Claytoonz: Defeated former president Trump
Despite what Republicans say, what happened on January 6, 2021 was a terrorist attack on our nation. It was an insurrection. It was an attempt to destroy our democracy. It was an attempt to overturn an election they lost. It was a coup attempt committed by white nationalists. It was an effort to install Donald Trump as a fascist dictator. One year later, Republicans are mocking the remembrance.
GOP strategist Karl Rove said Republicans need to display their patriotism by offering “no absolution for those who planned, encouraged and aided the attempt to overthrow our democracy.” Unfortunately, Karl…Republicans aren’t patriots anymore. Only two Republicans marked the occasion in the House chamber yesterday, Liz Cheney and her father, former vice-president Dick Cheney. While Rove is one corner calling out his party to reject terrorists, people like Tucker Carlson are making excuses for them.
Carlson said, “Of all the things Jan. 6 was, it was definitely not a violent terrorist attack. It wasn’t an insurrection. Was it a riot? Sure. It was not a violent terrorist attack.” Except that’s what it was, and text messages from January 6 show that his entire network knew it was.
Tucker and fellow GOP goons, what was the intention of all the “rioters” at the Capitol that day? What was the intention of the people who attacked cops, broke windows, stole property, trashed offices, and defecated in the hallways? Oh, yeah. To hang Mike Pence. Don’t take it from me. Take it from what they were chanting. What are the intentions of people who bring nooses, gallows, and pipe bombs to a “protest”?
Tucker, you are an unpatriotic coward who puts cult worship above your nation while defending white nationalist terrorists.
The insurrection at the Capitol resulted in five deaths and injured 140 law enforcement officers. More than 725 people were charged with assault, resisting arrest, and other crimes in the events of Jan. 6, 2021. About 165 people have pleaded guilty. None of them is Antifa. They’re all white nationalist Trump supporters.
Can you imagine these Trump goons trying to tell us 9/11 wasn’t an attack on our country?
In some ways, 1/6 was worse than 9/11. What happened on September 11, 2001, was a terrorist attack designed to hurt our nation and bring us to our knees, but there was no possibility it was going to destroy us. Sure, it hurt us. It hurt us bad and in a way from which we’ll never fully recover. But it pissed us off. It united us. It made us destroy al-Qaida. The attack at the U.S. Capitol was designed to overthrow our government. Even though it failed, the attack continues on our democracy. Yesterday, Donald Trump and Republicans still pushed the lie that the 2020 election was a fraud. Osama bin Laden never challenged any of our election results. Osama bin Laden never tried to change election laws, based on lies, to prevent nonwhite Americans from voting. I’m not making excuses for al-Qaida or trying to make them look harmless, like soft and cuddly kittens. I’m just saying, Republicans are worse than al-Qaida. The GOP supports terrorists. And honestly, if I was told I had to have dinner with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or Ted Cruz, I’d really have a hard time making a choice.
When al-Qaeda attacked our nation, our nation united. We came together. When Donald Trump attacked our nation, half of us supported the terrorists. When Republicans lie or downplay what happened on January 6, they’re supporting terrorists. When Republicans try to change voting laws, they’re supporting terrorists.
A recent poll found that 30 percent of Republicans support violence to “protect our country” if the violence is committed by “true American patriots.” Another poll found that 40 percent of the GOP is in favor of violence to “protect America.” What these respondents mean by “protect America” is giving Trump and white racists what they want, even if it overthrows democracy. What they mean by “true American patriots” is terrorists. Proud Boys are terrorists. Oath Keepers are terrorists. Ashli Babbit was a skanky jezebel and a terrorist. These people are all traitors.
Fortunately, we now have a president who does not support terrorists. Hell, the last guy negotiated and gave them Afghanistan. Yesterday, our real president called out, not just the terrorists, but their leader. Yesterday on the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, President Joe Biden called out the man responsible, Donald J. Trump. Of course, there are a lot of terms to use for Donald J. Trump other than Donald J. Trump. During his speech yesterday, President Biden used one of them.
Yesterday, President Joe Biden used a term that will probably sting Trump the most, even more than being called dumb, stupid, or a baby. Maybe even more than accusations that he’s not really a billionaire. What’s probably burning Trump the most and causing him to lose sleep is the term Biden used yesterday, “defeated former president.”
Donald Trump was defeated and that’s a fact. And he is a former president (sic).
President Biden laid out the facts. He said our democracy was attacked and urged our nation to make sure that it “never, never happens again.” He pointed out that Donald Trump couldn’t accept his loss (still can’t) and “created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election.”
President Biden said, “I did not seek this fight brought to this Capitol one year ago today, but I will not shrink from it, either. I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation and allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy.” The former guy placed the dagger at the throat of democracy. The former guy, instead of defending this nation, attacked it.
From National Statuary Hall, our president said, “We saw it with our own eyes. Rioters menaced these halls, threatening the life of the speaker of the house, literally erecting gallows to hang the vice president of the United States of America.”
Then he dug in deeper and said, “What did we not see? We didn’t see a former president who had just rallied the mob to attack, sitting in the private dining room off the Oval Office in the White House, watching it all on television and doing nothing for hours as police were assaulted, lives at risk, the nation’s Capitol under siege.”
Then, President Biden cut in even deeper and said about the former guy, “He was just looking for an excuse, a pretext, to cover for the truth. He’s not just a former president. He’s a defeated former president.”
Some Republicans complained about this. One GOP strategist said it will alienate Trump supporters. I don’t think our president should be that concerned with alienating violent democracy-hating fascist-loving racist Nazis.
The president told us what we already know, but too many are afraid to acknowledge. “He values power over principle. Because he sees his own interests as more important than his country’s interest, and America’s interest. And because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our constitution.”
And he did it all without saying Donald Trump’s name.
Now, if you feel the need to refer to the former guy but you don’t want to say his actual name, as you can see from today’s cartoon, I have a few suggestions.
Creative note: I drew/lettered most of this last night because I’ll be drawing a cartoon for CNN later today. It can be difficult to turn right around after drawing a cartoon to draw another unless you’re a clipart-using tracer. I knew with all the work required for this cartoon that I’d need a break. I’m really glad I did that as I only had to color this morning.
Music note: I didn’t listen to any tunes while drawing this toon since most of it was lettering. I can’t listen to music while lettering or else I’ll start putting down song lyrics.
Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at Claytoonz.com.