The proper penalty for treason

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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The President of the United States orders his supporters to descend on Washington D.C. the day Congress counts the electoral ballots. He, his son, and his lawyer speak to the mob to egg them on (Trump promised to march to the Capitol with them; Donald Trump Jr.: "We're coming for you and we're gonna have a good time doing it!"; Rudi Giuliani: "Let's have trial by combat"). The rioters then march unimpeded to Congress where the Capitol police invite them in, some taking selfies with these domestic terrorists, but one policeman is beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. 

Congress flees in terror for their lives as the rioters trash the offices of senators and congressmen. Sen. Josh Hawley fist-pumps the rioters, and Sen. Ted Cruz was still fundraising on the basis of his (and Hawley's) incitement of the mob even after they had breached the Capitol building [i]. Every senator and representative who attempted to block congressional confirmation of the electoral college vote knew full well that the election was fair and Biden's victory was overwhelming. They were engaging in political theater, purely to stoke the hatred of democracy their supporters thrive on.

These individuals are guilty of treason. They knowingly aided and abetted an attempt to violently overthrow the United States Government. 

What should their penalty be? The penalty for treason is death, and this remedy would be fully justified. However, perhaps we should not descend to the level of the lame duck Trump regime, who have been busily executing a record-breaking number of prisoners on death row, just for sport [ii]. I would be content if the Ivy League-educated, pampered rich boys who perpetrated this assault on American democracy (Giuliani, Cruz, Hawley and other congressional enablers, the entire Trump family) were sentenced to live out the rest of their lives in a trailer park, among their core constituency who were the targets of their political theater. 

This would give plenty of time for these rich snobs to explain to their supporters why they should appreciate the GOP keeping the minimum wage at $7.25, refusing to provide single-payer health insurance, taking away their pensions, their Social Security, and their Medicare, leading to the American health system costing double that of any other advanced nation while being at the bottom in health-care quality of [iii].

[i] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9123831/Cruz-claims-doing-job-trying-overturn-Bidens-victory-MAGA-mobs-rampage.html

[ii] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55236260

[iii] The U.S. spends more on health care as a share of the economy — nearly twice as much as the average OECD country — yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates among the 11 nations. U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective, 2019: Higher Spending, Worse Outcomes? | Commonwealth Fund

Tom DeCoursey

Oak Park

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