The Failed Fascist Coup and the Futility of “Reconciliation”

It is possible to be simultaneously unsurprised and jolted by an event. It was one thing to know that the wannabe dictator Donald Trump and his shrinking band were going to pull some demented stunt in a last-ditch attempt to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. It was another thing to watch his frenzied, unmasked, and Confederate flag-carrying minions break into the United States Capitol, forcing House and Senate members and the Vice President to evacuate the congressional chamber while trying to fulfill their formerly routine quadrennial and constitutional duty of certifying the Electoral College victory of the nation’s next president. Some of the marauders came with zip tie handcuffs for taking Congresspersons hostage.

Make no mistake: the bloody attack on the U.S. Capitol – with a death toll of five by Friday afternoon – was the Trump circle’s handiwork. After months of disseminating baseless electoral fraud conspiracies and lending his presence to two previous violent rampages in Washington, Trump sent his Trumpenvolk terrorists over to Capitol Hill. Once the assault began, he refused to condemn it. His first address to the nation after the mayhem broke out threw kerosene on the fire by doubling down on his preposterous claim to have been cheated out of a “landslide” re-election.

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Paul Street’s latest book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America (London: Routledge, 2022).

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