A dire warning about America's future: Here's how Trump's Jan. 6 coup attempt was a success
Kevin McCarthy on Facebook.

As the anniversary of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots approach and a nation reflects, it's worth begging the question: could it be that the attempted coup was a test for something on a much larger scale to come? The attempted coup didn't actually "fail" - it lit the fuse on a party turned completely upside down and spiraling to find a new normal in the chaos.

"The most threatening aspect of January 6th was not the ferocious attack on the Capitol but the response of Republican officeholders thereafter. Even after the unleashing of medieval mob violence; even after the erection of a gallows; even after members had been forced to run for their lives; even after the deaths and injuries; even after all of that and more, 147 Republican members of Congress voted not to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the presidency," The Bulwark's Mona Charen wrote.

Charen offered a dire warning about the future of American democracy.

"The transformation of the GOP from a political party into an authoritarian personality cult became official that day. McCarthy’s bootlicking visit to Mar-a-Lago in late January 2021 merely provided the visual," she wrote.

READ: Bob Woodward’s book reveals damning details about Josh Hawley’s role in Trump’s attempted coup: Missouri newspaper

"For everyone who had convinced themselves that, whatever [former President Donald] Trump’s flaws, the true threat to the American way of life lay on the left and only on the left, January 6th was a blaring klaxon. Yes, Trump was a buffoon and incompetent and unfamiliar with the levers of power—and yet this clown nearly brought a 232-year-old democracy to its knees," Charen wrote. "Had it not been for 1) a half-dozen or so Republican officeholders at the state level who demonstrated basic integrity, and 2) the unwillingness of Mike Pence to perform as Trump had commanded, the outcome could have been very different. As George F. Will said, 'I would like to see January 6th burned into the American mind as firmly as 9/11 because it was that scale of a shock to the system.'"

Trump may have been guessing where the pressure points existed one year ago on Jan. 6, but "institutions are not self-sustaining. They are composed of people, and if people have lost faith in them, or have given themselves permission to break the rules, they will crumble," Charen warned.