Conservative writer David Frum said the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol by President Donald Trump's supporters was a "secession from American democracy."
The former speechwriter for George W. Bush said Wednesday's violence was part of an increasingly intense assault on democratic institutions by Trump and his right-wing followers, and Frum said it was important to note that it was aided and abetted by some of the most powerful political elites in the U.S. -- and not just the president.
"The violence has become increasingly organized," Frum told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday. "We've had the organized attempt to kidnap the governor of Michigan and we have had attacks on state legislatures before. This should not have come as a surprise. It was advertised well in advance. Anybody with a Facebook account, everybody could see it happening in real time, and the police had every reason to know that it was coming. It was announced, and the president himself urged it beforehand, promised Jan. 6 would be a wild day, endorsed it in his statement afterwards, 'I love you,' and important this very morning, important voices in American life are praising or at least sympathizing, condoning the violence."
The president and his allies in right-wing media encouraged the violence through lies about the election won by Joe Biden, and Frum said that was extremely dangerous for democracy.
"The whole thing was in service of an idea about this election that was untrue," he said. "One of the regular talk show hosts who supports the president on Twitter said who are these people? Where did they come from? It was [Fox News host] Mark Levin who wrote the article urging that Vice President [Mike] Pence set aside the election on Jan. 6 and President Trump re-tweeted Mark Levin's article calling for the election to be set aside. How is that to happen except by violent force? So many people were in on this and they're going to be today winking or denying it or justifying it or condoning it. This is not an isolated incident. This is not the work of a lone wolf. This represents a secession from American democracy of the political elite."
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