By Abolaji Oluwatobi Omitogun
Washington – When President Trump outflanked his own party on the $2,000 COVID-19 stimulus package, no one in Washington could explain his motive for doing so. The recent insurrection at the United States Capitol Hill was the missing piece to the puzzle.
Before the November 3 election, Trump saw the ‘writing on the wall’ – not the Mexico border wall – and he knew, nearly too well, that he would lose the election. In a bid to escape destiny, Trump’s best move was to sow a seed of doubt in the credibility of a democratic election process that saw to his rise to power in merely four years ago.
After his defeat at the 2020 U.S presidential election, Trump’s self-serving and consuming ego would not allow him to concede defeat, a choice that would later consume him and his party. For months, Trump and the Republican Party launched an unrelenting assault on democracy in the US, making false claims of election malfeasance and election irregularities of epic proportions. The mastermind and his allies fed unfathomable streams of lies to the Trump’s fan base, while his Republican representatives watched, participated, and took advantage of the fiasco.
House Republican Senators became pundits of Trump’s own chess game. When the result and odds did not seem to favor them, they resorted to spewing conspiracy theories while playing politics with the process of power and institutions that saw to their emergence.
Republican Senators in rank and file, aligned with Trump – including Sen Josh Hawley and Ted Cruise (a pro-trump wanna-be) who both assailed on Democracy for their selfish ambitions, bowing at Trump’s feet and objecting to the certification on the election results, in a bid to curry approval and acceptance. Lindsey Graham, Kevin McCarthy, and their stogies all sold out their principles, while Trump continued to fan the flames of lies and distrust that would later consume the Republican Party, as evident in the Georgia run-off elections.
Twitter, Fox News (Tucker, Ingram & co), other far-right-wing media outlets and media personalities became sources of advice, information, and inspiration to the President by helping to amplify misinformation in Trump’s Republican base. Despite direct attacks on the election’s credibility, Trump and his Republican stogies have won zero out of at least fifty lawsuits filed since Election Day.
Trump’s own Supreme Court-appointed Judges dismissed false claims of election misappropriations and failed to do his bidding. The same can be said of state election secretaries, electors, and Governors – especially fellow republican, Governor Brad Raffensperger in Georgia, who refused to cave to Trump’s pressure and efforts to overturn the election in his state.
Stimulus Package Hostage Strategy
Having realized that none of his republican representatives were going to help overturn the election, it was time for the showman to up his antics – the $2,000 Stimulus package. Washington, the media, members of Congress, and especially the GOP struggled to solve the puzzle as to why President Trump on December 23, 2020, all of a sudden wanted a $2,000 stimulus package for Americans, after his party representatives, democrats, and chief-negotiator Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had negotiated and reached an agreement on a $600 dollar one.
Trump’s sudden agreement with the democrats’ party was not because of a newly found love for the democrats or Nancy Pelosi. So why did he offer her a win? Perhaps it was all part of his grand scheme for what would later unfold at Capitol Hill on January 6. The chess king was masterminding something even his own party didn’t see coming.
If the GOP weren’t going to help him overturn his election loss results, his base would. In a well thought out move, Trump decided to side with democrats as he called for a $2,000 stimulus package. A move intended to gain wide acceptance on the side of ordinary citizens (democrats and republicans alike) who cared about having enough to put food on their tables, enough to pay rent and protect unemployment benefits. A very well calculated move guaranteed of a win whichever way he played. It was a move that was going to entice both Democrats and Republicans, and more specifically, his base.
Trump also knew too well that an objection by Congress would enrage both party bases if not approved. Whichever direction Congress played, it was a sure move guaranteed of a win. An approval or disapproval from Congress will deepen his approval by both party bases and give him a firmer grip on his party and base. One that will paint him a messiah (Qanon) and savior of the people. One guaranteed of holding his Party (House & Senate Representative) hostage to doing his will.
