All those calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump are right. He needs to go. It would be a horrible mistake to let his attempt at a coup go unanswered. Folks on Twitter rage tweeting at Republican members of Congress—particularly Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz—who support Trump’s lie that the presidential election was stolen from him are alse also right. These seditious Trump sycophants should be removed from office.

But when I learned that Trump-inspired rioters had violently stormed the Capital, my first response wasn’t anger with Trump, Hawley, Cruz, or the Confederate flag wavers who’d commandeered the Senate chamber. It was with every political white moderate (mostly family members and friends) who have advised me numerous times over the past four years to chill out. Trump, I was told repeatedly, didn’t really affect my life. Why was I so angry? Why couldn’t I just settle down? Why do I need to be so political?

It turns out that I wasn’t overreacting. They were underreacting.

I still find it shocking that out of the many, many people who have worked in GOP politics over the years, only a comparative handful rejected Trump. You would have thought that many more would have joined Never Trumpers like Rick Wilson, George Conway, Max Boot, Bill Kristol, Tom Nichols, Jennifer Rubin, Steve Schmidt, George Will, and Richard Painter, et al. But no. The vast majority of the GOP elite were totally cool with the 2017 tax cuts and the judicial nominees. And only one—Utah Sen. Mitt Romney—voted to impeach the president.

But to this day, I cannot fathom the capacity of white moderates to ignore the corruption, cruelty, and crassness of behavior that has defined presidential politics over the last four years. Their response to one degradation after another betrays a smallness of mind and selfishness of spirit.

In response to Trump’s policy of taking children from their parents at the Southern border—a clear violation of US law as well as international law governing human rights—the white moderate tutted that if migrants from Central America wanted to live in the United States, then they should have entered the country legally.

In response to the Trump Administration’s inaction against the pandemic—which has resulted in the deaths of over 340,000 US residents who might have otherwise lived—the white moderate has complained about the local closure of golf courses, restaurants, and schools.

In response to Trump’s acts of nepotism, cronyism, and patronage, which have cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, the white moderate has opined that all politicians do it.

In response to Trump’s encouragement of violence against Black Indigenous People of Color protesting police murder and violence, the white moderate has complained about the destruction of property during this past summer’s Black Lives Matters protests.

This failure to take breaches of law, decency, and norms seriously by tens of millions of American voters tells political leaders like Trump, Hawley, and Cruz that they can get away with anything. And up until now, they have.

The proper response to Wednesday's insurrection at the United States Capital—Mitt Romney’s descriptor, not mine—is impeachment of Trump and his Congressional enablers, and criminal prosecution of the terrorists who seized the building.

How will the white moderate respond? By describing yesterday’s insurrection as a protest, and by rejecting the deeply conservative idea that people should be held accountable for their actions, most especially when those acts include sedition, the first cousin of treason. They will claim that impeachment and criminal prosecution would sow further “division” at a time when the country needs to “come together to heal.”

Even after yesterday, most of them still won’t get it. And so despite the fact that President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris have been officially recognized by Congress as the winners of the 2020 election, the movement to resist Trumpism is by no means over.

Susan Ryan-Vollmar, a communications consultant, was formerly editor-in-chief of Bay Windows and news editor of the Boston Phoenix.