuing his impeachment trial in Congress even after his term ended may only exacerbate this division. Some of Trump’s opponents want to exploit the mistake he made when he called on his supporters to take to the Capitol on the day that the electorate results were being certified. There is no doubt about the fact that this was a wrong, immoral, and reckless move. But there is no need to “execute” Trump after he left office just to make a statement. This can create a great deal of damage to the US, both at home and abroad. Those who believe that Trump is responsible for the events at the Capitol have the right to request that he be held accountable for these events. But the Senate is not the appropriate forum to debate this. First, because there is a constitutional dispute over whether or not Congress can hold an impeach trial for an ordinary American citizen who is no longer president. Second, because the issue at hand is legal, not political. If these Democrat lawmakers were able to control their emotions – which is exactly what they demanded Trump do during his presidency – then they would quickly realize that turning a new page is in the best interest of the American people. The national interest must triumph partisan clashes. The fact remains that Trump is not simply a president who lost the elections for his second term. He is also a candidate for whom millions of Americans – over 74 million people – voted. And these voters’ voices cannot be silenced. The only way to restore stability and end this never-ending cycle of revenge is to prevent this trial from happening. Whether hated or loved, we must remember that Trump himself was not the creator of the deep political crisis experienced in the US today. This crisis preceded Trump and, if anything, contributed to him getting elected in 2016. President Joe Biden knows, or should know, the extent to which political institutions have failed to meet the aspirations of large sectors of the American public. This crisis requires unconventional and far-reaching solutions that embrace a serious national reconciliation process, not by a desire for revenge. –Wahid Abd Al-Majeed (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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