'Unity Demands Accountability'
Editor's Note: Steve Schmidt is one of the founding members of the Lincoln Project. He is a communications and public affairs strategist who has worked on several Republican campaigns, including John McCain's 2008 bid for the White House, and he is now a regular political contributor to MSNBC. On Wednesday, Schmidt expressed his thoughts on today's transition of power in a series of six tweets. MaxNewsToday has assembled this thread and reprinted it as one easy-to-read op-ed for our ongoing segment, Schmidt Storm. It has been edited for grammar and clarity. The tradition of the peaceful transition of power dates back to 1797, when George Washington left office and John Adams became President. That process, the greatest invention in American history, endured until 2021. There will be a transfer of Executive power today, but it has not been peaceful. Six people died because of Donald Trump’s incitement to insurrection. The peaceful transition of power in this country is not a moment, it is a process prescribed by the Constitution. That process was soaked in blood because of the sedition of the highest ranking political leaders in the country. Unity demands accountability for the most un-American acts since the Civil War. Media covering the Inauguration should stop referring to today’s events as a continuation of the peaceful transition of power, because it wasn’t. We are burdened as a society by a collective memory span that resembles something akin to collective amnesia. The inability of us to face hard realities, and even reality itself, has caused a catastrophe in America. The American story begins a new chapter today. Let us be optimistic, but let’s also understand that optimism and hope cannot be built on the soft sands of delusion. There is only one reality. There is no such thing as alternate facts. The truth and decency matter. Trump departed in disgrace today. He left without class, dignity or decorum. The breathless coverage around his leaving a note in the Resolute Desk for President Biden after his unspeakable vandalism and poisoning of democracy is a reason for pessimism, because it signals that even at this late hour, too many explicators still can’t understand what Trump wrought.