Steinberg: January 6 committee hearings preach to choir; will the Trump cult finally listen?

Once you get into the habit of ignoring reality, the details of the ignored reality don’t matter.

It’s a key to understanding what’s going on right now, but not something that’s clearly stated. So I repeat:

Once you get into the habit of ignoring reality, the details of the ignored reality don’t matter.

Remember when Donald Trump bragged that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose a single vote? An unusual thing for him to say, in that it was true. But subsequent events confirm it, and we, freed from its bewitching influence, must never forget it. He does not lead a party, but a sect. If your followers believe in you no matter what you do or say, then they are followers, not citizens. It is faith: God is good no matter how many landslides he sends, sweeping away the village school. Same for Trump. He is their god. They certainly worship him as a deity.

The U.S. House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol began public hearings on Thursday. While part of the country listened, appalled and captivated, a significant segment dismissed it outright, in advance, reflexively, easily, the way they smile at climate change and ignore violence army. Fox News didn’t even air Thursday’s hearing.

The facts presented are clear. After Trump lost the 2020 election, he tried to hold on to power by making up the lie he actually won, based on nothing but bluster, then bullied and pressured others to quit. they believe it or act as if they do. He knew it wasn’t true, but he didn’t care. Neither did his supporters. When Trump could not muster enough docile officials to reject the votes cast by the American people, he summoned a crowd to Washington DC and placed it on Capitol Hill at the exact moment Congress was certifying the election. It was an attempted putsch.

Supporters of then-President Donald Trump clash with police and security forces at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Trump supporters stormed the building, smashing doors and windows to enter, in the hope to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

Nothing said at the hearing was news. Maybe Fox was right to ignore it. Like the hypothetical Fifth Avenue shooting, it won’t cost him a single vote. I have never heard of a former Trump supporter. Not once. If everything that happened hasn’t shaken their faith, what’s the chance that notorious renegade Liz Cheney will? Zero.

I’m a little sorry that the hearings are taking place, because they offer the illusion that the truth could still set us free. Naive. If democracy dies in the United States, and anyone in the future cares how it happens, they should understand the role played by its supposed defenders. As Republicans carefully climbed the scaffold to hang America’s democracy in 2024, Democrats picked up old splinters and tried to piece together the gallows that nearly worked in 2020. These hearings are like doing a credit check on a crook while he beats you with a pipe. Totalitarians cannot be persuaded. They can only be defeated.

And maybe it will. I may be wrong. I hope. But how many times has this not happened? We passed Lucy and football a long time ago. Republicans unfortunately do not have a monopoly on self-delusion.

Ignoring reality is nothing new. This is not a defect, but a characteristic. Do you remember slavery? How did white people convince themselves that they had the right to hold others in chattel bondage? It’s easy: they decided that slaves weren’t people at all, but an inferior race, happy to live their lives in forced servitude. This required voluntary, long-term mass blindness. Reality was blurred to serve a purpose. It continued with Jim Crow. No righteous person who has visited a white school and a black school could have uttered the absurd phrase “separate but equal”. The truth has remained in full view, for centuries, ignored.

I will monitor the hearings, which resume Monday morning. But even though there are jaw-dropping bombshells coming, they preach to the choir while the congregation is outside, dance, shake Trump stamps and polish the shiny golden calf with their long hair.

Because once you get into the habit of ignoring reality, the details of the ignored reality don’t matter.

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