Readers' Letters: Donald Trump and his allies should be jailed
The mob that stormed the US Congress building was an attempted fascist coup. It was organised, instigated and encouraged by Donald Trump. This permanently debunks the myth that fascism cannot occur in the US. Not only can it, but it is happening right now. This bid may have failed but Trump and the forces he has unleashed won’t go away.
His is a sordid Presidency. Trump is a malignant narcissist incapable of telling the truth or of empathising. It was easily foreseeable that Trump and his goons would use violence to hold on to office.
The Police tasked with protecting the Congressional building melted away and let the Trump supporters in. Contrast this with how Black Lives Matter protesters were gassed, beaten and kettled by those same forces. All so Trump could have his picture taken with a Bible. Trump refused to deploy the National Guard to regain control of the Capital building from his gang of thugs. Trump had been preparing for this violence for two months, with his constant attacks on the integrity of the electoral process, threats of violence and unhinged conspiracy theories.
The silence from the Democrats has been pathetic and spineless. Rather than calling for Trump to be removed from office immediately and jailed, Biden said he should go on TV and tell his supporters to go home. Biden has not been clear that Trump should be investigated and jailed. Instead he talks of "bipartisan unity" with Trump's allies and enablers. The 25th Amendment needs to be invoked. Trump and his allies should be jailed.
Alan Hinnrichs, Gillespie Terrace, Dundee
Curb web freedom
The riots in Washington have made manifest the danger of an uncontrolled internet. The rioters did not act spontaneously, they had been activated by weeks of "brainwashing" by a deranged President and no doubt exacerbated by enemies of the West. We already know that the internet is damaging children and vulnerable adults, not just by the growing number of people refusing to accept vaccination but by the growth of self-harming, suicide and depression in children.
We criticise China and Russia for controlling their internet, but we can now see the result of allowing the proliferation of this "brainwashing". A balance must be found, perhaps by making the companies which publish these lies responsible for the misinformation they promote.
Rosemary McDougall, Fala Village, Pathhead, Midlothian
The shocking scenes witnessed in Washington DC incited by the deluded outgoing President Donald Trump should not have surprised anyone. Having retreated into his White House bunker after his defeat, it was clear he was planning something after his plethora of desperate lawsuits were thrown out by every judge whose time he wasted expensively.
With almost every Republican politician across the spectrum not only distancing themselves from Trump but also denouncing his incendiary actions at long last, one wonders what will happen to “The Donald” and his family in two weeks’ time. Surely no self-respecting entrepreneur will do business with him, offer him a reality show, certainly not invite him back into the Republican Party to launch a campaign for 2024 or even want him at their parties, premieres or restaurants. Only law firms will want to have any interaction with the disgraced ex-President.
In short, Donald Trump is finished as a public figure other than with his extremist and increasingly anarchistic supporters. He may not go down quietly but the name “Trump” is finished forever. And that isn’t “fake news”.
D Mitchell, Coates Place, Edinburgh
Trump should be arrested for inciting violence, or even impeached if there is still time. Vice president Pence is to be congratulated on helping the democratic process proceed peacefully – I await his memoirs with some interest, with the light he can cast on the last four years.
William Ballantine, Dean Road, Bo'ness, West Lothian
Our own Trump?
Most reasonably objective people in the UK would view Donald Trump’s efforts to deny the outcome of the recent Presidential election in the USA as anti-democratic yet many would support Boris Johnson in again denying the people of Scotland an independence referendum, even if it was clearly mandated through the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary election. Neither denials would be democratic outcomes, no matter the misguided justifications of some seeking to procrastinate, to distract, or to denigrate others.
The facts are that the current “leaders” of both the USA and the UK have surrounded themselves with sycophants who do not seriously question the decisions of their bosses, and worse still, aid attempts of those leaders to blatantly undermine democracy. An illegal move to prorogue parliament is no less an undemocratic act than using high office to encourage officials to change the voting result of an electorally pivotal State. Both the UK and the USA used to boast of being pillars of democracy but no amount of propaganda or “fake news” can hide the fundamental cracks revealed by two arrogantly self-serving individuals who have used slogans to take the people they are supposed to represent down the bleak path of authoritarianism.
The time for constitutional change is long overdue!
Stan Grodynski, Gosford Road, Longniddry
How has it come to this, that politics in the USA has been disrupted by the cult of Donald Trump? It all began with the Enlightenment. Humans are rational and democracy is the ideal form of government, various philosophers told us – from Leipzig, to Voltaire and John Locke. Armed with a blind faith in humanity we failed to learn the lessons of the rise of Hitler. It was Weimar democracy which spawned the career of the worst demagogue in history. Among the weaknesses of Weimar was the enjoyment of black propaganda and a complete freedom of the press. Freedom can lead to irresponsibility
We have also failed to learn the lessons of brain science, that populists may enjoy activating their base but the consequences of indulging that skill are always unpredictable because humans often fail to recognise the difference between their rational reasoning and emotional reasoning, and because confirmation bias is as natural a human reaction as breathing.
Politicians of all hues have to reconsider what it means to have loyalty to democracy. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Andrew Vass, Corbiehill Place, Edinburgh
99, not contacted
My husband will be 99 on March 14. To date I have been unable to find out anything regarding when/how he might receive the vaccination. Neither his surgery nor Public Health Scotland have any information. The online NHS Scotland Covid is also uninformative beyond a list giving the order of play.(No dates). His equivalent in England would have been vaccinated before Christmas.
(Mrs) P Simpson, St Bernard's Crescent, Edinburgh
No need for Nordic
Michael Clarke (Letters, January 7) joins the secession camp by proposing we join the high tax Nordic countries to “enable us to join the wider world community”. We just did via Brexit. Once again we hear that we are being “dragged out against the will of the Scottish people”, conveniently forgetting the million plus that voted to leave. Also, we do not “lose our freedom to travel and explore the countries of Europe”. You can visit any EU country visa-free for 90 days, with reciprocal health care. Surely this covers the “ordinary citizen”?
Lewis Finnie, Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh
Rights and wrongs
In his letter in Thursday’s Scotsman David Roche refers to Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s birthright and “our rightful King”. But where do monarchs' rights come from? The Stuarts (Stewarts?) derived their right to the English throne from Henry VII, whose daughter Margaret married James IV of Scotland. Henry VII obtained the kingship on dubious grounds by defeating and killing Richard III at Tewkesbury. Richard became King by, almost certainly, murdering the Princes in the Tower. Their title derived from Henry IV who usurped Richard II, and so on. The title to the Monarchy really depends on whomsoever the people, or in the past the nobles (the people didn’t get much of a look-in then) will accept.
Michael Grey, St Thomas Road, Edinburgh
I had no idea anyone was still operating on the Julian calendar until I read Alison Campsie’s article (Heritage. January 6). However, I cannot understand how the residents of Foula decided January 6 should be the date on which to celebrate Christmas. Based on the lost 11 days in 1752, the celebrations should surely take place on January 5. If account is also taken of the consequential losses of leap year status in 1800 and 1900, they should take place 13 days later, on 7 January.
Robert Bowers, Glassel Park Road, Longniddry
Good old days
When Britain finally adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, people were not rioting amid the refrain "give us back our 11 days", but because they were going to have to pay their taxes 11 days earlier. New Year's Day used to be March 25, the feast of The Annunciation, 9 months before Christmas. Add 11 days to March 25, you get 5 April, which is why the Government's tax year ends on that day.
Colin McAllister, South Street, St Andrews
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