Anyone respect Donald Trump

Opinion: Donald Trump, get off the political stage!

No, the January 6th events were not a slip-up. They weren't a coincidence either. They were the inevitable consequence of a four-year presidency that relied on anger instead of truth and could turn the political stance of its supporters into hatred of "the other".

Donald Trump is in charge

I was there and saw with my own eyes and ears how Donald Trump's speech on that cold January day turned the mostly peaceful demonstrators into an angry mob. There is absolutely no doubt that the president asked the people to storm the Capitol. How else should sentences like this be understood: "You will never recapture our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong". He called them to the crowd - combined with the request to march in the direction of the Capitol.

Head of DW's Washington studio: Ines Pohl

I spoke to the people who had come to the capital from all over the country to protest the allegedly "stolen" election result. The majority were average Americans. Who are really convinced that the real winner of the presidential election is Donald Trump. Infiltrated by his lies. Trapped in their social media bubbles. Cheered on by those top republican politicians who, completely irresponsible, helped build this dangerous building of lies. And who have sacrificed their oath to respect the constitution to their personal greed for power.

Republicans need to calm down

And precisely because it is not just a handful of weirdos, the Democrats must do everything to prevent the incumbent president from running again. Donald Trump has blood on his hands. People died in the storm on the Capitol. That alone is reason enough to seek a second impeachment procedure. But it is even more important to organize the appropriate majorities in Congress to pass a decree that ensures that Donald Trump is never allowed to run for office again. This requires a two-thirds majority, which will only come about when almost 20 Republicans finally come to terms.

The decisions Democrats will have to make in the days ahead are tough. If they try to proceed immediately, they risk that the first few weeks of Joe Biden's presidency will be overshadowed by discussions about Donald Trump's future. Some therefore advocate waiting until the new government has been established and vital steps in the fight against the COVID catastrophe can be taken. Between three and four thousand people die from the virus every day in the United States. Even if that has never been done before, the proceedings against Donald Trump could still be initiated weeks after the handover.

These steps may confirm that many Trump supporters feel that the political system in the United States has been "infiltrated". But that has to be accepted.

The Republican Party has proven time and time again that it is no match for Donald Trump's power game. If he gets the chance to run again in four years, he'll keep holding the Republicans hostage and driving them around. And not only that. In 2020, 73 million people voted for Donald Trump. It is entirely possible that there will be a few million more in 2024 if he can keep working to reinterpret reality into a Trump show - with the prospect of returning to the White House.

It must be made clear to all politically responsible people that spreading lies and stirring up hatred has consequences - and ends political careers immediately. The storm on the Capitol was just a foretaste of what was to come.