Shortly after the failed insurrection on Jan 6., 2021, Trump was urged by his advisors to disavow the attack, which he did grudgingly. He issued a statement saying that the attack was something that “all Americans were horrified by” and “can never be tolerated,” but he delivered it like he was in a hostage video. Link to The Washington Post article here.
Predictably, he has essentially disavowed that disavowal.
Now, as Trump seeks to return to the White House, he speaks of Jan. 6 as “a beautiful day.” He says there was no reason for police to shoot the rioter attempting to break into the House chamber, and he denies there was any danger to his vice president, Mike Pence, who was hiding from a pro-Trump mob chanting for him to be hanged. He has promised to pardon many rioters if he becomes president again.
On this and a host of subjects, from sexual assault to foreign and domestic policy, Trump’s positions have become even more extreme, his tone more confrontational, his accounts less tethered to reality, according to a Washington Post review of Trump’s speeches and interviews with former aides. Where he was at times ambiguous or equivocal, he’s now brazenly defiant.
Of course, the alarming thing is how many Republican voters have enthusiastically gone with him down this path.
In the article, historian at New York University Ruth Ben-Ghiat, said:
“When authoritarian leaders lose office, they come back, like, 10 times worse — they never get less extreme, they always get more extreme,. 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.”
Author: Ruben Bolling