The lying hasn’t stopped. Now Trump and the Republican Party are spreading a false narrative about the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, depicting it as a peaceful event to save the nation from tyranny. Like any propaganda campaign, this one needs both noise and silence to be effective.
Brazen negations of violence, even when it is amply documented, are central to the playbook used by authoritarians Trump admires, like Vladimir Putin. In fact, for such leaders, the more documentation there is, the greater the triumph in getting people to deny it.
The truth of Jan. 6 — that the insurgents showed rabid hatred of the police officers and security guards — presents a problem, given the pro-law enforcement sentiments of Trump’s base. So it’s best just to flip the script and turn murderous rage into hugs and kisses.
This situation endangers American democracy.
History shows that burying violence creates the conditions for its repetition. If there is no accountability for Jan. 6, we can be sure that unscrupulous elements within the GOP will take that as a green light for them to try other lawless maneuvers in the future in order to return to power — and stay there. The time to set the record straight is now.