The mastermind was able to achieve this. Weeks into the Georgia run-off election, Trump mounted pressure on Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen Purdue to bow at his feet by declaring that they would object the 2020 election certification results.
Trump waived an intended unconscious and subliminal quid pro quo, a gesture to those willing to do his bidding. Of course, no one saw this coming; the mastermind wouldn’t have shared his genius plans with any of his white house staff – not even with his wife, son Eric, or daughter Ivanka. But! One person in the President’s circle might have been aware of his plan, “Ask Ruddy.”
The mastermind knew quite too well that Nancy Pelosi was going to fall for his trap and accurately predicted Mitch McConnell (Sen Majority Leader) wasn’t going to entertain such a proposal and would block any such attempt. Trump knew both Dems and Reps in Congress were too divided to agree on a $2,000 package, thus outraging Democrats, Republicans and further infuriating his base.
However, there was just one more pawn he needed to move in the right direction, his Queen, Vice President Mike Pence.
The Sad Loss and an Insurrection Strategy
On January 5, Trump suffered two major losses. After several attempts at pressuring his Queen Mike Pence not to certify his election loss, Trump, unfortunately, lost his Queen. Pence told Trump he couldn’t block Biden’s win. In another major loss, he lost his two bishops, Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen David Perdue, in the Georgia run-off election to the democrats. Having realized his defeat and the loss of his most valuable pawn, it was time for the President to go on the offensive – the insurrection.
With a base already angered by his election loss and uncertainties around a $2,000 stimulus package, Trump would invite his supporters to Washington DC to “save America” and “stop the steal” of an election that was already lost. On November 6, President Trump, like a dictator, called upon his base to besiege the citadel of power and thwart the ongoing electoral certification process. He incited his rioters to violence, saying the election results were an “egregious assault on our democracy,” urging them to “walk down to the Capitol.” According to the mastermind, ‘You Will Never Take Back Our Country With Weakness.’
Trump’s personal lawyer, Ruddy Giuliani, cheered on the crowd calling for a “trial by combat” against the Democrats and Congress. His eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. also cheered on the crowd by threatening Republican Congress members who did not back the pro-Trump efforts by saying; “We’re coming for you.”
In this chess game, Trump was a solo player. He moved and played both sides of his board and used his ardent supporter, Republican reps, as pawns. He played against his Democrats opponents in his own game of insurrection. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy all played into his hands. Unfortunately for him though, he forgot that even the game of chess has its own rules – albeit elusive to the solo player. One must abide by the rules of the game, in this case, the rules are deep-seated in the constitution.
By inciting violence on Congress and the Democrats fully in power, Trump put a nail in the coffin of his own legacy, shredding into bits whatever was left of his already diminished legacy.
As the country tries to recover from years-long hateful divide, homegrown hate, inequity, and global isolation, it is important to note that Donald Trump isn’t solely responsible for the events that took place on the Hills; the entire Republican Party is. Should Sen. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue had won the election, they would have objected the election results by their non-certification. Nevertheless, if the Trump insurrection act hadn’t taken place, after their loss at the run-off election, they would still have objected to the election results sending democracy into a death spiral, as mentioned by Mitch McConnell.
Thus, for any republican representative, like Lindsay Graham, Ted Cruise, Josh Hawley, and their over 100 colleagues to come out today and claim some form of innocence and refuse to take responsibility for the event that took place on the hills will be another assault on Democracy. A betrayal of the oath of office, constitution and the truth. Their actions will also shunt the healing and unity both parties could settle on as common grounds for the future of the country.
Indeed, the country and the Republican Party seem to have realized the power of the “Monster You Made” One whose antics is unmatched. The mastermind always has the last move – The Trump Self Pardon.
Bio: Abolaji Oluwatobi Omitogun holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Geography from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and is currently an MBA candidate at the American University Kogod School of Business in Washinton DC, USA. He is an entrepreneur with more than six years experience spanning industry segments including, food, fashion, and international development. Abolaji is also an Atlas Corps Alumni and has supported the USAID Youth Lead platform.