It’s been five months since the deadly attack on the US Capitol by a mob of Donald Trump supporters and yet the true source of their motivation remains largely unexamined. The House select committee has now wrapped up its work, but it appears to have left out key details concerning why an armed and violent group attempted to stop Congress from certifying a presidential election.
At the heart of this incident was a dangerous, extremist ideology that has become entrenched in the Republican Party over the past few years. This ideology is based on criminalizing birth control and abortion, outlawing homosexuality, and relegating non-Christians to second-class citizenship. This extreme worldview fuels hate and bigotry, which in turn leads to violence as seen in the insurrection at the Capitol.
Donald Trump was undoubtedly responsible for inciting his followers by spreading lies about losing the 2020’s presidential election against Joe Biden. But it’s important to note that he did not directly inspire them into taking such drastic measures as breaking into one of America’s most sacred spaces. Rather, it was his rhetoric combined with this extremist ideology that pushed these individuals over the edge.
While it is essential to hold Trump accountable for his role in fomenting these events, it is also crucial that we examine how these extremist views have come to be so widely accepted within one political party. It’s clear that unless something changes, we are likely to see more violence along similar lines in future elections unless drastic action is taken against those who espouse such hateful beliefs.
The events at the Capitol were an affront to American democracy and a reminder that our nation must take a hard look at extremism within our own government if we are going to prevent something like this from happening again. We cannot simply ignore or deny what happened; instead, we must work together across parties and ideologies in order to ensure that such hatred never again takes root in our political system. Only then can we begin to restore faith in our democratic institutions and secure a brighter future for all Americans.