The Atlantic Daily: The Biggest Threat to America Now Isn’t a Coup
It’s been one year since the Capitol riot. American democracy is no safer today than it was that afternoon. Plus: Our happiness columnist offers some advice on charitable giving.
One year ago, the siege began. Politicians and their staffers ran for cover as the Capitol effectively became a war zone.
When the haze cleared, we vowed not to forget. But the attack on American democracy did not end that day. A year later, it has only deepened: The Republican Party, supported by elites who’ve turned against democracy, has put the Big Lie and specious claims of voter fraud at the center of its platform. Now fewer than half of its voters accept the 2020 election results.
At The Atlantic, which has covered the crisis from the start, we devoted our latest issue, plus a slate of stories published today, to the continuing fallout.
- Trumpists believe in a crisis that simply doesn’t exist. “The effect is driving Republicans in polls to embrace previously taboo ideas, such as political violence,” David A. Graham writes.
- Trump’s next coup is already under way. “He is preparing in plain view to do it again, and his position is growing stronger,” Barton Gellman reports in our latest cover story.
- It’s time for Democrats to break the glass—and pass voting-rights reform. “The next few weeks will mark a crucial test of whether they can muster the unity and determination to do so,” Ronald Brownstein writes.
- But the former president may not need to steal the 2024 election. “If the nation continues on this course, Trump may return to office not only with popular legitimacy,” Adam Serwer warns, “but with what he and his cronies will interpret as a mandate to pursue an authoritarian agenda Americans were only barely spared the last time around.”
Further reading: In his newsletter, David French offers a thought experiment: What if Vice President Mike Pence had said yes on January 6?
The news in three sentences:
(1) President Joe Biden condemned the January 6 attack in a speech. (2) Global coronavirus cases hit a record-setting 9.5 million last week, according to the World Health Organization. (3) Dozens were killed amid unrest in Kazakhstan.
Today’s Atlantic-approved activity:
Give money to charity, but don’t tell anyone about it.
A break from the news:
Not everyone catches baby fever. That’s okay.