Trump uses the Capitol assault as the cornerstone of his campaign to return to the White House


In launching his campaign for the general election, former President Donald Trump has not only rewritten the history of the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, but he has placed the violent siege and his failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election as the cornerstone of his campaign to return to the White House.

At a rally held over the weekend in Ohio, the first he held as the virtual presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Trump, standing on stage, placed his hand on the visor of his red MAGA cap in a salute, while a recorded choir of prisoners jailed for their participation in the January 6 attack sang the American national anthem.

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A presenter asked the crowd to stand "for the hostages of January 6, horribly and unfairly treated". And the people did, and they sang.

"They were incredible patriots," Trump said when the recording ended.

He promised to help "the first day we take office" the detainees, whom he had already promised to pardon.

Initially relegated as a secondary theory on the margins of the Republican Party, the revisionist history of January 6, which Trump amplified in the early days of the Republican campaign for the primary election in order to incite his most devout voters, remains a central piece in the rallies, even when the pre-candidate must attract a wider audience to win the general election.

By praising the insurgents, Trump transfers the blame for his own participation in the period prior to the bloody siege and asks voters to absolve hundreds of them, and himself, for the deadliest attack against the headquarters of one of the powers of the United States in 200 years.

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At the same time, Trump's allies install deniers of the 2020 election in the Republican National Committee, further institutionalizing the lies that unleashed the violence. This has generated alarm signals about next year, when Congress will be convened again to certify the vote.

And they are not alone. Republican lawmakers are participating in a reinvestigation of the January 6, 2021 attack that aims to shield Trump from any accusation, while secondary theories are presented about the reason why thousands of his supporters went to the Capitol in what became a brutal scene of hand-to-hand combat with the police.

Five people died during the riot and the stage after it.

Together, this is what those who study authoritarian regimes warn as a classic case of so-called consolidation, which is when the apparatus of the State is transformed around a single figure, in this case, Trump.

Jason Stanley, a professor of philosophy at Yale, said that, in history, the question arises again and again: How is it that people did not believe an authoritarian leader about what was going to happen?

"Let's listen to Trump," he said.

"When a coup occurs against a democratic regime and goes unpunished, it constitutes a very strong indicator of the end of the rule of law and the victory of that authoritarian movement," said Stanley, author of "How Fascism Works".

"For Americans, it is very difficult to understand that what happens in most of the world can also happen in this country," he added.

Trump faces four federal charges for the incidents of January 6, according to which he conspired to defraud Americans about his defeat in the 2020 election and obstructed the official procedure in Congress to certify the vote in favor of Joe Biden. While the Supreme Court studies Trump's claim that he should be immune to legal action, it is not known if the case will go to trial, which raises the possibility that it will not be resolved until after the election.