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The attack on America: Jan. 6 marks one of this country’s darkest days

A mob riled up by a demagogue storming the seat of government and forcing elected leaders inside to flee is the stuff of the Third World. It is how Mussolini and Hitler got started. It was not part of the American story. Until Donald Trump. Until Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, when thousands of Trump thugs took over the U.S. Capitol as Congress was counting the votes of Joe Biden’s victory. Teach this day of infamy to our children. Teach it so they never forget the depths to which a great democracy can sink when deluded and divided and led by a narcissistic agent of chaos. Teach it so they feel the deep embarrassment, so that they never let it happen again. It was Trump who delivered us to this day. He invited the crowds, incited them, fed them a steady diet of lies and seething grievance about how their nation was being robbed in an elaborate plot ripped from a fever dream. Then, when the mobs claimed the Capitol, he went silent, letting them run roughshod over the seat of government. One protester was killed in the ensuing chaos. Finally speaking for a minute on Twitter hours after the breach, he repeated vicious falsehoods about a rigged and stolen election, then finally told his lemmings “to go home now.” Twitter later removed the video, along other Trump incitements and lies of the day. The president is and always was the insurrectionist in chief. Shame on him, and shame on his lawbreaking followers — the very same people who claimed to revere law and order and loathe anarchy have looted the U.S. Capitol, broken down doors and shattered the glass. They call themselves patriots, then they spit on the American character. They say Make America Great Again, then project an image to the world that this great representative republic has fallen into shambles, incapable of a peaceful transfer of power. Trump and these followers, who once took umbrage at being labeled deplorable, are would-be destroyers of democracy. Ownership for this deepest disgrace is shared by the House and Senate Republicans who objected to the lawful counting of Biden’s electoral college votes; they deliberately encouraged the fantasy of a stolen vote in states that Trump lost. The beast they created doesn’t respond to reason. Even as those lawmakers were debating their nonsensical objection to Arizona’s vote, they were forced to evacuate just like their upright GOP and Democratic colleagues when the mob took over the building, breaching the House and Senate chambers. Trump lost on Nov. 3. His supporters lost. And now the nation is a risk of being lost. This most noble experiment in self-government of free people, begun by a ragged band of farmers and merchants in 1776, must not end with mobs and police and VIPs hustled away to undisclosed secure locations. To explain how they came up short in state after state after state, the votes counted and recounted and challenges considered and dismissed, Trumpites needed to concoct a grand conspiracy. And so, digging deeper and deeper into the bowels of the internet, they did. The Deep State became the Deep Nation, with sworn enemies in every corner manufacturing votes
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