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Thomas Gallatin / Jan. 14, 2021

Trump Calls for Peace and Unity

Even as he is impeached a second time, Trump gives a responsible call for calm.

After House Democrats led the charge in voting on Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for an unprecedented second time — this time over the dubious charge of “incitement of insurrection” — the White House released a video message from Trump in which he unequivocally denounced political violence and called for peace and unity.

“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,” Trump stated. “No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. … Now I am asking everyone who has ever believed in our agenda to be thinking of ways to ease tensions, calm tempers, and help to promote peace in our country.”

Noting reports of possible violence arising across the country leading up to or during Joe Biden’s inauguration, Trump urged Americans to “follow our laws and obey the instructions of law enforcement.”

While avoiding mentioning the impeachment, Trump did hit on the unprecedented recent crackdown on free speech by Big Tech. “Efforts to censor, cancel, and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong and they are dangerous,” he asserted. “What is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another.”

Trump is correct. Only through rejecting violence and fostering a willingness to communicate with one another and have good-faith disagreements can any hope for unity be achieved. Those calling for the silencing of people with whom they disagree politically — what the Democrats are currently doing — will only work to stoke the fires of division and hatred. Genuine unity requires offering genuine respect and acceptance of the dignity of those on the other side. Dubious demonization of political opponents only begets anger and intolerance.

(Speech Transcript.)

Fellow Americans,

I want to speak to you tonight about the troubling events of the past week. As I have said, the incursion of the U.S. Capitol struck at the very heart of our republic. It angered and appalled millions of Americans across the political spectrum.

I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week.

Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement. Making America Great Again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement, and upholding our nation’s most sacred traditions and values.

Mob violence goes against everything I believe in, and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans.

If you do any of these things you are not supporting our movement; you’re attacking it, and you are attacking our country. We can not tolerate it.

Tragically over the course of the past year, made so difficult because of COVID-19, we’ve seen political violence spiral out of control. We have seen too many riots, too many mobs, too many acts of intimidation and destruction. It must stop.

Whether you are on the Right or on the Left, a Democrat or a Republican, there is never a justification for violence. No excuses, no exceptions. America is a nation of laws.

Those who engaged in the attacks last week will be brought to justice.

Now, I am asking everyone who has ever believed in our agenda to be thinking of ways to ease tensions, calm tempers, and help to promote peace in our country.

There has been reporting that additional demonstrations are being planned in the coming days both here in Washington and across the country. I have been briefed by the U.S. Secret Service on the potential threats.

Every American deserves to have their voice heard in a respectful and peaceful way. That is your First Amendment right. But I cannot emphasize enough that there must be no violence, no law breaking, and no vandalism of any kind. Everyone must follow our laws and obey the instructions of law enforcement.

I have directed federal agencies to use all necessary resources to maintain order. In Washington, DC, we are bringing in thousands of national guard members to secure the city and ensure that a transition can occur safely and without incident.

Like all of you I was shocked and deeply saddened by the calamity at the Capitol last week. I want to thank the hundreds of millions of incredible American citizens who have responded to this moment with calm, moderation, and grace. We will get through this challenge, just like we always do.

I want to say a few words about the unprecedented assault on free speech we have seen in recent days. These are tense and difficult times. The efforts to censor, cancel, and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong, and they are dangerous.

What is needed now is for us to listen to one another and not to silence one another. All of us can choose by our actions to rise above the rancor and find common ground and shared purpose.

We most focus on advancing the interests of the whole nation, delivering the miracle vaccines, defeating the pandemic, rebuilding the economy, protecting our national security, and upholding the rule of law.

Today, I am calling on all Americans to overcome the passions of the moment and join together as one American people. Let us choose to move forward united, for the good of our families, our communities, and our country.

Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.

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