Now they're calling for violence

This debasement of language comes at a considerable cost. George Orwell believed that political language mattered because politics mattered, and that the corruption of one leads to the corruption of the other. And in some cases, the misuse of words can lead to political violence. We saw that on January 6, 2021. My fear is we’re edging ever closer to that. Some people on the right—enraged and inflamed, caught in an echo chamber of undiluted anger and massive lies—clearly hope for it. They are perpetually frenzied and hyper-agitated, convinced they are in an existential struggle against a wicked foe.

In the face of this, virtually the entire Republican Party is egging them on. Based on no evidence right now, Republicans are promoting a narrative that the events of this week prove that the United States government and its chief law-enforcement agency are Nazi-like, corrupt to the core, at war with its own citizens. This can’t end well.

If political violence comes, the Republican Party will be its authors and finishers. In his 1838 Young Men’s Lyceum speech, in which he warned about mob violence and people who disrespected America’s laws and courts, Abraham Lincoln said, “As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide.” Today it is Lincoln’s party that wants America to die by suicide.