The D.C. terrorist attacks: September 11th and January 6th
Trump's insurrection, Jan. 6, 2021. | Journal News/NYT via AP

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was a political appointee of D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, running a $17 million scholarship program. My office was just blocks from the Capitol, and I had a great view of the dome from my 10th story window. A member of my leadership team, Ken Howard, came into my office to tell me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

I dismissed him, being quite busy at the moment and thinking that I didn’t have time to worry about a small private plane colliding with New York’s tallest building. Little did I know how close my own life came to ending that very day. If United Airlines Flight 93 had not been brought down by its brave passengers in Shanksville, Pa., I might not have been alive this evening, writing this missive.

Ironically, it was the very same Ken Howard, who STILL works in the same scholarship office some three mayors later, who kept texting me throughout the afternoon. And again, I ignored him. When Ken texted me that the Capitol had been breached, I imagined that some three or four disgruntled Trumpites had managed to get onto the floor of the House and cause some disruption. I was sure that they had been arrested and were cooling their heels in D.C. Jail, just 17 blocks east of the Capitol.

But just like on 9/11, Ken insisted, texting me over and over again with the latest updates. And, remembering how I’d ignored him (for a short while) on that fateful day in 2001, I finally decided to take a look at CNN. Never have I been so shocked by what I saw on that channel.

I saw our capital city under terrorist attack for a second time. But this time the terrorists were my fellow Americans, a group of raging idiots who have fallen hook, line, and sinker for their con artist president’s raving lunacy of how he had won the U.S. presidential election in a landslide. This time the ringleader was the very President of the United States. He even gave the terrorists a pep talk before they began their march on the Capitol.

The Pentagon on fire, Sept. 11, 2001, following the terrorist downing of an aircraft. | AP

It doesn’t matter that the Trump campaign has lost some 60 court cases on the election results. It doesn’t matter that two of those cases went all the way to the Supreme Court where every single justice he had appointed to the Court voted against him. It doesn’t matter that the person in charge of election security for our nation said the election was fair. It doesn’t matter that Trump’s own Attorney General said there was no fraud in the election. Trump continues to carry out his con, his grift, not worrying for one single moment about the consequences to U.S. democracy. And some 30,000 idiots were conned by this man and turned into domestic terrorists.

Anyone who participated in this insurrection against the United States, anyone who entered the Capitol grounds or the building itself, should be tried and imprisoned. And the first person who should be tried and punished is Trump. Trump’s cabinet needs to meet immediately and use the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. We need to put this man on trial.

And let’s not forget the other domestic instigators, those fascist members of Congress who decided to go along with Trump’s con and cause problems in order to delay the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College win. They should be denounced by their fellow congressmen. If this evening, they continue with these tactics that go against reality itself, they should be censured by Congress.

Finally, every American should think long and hard about the Republican Party and its role in enabling a man like Trump to totally ignore reality. Those Republicans who stand up today and let it be known that Trump is a disgrace can be forgiven. But we must pledge to do everything in our power to see that those who continue this charade past today never hold another public office.

This article by Laurent Ross was written the evening of Jan. 6, 2021, before Congress had reconvened and ultimately certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win over outgoing President Donald Trump.

As with all op-eds published by People’s World, this article represents the opinions of its author.


Laurent Ross
Laurent Ross

Laurent Ross is a professor of philosophy and mathematics at the Technological University of Santiago in the Dominican Republic.