“Treason” is a loaded word. At least it used to be. Like “Nazi” or “fascist” or “authoritarian”, “treason” was a word that, if you were the first to spew it, it meant you weren’t serious, that you were all feelings over facts. Ironically, in America, it’s still one hundred percent kosher to call anyone left of Mitch McConnell a “socialist” – right to their face! But, should that elected “socialist” turn around and call Mitch what HE is to HIS treason turtle face – an authoritarian and a certifiable traitor – that would cause a tempest in the news media. Aside from Bernie Sanders – a self-declared socialist – that word doesn’t accurately describe anyone else in Congress (and I say this as a Socialist). At worst, they’re social democrats. Mitch – like the entire Republican tribe now – haven’t just thought authoritarian thoughts, they’ve manifested those thoughts out here in reality. The Big Lie is pure authoritarianism. Only two Republicans are actively engaged in attacking that lie. That makes every other Republican a supporter of The Big Lie; there is no middle ground here.
And The Big Lie is pure, unadulterated, textbook treason.
What is a “treason” exactly? At its root, it’s anyone who in any way attempts to overthrow a country’s legitimate government. Going strictly by the book, treason is described this way by US law (18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason):
“Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
Hmmmmm… Anyone swearing an oath to uphold the Constitution – like Congresspeople and the President… Levying war against us is big. Hard to define – would a traitor have to literally “declare war” against us to make it across the “traitor” line? But, hey – short of declaring war, a traitor also is anyone who “adheres to [our] enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere”. Adheres… That’s an interesting word choice…
1: to hold fast or stick by or as if by gluing, suction, grasping, or fusing; The stamp failed to adhere to the envelope.
2: to give support or maintain loyalty; adhere to traditional values
3: to bind oneself to observance; adhere to the rulesMiriam-Webster Dictionary
Definition two hits it. A traitor gives support and loyalty to people they know they shouldn’t give it to. They choose to work on behalf of our “enemies”. Hmmmmmmmmmmm… our “enemies”, it says. Who exactly are our “enemies”?
From our government’s point of view, insurrectionists absolutely count as enemies. Anyone trying to overthrow our legitimate government is our “enemy” therefore and – as court after court after court decreed, Joe Biden IS the legitimate POTUS and he, in fact, HAS the authority to govern having won that authority freely and fairly via one of the freest and fairest elections in our history. But insurrectionists aren’t the only anti-government force at work that’s crossed the line from thinking treason to aiding and abetting treason.
Russia is not our “friend”. At no time in his life has Vladimir Putin ever looked at America and thought “I want America to thrive”. No, quite the opposite. Putin – a spy by trade and tradecraft and a Russian nationalist down to his mitochondria – has stated that the greatest tragedy in the 20th century was the Soviet Union’s demise. Who do ya think he blames for that? Who do you think he’s always plotting against – like an enemy?
We can point to an actual date – June 25,, 2016 – when Republican leadership stated out loud that they suspected that their presidential candidate – Trump – was adhering to Russia. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a meeting of GOP leaders on that day – a month before the GOP was going to nominate Trump – and said “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” No one present demanded to know what the hell made McCarthy think such an outrageous thing. No one was surprised apparently. There was nervous laughter instead – that’s why McCarthy added the “Swear to God!” He wanted those present to believe him! He wasn’t being hyperbolic. Then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan stepped forward and ended the conversation right there. They were not going to discuss this any further – and certainly not outside that room. “That’s how we know we’re family” is how Ryan put it.
Let’s review the scene from treason’s point of view. Trump might be compromised – and adhering to Russia, making him a grave national security threat – but the Republican leadership chooses to keep this information secret. That doesn’t benefit us, that benefits Russia. Hmmmmmmm… And Russia – we’re now being reminded – had actual meetings (someone at the meeting leaked the notes from it) where they discussed doing this very thing to America. That means that anyone helping Russia achieve its goals in any way is giving them aid and comfort. Literally.
How much more treason-y do people have to be before we start calling them what they are: traitors?
Pro Tip: When someone’s a traitor? They’re a traitor in EVERYTHING they do. So, say, if Donald Trump is a traitor (which we’ve established he is), it doesn’t matter what any of his policies are or even how “good” those policies might be. They are the policies of a traitor – and we simply can’t trust that those policies are what they seem. Because traitors cannot be trusted. And, really, can one say “I hate his treachery but I love the money” and be taken seriously as a patriot?
Treason betrays the entire group. It threatens each and every one of us. It threatens our families and our future. There simply is no coming back from it – from being a traitor. And – most important – the longer you let a traitor sit in your presence, the more dangerous the traitor becomes. Because the traitor never stops giving aid and comfort to our enemies – making the traitor one of our enemies.
Treason doesn’t choose us, we choose it. Trump doesn’t walk around with a definition of treason in his head with a line he knows he can’t cross. The only country Trump recognizes is Trump. He himself is the only thing he’s loyal to. That doesn’t get him off the hook in the least. As for everyone around Trump who knew what he was doing (or suspected in any way) and said nothing? They made themselves Trump’s co-conspirator – to commit treason.
Two Republicans have stood up to Trump’s treachery – Liz Chency and Adam Kinzinger. We’ll set aside their support for Trump up until the moment they came to their senses. Every other Republican has failed in that regard – despite having taken an oath not to fail.
The penalty for this crime – in addition to death – is that traitors “shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.” Considering how much hard evidence we have of Republican cooperation, approval and alignment with Russia’s interests over our own (say, what treachery did the Moscow Eight promise between the ice cold vodka shots and caviar while having dinner in Moscow on July 4, 2018?), we really and truly CAN apply the word “traitors” to them. Yes, this circumvents our justice system but this is one of those times when one has to step outside the rule of law to save the rule of law because traitors are using the rule of law to destroy it. The rule of law does not ever intend to cause its own demise. If we have two functioning brain cells as a democracy, we need to call traitors “traitors” and remove them from the reins of power immediately.
Remember – the GOP has known Trump was a traitor all along. They’ve aided and abetted Trump in obstructing the justice due him for being a traitor. Rod Rosenstein ended the counter intelligence investigations into Trump’s relationship with Putin. Bill Barr lied about the Mueller Report’s conclusions and used his DoJ to aid and abet Trump instead of justice. That’s aiding and abetting a man every Republican KNEW was compromised by a foreign enemy.
On July 27, 2016, Trump famously said “Russia, if you’re listening…!” That was THE DAY BEFORE the Republican convention started and a month AFTER Paul Ryan insisted that Republican leadership keep it secret that “Putin paid Trump” making him a grave national security threat. Not only didn’t a single Republican say anything, they went and nominated Trump despite that fact.
And then like the picture definition traitors they are, they stood by him. And, now, STILL contemplate making him president again.