As the one-year anniversary of the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 approaches, news outlets, media figures, and various lawmakers are sounding off on what they believe are the key events that sparked a mob of Trump supporters to storm the Capitol. According to some, former President Donald Trump's grip on the Republican Party is even stronger now than it was on Jan. 6, 2021.
“We now have a major political party that is embracing violence systematically,” Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank, told The Guardian. “They’re rewriting the events of January 6. They’re referring, as President Trump does, to these people as patriots. They are stirring up a minority.”
As David Smith of The Guardian noted, despite the riot's death toll of 5 people and the extensive damage it wrought, some 147 Republicans still voted to overturn the election results later that night. "It was the first clue that Trump had burrowed too far down into the party’s foundations to be expunged – and that anyone who tried would themselves be purged," he writes, adding that the second clue came after Trump was impeached for the second time and acquitted.
"Today the loudest voices in the Republican party belong to the extremists. For them, Trump’s 'big lie' that the election was stolen from him due to voter fraud, rendering Biden an illegitimate president, goes hand in hand with the lie that the insurrection was a morally justified crusade, a righteous endeavor to save democracy, not destroy it," Smith writes.
Kurt Bardella, a former GOP congressional aide, told The Guardian that Jan. 6 will go down in history as the day the Republican party surrendered to “an anti-democratic terrorist cell."
“I have long said that January 6 was merely a dress rehearsal for how Republicans intend to try to hijack free and fair democratic elections in this country going forward,” Bardella said.
Read more at The Guardian.