Donald Trump’s supporters in front of The Capitol, January 6, 2021 (Leah Millis/Reuters)
In the latest America Unfiltered podcast, Liam Kennedy and I move beyond a summary of the Capitol attack and Donald Trump’s “attempted coup” to ask if US politics and society are broken.
We agree on the significance of the week’s developments, and on effects such as the split within the Republican Party between the establishment faction and the Trumpists.
But we differ on what lies ahead. Liam is pessimistic that the attack continues to represent the attitude of “millions” of Americans. I think that, even for many who bought into Trump’s disinformation, a line has been crossed with the assault on a symbol of America and the contradiction in the message about “law and order”.
KENNEDY: America is so profoundly split that all this talk about [President-elect Joe] Biden healing and pulling things together is nonsense….I think what we saw inside that building represented the true America: distorted, frightening, violent. I think what we saw is where America is today.
LUCAS: There were only several hundred people there. It’s not like we saw 10,000s in Washington or in other cities….
It is one thing to hit the Democrats, to hit the liberals, to hit the Chinese, to hit immigrants, to hit Blacks.
It’s different when they hit the Capitol.
We test these ideas through a look at both politics and “spectacular performance”, and with the hopeful possibility of Georgia’s Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff — respectively, the 2nd Black Senator from the South since the 1870s and the 3rd Jewish Senator from the region — heading to Washington.