That makes what we witnessed last week categorically different from the kinds of protests, looting, and riots we’ve seen at many points throughout the recent and not-so-recent American past. Fueled by a potent mixture of painstakingly cultivated delusion and fury, Trump’s MAGA militia — which also wreaked havoc that day at state houses across the country — acted as terrorists hell bent on decapitating American self-government.
This is the pertinent context for understanding the extraordinary events of the days since the anti-democratic insurrection of January 6, 2020. They include a renewed effort to remove Trump from office through impeachment or the invocation of the 25th Amendment, as well as technology companies suspending the president’s social-media accounts and working to shut down Parler, a platform that over the past few months has become an alternative to Twitter and Facebook for the conspiracy-addled far right.
Such actions are entirely justified and in fact absolutely essential, first and foremost because more acts of insurrection could be coming between now and President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration nine days from now.
Congress and tech companies are right to do whatever they can to keep that from happening — to draw firm and bright lines now, demonstrating that incitement to revolutionary acts against the seat of American democracy will not be tolerated, including, and perhaps especially, when the perpetrator is the president.