Retailers call on Trump to end the national chaos he created
Along with most American citizens, business leaders watched with horror yesterday as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol following an incendiary speech by President Donald Trump in which he claimed that he had won the election and that leadership of the country was being stolen from him and his supporters.
Mr. Trump, in a speech shortly before rioters overwhelmed law enforcement authorities and began illegally occupying the Capitol, told those in attendance that his loss in November was nothing less than an “egregious assault on democracy.”
He derided his own vice president and Congressional leaders for meeting yesterday to perform their constitutional duty to read the Electoral College results certified by individual states. The President told his supporters that after his speech, “We’re going to walk down [to the Capitol] and I’ll be there with you.”
Many reacting to yesterday’s events from the business community deplored the conduct of rioters and those who had misled them into thinking they were engaged in a patriotic rather than seditious act.
“The events at the US Capitol today were nothing less than an attack on our democracy,” the Retail Industry Leaders Association said in a statement. “At a time when our elected officials were meant to perform a routine yet powerfully symbolic function of the peaceful transfer of power, they were met with a violent mob, incited by the President of the United States and his agents.”
“It’s time for men and women of goodwill in government to denounce the conspiracy theories and cancerous rhetoric employed by those cravenly attempting to capitalize on political chaos. All those trafficking in sedition must be rebuked,” according to the group representing the nation’s largest retailers.
Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Manufacturers Association, issued a statement calling on Vice President Mike Pence to “seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.” Invoking the amendment with the support of the cabinet would result in Mr. Trump’s removal from office.
After the Capitol was stormed, Mr. Trump belatedly issued a video message to his supporters in which he asked them to end their action but not before falsely maintaining that the election had been stolen. “Go home. We love you. You’re very special,” he said.
- Donald Trump Speech “Save America” Rally Transcript January 6 – Rev
- Trump Video Telling Protesters at Capitol Building to Go Home: Transcript – Rev
- RILA Statement on Capitol Protests – Retail Industry Leaders Association
- Manufacturers Call on Armed Thugs to Cease Violence at Capitol – National Manufacturers Association
- Business Roundtable – Twitter
- NRF Issues Statement about Riots in the Nation’s Capital – National Retail Federation
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How should retailers and brands communicate with their stakeholders about yesterday’s riot at the Capitol? Do you think it is the business community’s responsibility to call for Donald Trump to step down as President of the United States?