As we near the anniversary of January 6, investigators are still unearthing the roots of the insurrection that sacked the Capitol and sent members of Congress fleeing for their lives. What we know already, and could not have known then, is that the chaos wrought on that day was integral to a coherent plan. In retrospect, the insurrection takes on the aspect of rehearsal.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for former President Donald Trump and the girlfriend of his son Donald Trump Jr., boasted to a GOP operative that she had raised $3 million for the rally that helped fuel the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. In a series of text messages sent on Jan. 4 to Katrina Pierson, the White House liaison to the event, Guilfoyle detailed her fundraising efforts and supported a push to get far-right speakers on the stage alongside Trump for the rally, which sought to overturn the election of President Joe Biden.
Americans appear to be waking up to the reality that our democracy is on the ropes. Emerging details about how hard Trump lawyer John Eastman pushed his memo with the plan of how Trump could steal the 2020 election, along with the chronology of the events surrounding the January 6 insurrection compiled by reporters for the Washington Post, show that we came perilously close to a successful coup d’état.
“We have a large segment of the country that has opted out of reality and the numbers too high, and we have to deal with the problem and get as many of them back to the reality side of the line over time. But right now a majority of the country is in fact not insane and we watched it play out, we watched Trump incite it, we watched Trump lie about the results of the election, we watched Republicans after it– condemn it–before they forgot it, and before they became complicit in the white washing, I mean what you saw was a fascist mob replete with extremist groups– storm and murder in the Capital of the United States– defecating in the hallways of the temples of democracy–urinating on the walls, carrying the confederate flag through the rotunda, ending [this country’s history of] the peaceful transition of power — we now know that there was a plan, there is a memo, there were meetings in the oval office around that memo: for the American president to deny the result of the freest and fairest election in American history and try to become a dictator. That’s what happened. It couldn’t be more serious.”
By establishing an unholy alliance with people and values entirely contrary to what they claim their own moral and religious commitments to be, white evangelicalism has shown itself to be an emperor with no clothes.
An army of 8,000 pro-Trump demonstrators streamed down Pennsylvania Avenue after hearing Trump speak near the White House. Sund’s outer perimeter on the Capitol’s west side was breached within 15 minutes. With 1,400 Capitol Police officers on duty, his forces were quickly overrun.“If we would have had the National Guard we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive,” he said.
During the past four years, the right-wing ecosystem became more and more rabid. Many prominent evangelical supporters of the president are either obsequious, like Franklin Graham, or delusional, like Eric Metaxas, and they now peddle their delusions as being written by God. QAnon and the Proud Boys, Newsmax and One America News, Alex Jones and Tucker Carlson—all have been emboldened.