It’s dangerous to downplay events like the insurrection and normalize the use of violence in the face of political disagreements. We’ve already seen members of Congress fleeing for their lives and law enforcement officers putting themselves in harm’s way. Now, extremists with a worldview built on the Big Lie’s rotten foundation are sowing chaos at the local level.
This foul spirit will keep growing stronger as long as Republicans refuse to condemn extremists within the party. People like the January 6 insurrectionists and the rising tide of extremism at the local level represent a grave threat to our democracy. If we are going to stop the use of threats and actual acts of violence from becoming the norm, Republicans have one choice: Reject the Big Lie playbook or embolden future extremists.