‘Republicans’ rewriting of history normalized Trump’s big lie’

Lis democracy in the United States going to change gender? To pass from the liberal type to the illiberal type? The first anniversary of the January 6, 2021, uprising against the Capitol, the seat of Congress and the heart of democracy in America, flirted with this question. Challenged by Russia and China, the United States would be plagued by “an internal evil” perhaps even more worrying: the regression of its system of government.

At 97, Jimmy Carter, on the 39the president (1977-1981), took up the pen. In the twilight of his life on this earth, the old Baptist did not lose his faith. Corn « [il a] fear for democracy in America”, he said. In a forum entrusted on January 5 to the New York Times, he observes a deep movement, something that nothing seems to have to stop. Over the years, Americans’ loss of confidence in their institutions is accelerating. The subtle mechanism of checks and balances, characteristic of liberal democracy as the founding fathers of the American union wanted it, is contested.

On January 6, 2021, Donald Trump, defeated in the presidential election on November 3, 2020, summoned his supporters to Washington, on the Mall – not a shopping temple, but the grassy esplanade which borders the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, this sacred institutional trilogy of the oldest of Western democracies. A place rich in symbols.

Denial of reality

For weeks, Trump has been calling for this protest. This has one object: to intimidate Congress. The defeated president must leave the White House in the days that follow. He wants to rot the certification ceremony, by the legislator, of the results of the November 2020 elections – perhaps even prevent it. In front of his followers, he repeats the big canards he has been telling for weeks. He was robbed of the election, he won, Joe Biden lost, the Democrats rigged the recounts. You have to walk on the Capitol.

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We know what happened next: the assault, elected officials threatened, vandalism – and seven dead. For three hours, Trump watches (on television), without reacting. Certification will take place. All the judicial bodies seized since November 3, 2020 have concluded that the ballot was regular. Trump is sent back to his wretched electric golf cart at Mar-a-Lago, his Spanish-Moorish estate in Florida.

Trumpism should not have survived the day of shame on January 6, 2021, which should have marked its “swan song”, says political scientist Maya Kandel. Only then, a year later, observes Jimmy Carter, “the promoters of lies ensure control of a political party and stir up distrust of our institutions”. As a result, two-thirds of the Republican electorate consider Joe Biden to be an illegitimate president.

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‘Republicans’ rewriting of history normalized Trump’s big lie’