Clinton backs Trump impeachment but warns it ‘won’t remove white supremacy’
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says in a new op-ed that she supports President Trump’s impeachment following the violent rioting at the Capitol by a mob of his supporters last week, but warned that the move “won’t remove white supremacy from America” on its own.
In the opinion piece, which was published in The Washington Post on Monday, Clinton called the violence seen in Washington on Wednesday “the tragically predictable result of white-supremacist grievances fueled by President Trump.”
“But his departure from office, whether immediately or on Jan. 20, will not solve the deeper problems exposed by this episode. What happened is cause for grief and outrage. It should not be cause for shock,” she wrote. “What were too often passed off as the rantings of an unfortunate but temporary figure in public life are, in reality, part of something much bigger. That is the challenge that confronts us all.”
Clinton said the recent violence prompted her to reflect on her past time as a senator in New York, her experiences during the 9/11 terrorist attacks and “the 9/11 Commission Report that followed.”
“The report’s authors explored the failures that opened the door for a devastating terrorist attack. ‘The most important failure,’ they wrote, ‘was one of imagination. We do not believe leaders understood the gravity of the threat,’ ” she said.
“Almost 20 years later, we are living through another failure of imagination — the failure to account for the damage that can be done to our nation by a president who incites violence, congressional leaders who fan the flames, and social media platforms that sear conspiracy theories into the minds of Trump’s supporters,” Clinton continued. “Unless we confront the threats we face, we risk ensuring that last week’s events are only a prelude to an even greater tragedy.”
Clinton, who lost to Trump in the 2016 presidential race, said the Republican “ran for president on a vision of America where whiteness is valued at the expense of everything else” and accused him of giving “white supremacists, members of the extreme right and conspiracy theorists their most powerful platforms” during his time in office.
“By the time he lost in 2020, he had whipped a dangerous element of our country into a frenzy. His supporters began planning their insurrection, making plans to march on the Capitol and ‘stop the steal,’ ” she went on, referring to demonstrations led by the president’s supporters opposing the November election results while he repeated unfounded claims of fraud.
“Trump left no doubt about his wishes, in the lead-up to Jan. 6 and with his incendiary words before his mob descended,” she said.
While Clinton said removing the president “from office is essential,” she also said that congressional members who “joined him in subverting our democracy should resign, and those who conspired with the domestic terrorists should be expelled immediately.”
“But that alone won’t remove white supremacy and extremism from America. There are changes elected leaders should pursue immediately, including advocating new criminal laws at the state and federal levels that hold white supremacists accountable and tracking the activities of extremists such as those who breached the Capitol,” she wrote.
“Twitter and other companies made the right decision to stop Trump from using their platforms, but they will have to do more to stop the spread of violent speech and conspiracy theories,” she continued.
Clinton said the incoming Biden administration will need to “address this crisis in all its complexity and breadth, including holding technology platforms accountable, prosecuting all who broke our laws, and making public more intelligence and analysis about domestic terrorism.”
“Despite the horror of what we saw happen, in the weeks and months ahead the news cycle will move on. We owe it to ourselves not to do the same. We have the strength, the ability and — yes — the imagination to confront what happened and ensure that nothing like it ever happens again. That’s what real patriotism looks like,” she added.
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