American Decline

Jan. 6 was a signal our democracy is in danger. We’re not acting like it.

By Joel Mathis, The Week

Nearly a year after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, there are two things most Americans agree on: That the insurrection was an attack on democracy, and that democracy itself remains incredibly fragile.

Too bad we’re not acting like it.

On the eve of the attack’s one-year anniversary, several news organizations this weekend released new polling that offers a number of alarming signs about where America stands 12 months after Donald Trump unwillingly left office. Barely a quarter of Republicans think Trump is responsible for the attack, but 71 percent still wrongfully believe he was the rightful winner of the 2020 election. One in three Americans thinks violence against the government is sometimes justified. Two-thirds of us believe the insurrection is a sign that more political violence is coming. One-third aren’t confident that their votes will be counted in this year’s midterm elections. Just 33 percent of respondents believe that U.S. democracy is “secure.”

The pessimism is merited. Trump, who incited the rebellion with his lies about the election, hasn’t gone away. Instead, the GOP has largely allied itself with the insurrectionists. This ought to be a “red alert” moment.

But three groups of Americans are falling down on the job of preserving and defending our democratic processes:

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