Jay Lenkersdorfer

As teenagers my brother Alan and I decided to make caramel popcorn in the family kitchen. During our first attempt at making this confection I was delegated to mix the popcorn while Alan poured the hot caramel out of the pan we had cooked it in. Things were going excellent until I got my hand under the hot caramel as it was being poured.

If you have ever received a burn like I experienced that day you will agree that there are few things so painful. Thankfully, my brother knew immediately what to do. In one swift motion he put down the hot pan and grabbed my hand, putting it under a stream of cold water from the kitchen sink.

Though the burn blistered immediately, the cold water took away the worst of the pain. We learned a quick lesson that day – that we should respect things that are both delicious and dangerous if handled poorly. To my recollection we never made caramel popcorn again.

This concept of being burned when playing with fire is exactly what President Donald Trump experienced last week when he encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol in protest of Trump believing the national election was stolen from him.

I don’t care if you worship President Trump or think he is a putz, but I hope that you can agree that his actions encouraging his supporters to march on the Capitol to take back what he believes had been stolen from him was a serious lapse of judgment. Had President Trump actually gone with this mob as he promised he would do might have made a big difference in the outcome.

By going to the White House and watching the crowd on television he forfeited his ability to call the crowd back where they could protest peacefully. News outlets were giddy with delight when they saw the crowd surge up the stairs at the Capitol. Their repeated coverage portrayed the group as terrorists, thugs and vandals. Yes, there were some definite instigators in the crowd who probably weren’t Trump supporters. Those people wanted to do as much damage as possible knowing their actions would reflect poorly on President Trump, and they were right.

I believe there were many in the crowd who simply got caught up in the moment, surging up the steps of the Capitol and breaking into the rotunda because others were doing it. I’m sure there were thousands who never even made it to the steps because they believe in law and order instead of mob justice. Some were interviewed by the broadcast media and made it clear they wanted no part of the ransacking of the Capitol building and offices of our national leaders.

Though disappointed with the outcome of the day, none of us should be surprised that those extreme Trump supporters were pushed to the brink of anarchy. President Trump started complaining about the election way back in August when he suggested that mail-in voting would cause fraudulent actions and would ultimately cost him the presidency. His supporters were worked up day after day with the President’s tweets, press reports and harsh words,

As a two-time Trump voter, I was disgusted with the daily barrage of complaints about the election being rigged. The constant complaining by our President pushed me away from my support of him, making me more of a critic. I do not have a doubt that there was fraud mixed in with the legitimate voting but a conspiracy involving the entire country with nobody coming forward with proof of this fraud leads me to believe that though some votes were added to the other side, it wasn’t enough to completely throw the election.

Worst of all, Donald Trump used very poor judgment when he suggested that he should stay in office until this injustice was fully investigated. We have had a peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next in virtually every election since the republic was founded. His actions have made the United States of America look very foolish in the way the world views us.

I’m not in favor of throwing Trump out of office using the 25th Amendment or of impeaching him for a second time, but if he had more than a few weeks before he leaves office I think my opinion would be different. Do we really want someone that unstable having their finger on the nuclear button? Trumps’ legacy will be measured exclusively based on his actions of the past few days. That’s not really fair to him but life isn’t fair. Deal with it!

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