Detailed analysis shows Trump has become 'more extreme' and 'less tethered to reality'
Gage Skidmore.

The Washington Post has done a lengthy analysis of former President Donald Trump's statements over the last three years and has found that his rhetoric has become "more extreme" and "less tethered to reality."

In particular, the Post points to Trump's rhetoric surrounding the January 6th Capitol riots.

Even though Trump initially condemned the riots in their immediate aftermath, he has since called January 6th a "beautiful day" and has said he's inclined to pardon many of the people who illegally broke into the United States Capitol building and send lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

The Post has also found that Trump's election denial claims have gotten progressively more extreme ever since he left office.

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"Not only has Trump never acknowledged his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, but over time his false claims of rampant fraud have become more elaborate," the publication writes. "In the past, he attacked the expansion of mail voting during the pandemic to suggest the Democrats could have inflated their tallies; now he claims (falsely) to have definitively found millions of fraudulent ballots stuffed into drop boxes."

New York University historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an expert on authoritarian movements, tells the Post that Trump's increasingly extreme rhetoric fits a pattern she's seen in past authoritarian figures.

“When authoritarian leaders lose office, they come back, like, 10 times worse — they never get less extreme, they always get more extreme,” she told the Post. “January 6 was a profoundly radicalizing event for the base, for the GOP and for Trump himself, because even assaulting the Capitol you could get away with. His campaign events have to be seen as that of an extremist radicalizing people and emotionally reeducating people to hate people.”