In a column by Fred Hiatt, the Washington Post writer explained that Trumpism and all that it entitles is now being mainstreamed by not just the GOP but interest groups like The Japan-American Society of Washington, D.C.
His Sunday column cited the group's embrace of Donald Trump's former Japanese ambassador-turned-senator, Bill Hagerty (R-TN), who was a "featured guest" and "honorary chairman" of the Japan-American Society event gala this week.
Hagerty, who replaced retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), backed Hagerty "enthusiastically."
"Alexander was such a fervent supporter, in fact, that whenever he was silent in the face of some Trump depredation, the explanation I heard was the same: 'Lamar doesn't want to do anything to make Hagerty's life more difficult on the campaign trail.' Alexander believed that Hagerty would be a credit to the Senate long after Trump was gone," wrote Hiatt.
Hagerty was among those, along with fellow Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn, who continues to say that President Joe Biden isn't the legitimate president of the United States. During the attack on the Capitol, he condemned the violence, and hours later turned around and supported what ultimately caused the violence.
Hagerty isn't the only one downplaying the seriousness of the election lies, Trumpism and the violence that unfolded on Jan. 6. Conservative Alice Stewart tried to downplay the seriousness of the GOP's refusal to accept the 2020 election, saying that there is no "crisis" happening with elections.
This week, Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin similarly attempted to paint the Jan. 6 attack as a "peaceful protest," and led a rally crowd in worshiping the American flag carried through the violence.
Japan-America Society claims that they always ask the former ambassador to events.
"This is an invitation that the Society has presented to every returning U.S. ambassador to Japan in living memory. We're proud of our non-partisan role advancing strong people to people ties between the United States and Japan," the group told Hiatt in an email.
But Hiatt said that "there's an argument to be made that, at times of intense partisanship, it's more valuable than ever that people from across the spectrum can encounter each other in nonpartisan arenas such as the Japan-America Society. Certainly, the harm of the society's invitation is less than the damage inflicted on democracy when Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) welcomes Trump's embrace at a campaign rally, or when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) self-brainwashes to start denying the truth of Jan. 6 — or when Hagerty himself, even though he doesn't have to face the voters again for six years, nonetheless feels the need to indulge Trump's lie."