No.

No to more abuse. No to appeasement. No to the false appeals for “healing.”

It is ridiculous, though predictable, that the enablers of the current president are now calling for “reconciliation and healing.” They tell us that if we insist that Trump and the mob that tried to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election committed treason and try to hold them accountable, they’ll just get angrier and probably do it again.

Breaking News: They’ll do it again anyway. The choices are impeach, expel, and punish, knowing there’s a risk of additional upheaval or violence; or live through more upheaval and violence but don’t enforce our laws or follow the Constitution. There were already indications that plans for more “protests” were being planned, including one for January 17, which was one of the reasons given by Twitter in its explanation why it suspended the president’s account.

The “give me one more chance” gambit is also familiar to domestic abuse victims. Too often, the abuser pleads with their victim not to press charges, to give them another chance, because facing trial and going to jail is only going to make them more angry. And too often, the victim goes along with it, only to regret it later when more abuse is all too predictably dished out. To be clear, this is never the victim’s fault; the blame always lies squarely with the abuser.

No, we’re not going to pretend it didn’t happen or turn the other cheek. The only way the rule of law works is if we enforce the laws. Everyone involved with the disgraceful episode in the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday needs to be identified, arrested, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Appeasement will not work, in particular with fascists or neo-Nazis who are taking their cues from the rise of the Third Reich. It certainly didn’t work for Neville Chamberlain in September 1938. Just under a year later, Germany invaded Poland and World War II started.

We must stand up to the bullies or they will keep working to overturn our system of government. Once we’ve lost it, it will be very difficult if not impossible to get it back.