Three years ago, on January 6, 2021, the U.S. Capitol was stormed by a mob intent on overturning the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. This event — the January 6th insurrection — was a direct attack on the democratic process and the peaceful transition of power, a cornerstone of American democracy. As we mark the third anniversary of this event, we must take time to reflect on its implications, especially in the context of the upcoming Presidential Election.
The Role of Trump and the MAGA Movement
The insurrection was not a spontaneous event. It was the culmination of a series of actions and rhetoric from then-President Donald Trump and his supporters, particularly those aligned with the Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement. Trump’s promotion of false and debunked theories of election fraud and efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election played a significant role in inciting the insurrection.
The House Jan. 6 committee’s final report asserts that Trump criminally engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 election. Despite these charges, Trump has continued to lie about the 2020 election and has built a commanding lead in the Republican primary. His influence within the GOP remains strong, with many of his rivals refraining from criticizing him about Jan. 6.
The Real And Present Threat to Democracy
The insurrection was a stark reminder of the fragility of our democracy. It demonstrated how misinformation, partisan division, and the refusal to accept legitimate election results could lead to violence and chaos. The insurrectionists’ actions were a direct assault on the democratic process, aiming to overturn a free and fair election.
The insurrection has also had a lasting impact on the political landscape. It has hardened views along partisan lines and has been used as a political rallying cry by both Democrats and Republicans. The MAGA movement, despite its association with the insurrection, continues to be a significant force within the Republican Party.
Given the GOP’s enthusiastic support for Trump and the MAGA movement, defeating them in the upcoming election is preeminent for the preservation of liberal democracy in the U.S. The MAGA movement’s influence poses a dual threat: a potential landslide in the 2024 election and the potential for another violent coup attempt if the election results are not in their favor.
The oath-breaking support of MAGA/Trump by elected members of the GOP is not just about political alignment. It’s about endorsing a narrative that undermines the democratic process. They are actively working to end democracy in America. All of them, even those that support Trump’s challengers — since all but one challenger refuses to denounce MAGA and would support a second Trump term — are determined to hold on to or further seize power, and have dark designs on America’s future.
On this day, we must remember the event’s significance and its implications for our future. The insurrection was not just an isolated event; it was a symptom of more profound issues within the American political system, particularly the spread of misinformation, the increasing partisan divide, and the erosion of democratic norms.
The upcoming Presidential Election will be a vital test for American democracy. It will determine whether the U.S. can move past the shadow of the hate, fear, and violence and reaffirm its commitment to democratic values. The defeat of the GOP and the MAGA movement will be a crucial step in this process, signaling a rejection of the insurrection and the attack on democracy it represents. It is, quite literally, the only thing that matters when American head to the polls on November 5, 2024.
In the end, the best way to honor this third anniversary of the January 6th insurrection is by reaffirming our commitment to democracy and the peaceful transition of power. It’s by remembering that democracy is not just about voting; it’s about respecting the results of free and fair elections, even when we don’t agree with them. And most importantly, it’s about standing up against those who would undermine these principles for their own political gain.