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What does Jan. 6 say about American democracy — and the prospects for war?

By Jacob S. Hacker

06 Jan 2022 · 8 min read

How you label the events of Jan. 6, 2021 -- an "insurrection," a "riot," an "assault," an "attempted coup" -- says a lot about how you view American politics. Like a Rorschach test, the dramatic images of that day evoke horror and revulsion in some, indifference or even approval in others.

Perhaps even more important, though, is what you think Jan. 6 foretells about American politics. Was it a temporary deviation brought on by an idiosyncratic moment and man, a grim marker of the new normal, or a harbinger of much worse to come?

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