A local TV news producer asked me what I wanted to emphasize about what we saw and heard today. (I’m doing an interview with them tomorrow.) Here’s what I said:
A couple of things:
- This was a fire, lit by Trump, and fanned by cynical Republicans trying to advance their own political fortunes by playing to his most devoted followers. Once you unleash these forces no one should be surprised if they get burned. It will be interesting to see if the events of today lead any in Congress to walk back their efforts to challenge the Electoral College results.
- The Republican Party as we have known it since the 1960s is dead. I do not know how the Mitt Romney wing and the Josh Hawley et al. faction will be able to coexist after today. The Trump cult of personality has become the base of the Republican Party. This is the culmination of forces that began with Nixon’s Southern Strategy and really coalesced with the Tea Party movement of the 2010s.
- Biden will be president come Jan. 20.
- Our democracy is far more fragile than most people, myself included, had been willing to acknowledge.
- America has not been this divided against itself since the 1860s. I don’t know what can be done to heal that.
But then again, maybe tomorrow will dawn and things will look brighter. But I’m not counting on it.