On January 6 why so little analysis of what came before Trump?

If you watched CNN or MSNBC on Insurrection Day you might be fooled into think the Republicans were hunky dory before Trump was nominated for President. Well, that is plainly not the case. I threw out a Twitter thread that evening to express my frustration.

I fingered the 1970’s to bring Reagan and Gingrich into the discussion but the reality is since the “American First” Committee of 1940 and the McCarthy era, a creeping fascism has been a dominant feature of the American right.

In fact, when Dwight Eisenhower won the GOP nomination in 1952 over ultra-conservative Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, the allegations that Madison Avenue types, eastern liberals and media elites had captured the GOP were popular on the right.

That led directly to the growth of the John Birch Society and eventually the Goldwater movement. The rest is history. This didn’t start in 2016.

Feel free to sound off…


  1. David Sirota wrote a good history: https://jacobinmag.com/2022/01/january-6-capital-riot-trump-obama-biden

    The anti-government sentiment was first promoted by Reagan, then Democrats jumped on the bandwagon. Both parties unraveled much of the New Deal and took away the safety nets that helped working people. When the financial collapse happened and no one was held accountable, the door was wide open for Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed which was in direct contrast to the Eisenhower years when the GOP establishment effectively accepted the New Deal. That led directly to the Goldwater movement etc. culminated with Reagan and these “New” Democrats like Clinton who accepted the premise of Reagan’s tax cuts and disdain of government. Gingrich an important link between Reagan and Trump eras in terms of turning toxicity into an ideology that trumped any actual political philosophy. Now we have DeSantis imo the most mortal threat the republic has faced since Joe McCarthy as a logical successor to Trump.

      Unfortunately it’s left to those like Sirota and Jacobin to tell this history as cable news has become a polluted dumping ground for hot takes and a lack of historical perspective.

      On this front probably will rerelease our podcast on Florida links to Watergate soon with updated commentary.


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