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Uncovering the Real Cost of Trump’s Jan. 6 Revisionism

In the days leading up to the historic January 6th storming of the United States Capitol by a mob of insurrectionists, President Donald Trump sought to downplay the severity of the event. Any reasonable observer would argue that Trump’s attempts to revisionism just how bad that day really was are deeply misguided—at best.

Undoubtedly, the events that occurred on January 6, 2021 were an unmistakable chillingly violent attack on the very foundations of the American Democratic Republic. The level of betrayal and sedition demonstrated by those who perpetuated the attack was abhorrent, and the subsequent impact it had on the spirit of American democracy is beyond question. Yet despite this, President Trump has gone to great lengths in an attempt to minimize the culpability of those who carried out the attack, and instead shifted the blame for the violence onto others.

In the days after the attack, when it was clear that some of the rioters had incited others to launch the assault, Trump released a statement claiming that the attack was an “expression of peaceful protest.” Such revisionist jedi-mind-trickery was employed to distance himself from the violence, while simultaneously attempting to paint the violence in a more palatable light.

This was not the only instance of Trump’s revisionism. After the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach him for his role in inciting the attack, Trump referred to the events of Jan. 6 as “merely a ‘continuation’ of the ‘largely peaceful protests.'” Not only was this claim completely unfounded, it was also deeply insulting to the innocent lives that were lost that day.

Trump’s attempts to re-write what happened that day are extremely disturbing, as his description of the events is not only largely false, but they are also dangerous lies. Trump has sought to normalize the level of violence from the attack, and in doing so, he is setting a dangerously low bar for what is considered acceptable behavior in the United States.

The sad truth is that we cannot rely on Trump to accurately—or honestly—describe the events that occurred that day. Although it may be difficult to accept, the violence inflicted upon the Capitol building on January 6, 2021 was both abhorrent and unacceptable, regardless of what revisionist narrative Trump is now pushing.

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