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Final act of cowardice

Leaders lead from the front. History is loaded with examples of this. From Alexander the Great to Julius Caesar to Genghis Khan to Napoleon Bonaparte to George Washington. They gallop alongside their troops, swords singing, cutting down the enemy, trampling them as they ride headlong into battle and inevitable victory.

As footage of the events of January 6, 2021, continues to emerge — the beatings, the hurled fire extinguishers, the zip ties and pipe bombs, the chants of “Hang Mike Pence” — I keep going back to the president’s speech. How he urged the throng of proud boys, militia men, and QAnon (“the internet come to life,” as one reporter described it), as well as a sea of devout supporters to march on the Capitol. He assured them he would be right there with them.

Of course, he wasn’t. He was kicked back in the safety of the Oval Office watching it all go down.

This final act of cowardice underscores who Donald Trump really is. A spoiled rich kid with a giant megaphone. A sore loser deficient in every quality associated with great leaders. Honor, courage, discipline, restraint, spine… Our 45th president is more Nero than Julius Caesar. (Although his embattled Veep appears capable of a passable Brutus impression.)

One of the more sickening images from this dark day in American history was Donald Jr’s fiancée, Kimberly Guilfoyle, dancing. Dancing as glass was shattered, shots were fired and blood was spilled. I guess it’s easy to dance in the safety of the West Wing, when you’re not getting crushed in a doorway or beaten with a baton or praying under your desk. But it’s always like this with the 1%. They sip champagne while the poor and middle class die in the service of their interests.

So now the talk turns to whether the president can pardon himself. All the pundits are weighing in. But is there any talk of him pardoning the citizens who believed his lies about the election being stolen and stormed the Capitol at his insistence? I wouldn’t bet on it.