Capitol Riot

  • Don't Defend Democracy With Half-Truths About the Past

    by Brook Thomas

    Although the Capitol riots raised deep concern about the rule of law, there is a deeper challenge ahead of the nation: to understand and change the undemocratic aspects of our foundational law and refuse half-measures in the name of unity.

  • January 6, 2021: A Day of Populist Transgression

    by Robert A. Schneider

    The Capitol riot included a small core of actors bent on destruction, with many more along for the ride reveling in a moment of transgression. In this way, it was a microcosm of the Trumpian movement that, now unleashed, will be difficult to contain.

  • Political Violence: Still as American as Cherry Pie

    by Alan J. Singer

    SNCC leader H. Rap Brown declared that violence was "American as cherry pie" in 1967. Though his remarks were scorned then, he was correct, and no movement for justice can succeed without acknowledging it.   

  • January 6 Was Just One Day in a Sustained Campaign

    by Richard H. Pildes

    A constitutional law professor argues for a broad perspective in the Senate trial; the questions at stake for the rule of law and Trump's accountability for a months-long effort to undermine democracy are too important to focus only on January 6. 

  • You Call This a Peaceful Transfer of Power?

    by Philip Gerard

    "If we watched this scene play out in Argentina, Turkey, Ukraine, or Thailand, we would bemoan the failure of democracy, write about a fragile government battling rebel insurgents in its own capital, make dire predictions about how long such a government could stand."

  • Unforgettable Images, and Something New in TV News

    by Ron Steinman

    A month past the Capitol Riots, a veteran television news journalist observes that the coverage of the chaotic protest and breach of the Capitol relied on something new: masses of journalists and citizens (including the rioters) recording video on their phones where TV cameras couldn't operate, forming a rich and important composite of the day's events. 

  • Senate Must Punish Trump For Capitol Riot: Commentary

    by David Marks

    "Inciting lethal violence against the government, based on lies and selfish goals, has grave consequences. And considering the likelihood that some angry devotees will continue to be violent in the wake of Trump’s ongoing unwarranted assertions, legal action is obligatory."

  • Did Trump and His Supporters Commit Treason?

    Carlton F.W. Larson has studied the legal history of treason. Until January 6, he argued that critics of Donald Trump were off base in leveling that charge. 

  • January 6: Not Who We Are?

    Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson discusses the Capitol riots, arguing that violence has long been a part of the battle for political legitimacy and authority in America. 

  • Only Accountability Will Allow the U.S. to Move Forward

    by Mitch Landrieu

    Full accountability for the Capitol Riot is essential lest white supremacists and other extremists take the lesson that their actions are accepted and permitted. The white supremacist massacres of the post-Reconstruction period show that moving on without accountability is impossible. 

  • When the Threat of Political Violence Is Real

    by Joanne B. Freeman

    Republican calls for unity refuse to claim responsibility and in some cases level the threat of further violence to bully colleagues out of holding Trump and his allies accountable for the Capitol riots of January 6. This is reminiscent of the climate of threat and violence in Congress in the 19th century ahead of the Civil War.

  • What Americans Across the Political Spectrum Got Wrong About the Attempted Insurrection

    by Corrie Decker and Elisabeth McMahon

    American reactions to the Capitol insurrection made implicit and explicit comparisons to the developing world, reflecting the way that American exceptionalism has grown out of the Enlightenment's hierarchical and racist ranking of civilizations with Europe (and America) on top and Africa at the bottom. 

  • A Practical Path to Condemn and Disqualify Donald Trump

    by Philip Zelikow

    The standard of proof required for the Senate to bar Donald Trump from holding office under the 14th Amendment only demands that Trump gave aid and comfort to enemies of the Constitution, not that he participated in an insurrection. As his own words demonstrate that he did, this path should be followed.