Question for Senators: If Trump did not have a role inciting the attack, why did McCarthy, Gallagher and others beg him on Jan 6 to call the insurrectionists off? If they weren’t listening to him to attack, why was his voice so necessary to call them off?— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) February 11, 2021
I was ambivalent about posting this because, in some sense, it plays into Republican gaslighting. McCarthy, Gallagher, and others know full well that Trump was responsible for the violent attack on Capitol. The pretense that he wasn't is gaslighting.
Whether these men and their Senate counterparts are moral cowards, cynical opportunists, sociopaths, or psychopaths, they all know that Donald Trump spent years publicly laying the groundwork to reject his election loss. Trump relentlessly pounded into the minds of his personality cult the notion that anyone who disagrees with his take on allegedly rigged elections is part of a vast conspiracy. In his rallies and on social media, Trump led his supporters with vicious personal attacks on his opponents. He bolstered the proliferation of outlandish and defamatory lies, and he encouraged his supporters to disrupt every aspect of the vote count. Trump deliberately stoked a sense of counterfeit grievance so intense that violence came to be seen as a justifiable remedy by nearly four in ten self-identified Republicans.
Then, Trump invited his radicalized supporters to DC on the very day of the Senate certification vote. Once there, he riled them up, told them to march to the Capitol Building, "fight like hell," and "stop the steal." He even lied to the mob, saying that he would go with them.
We also know that Trump was delighted when he saw the attack unfolding. He was confused by aides who were upset about it and resisted their pleas to call off his murderous mob of supporters.
Donald Trump is a psychopath. As a psychopath, he has done what psychopaths do when they lead organizations: they create psychopathic organizational cultures by fomenting chaos and confusion, exploiting fear and opportunism, and encouraging the ordinarily latent elements of psychopathy endemic to any large organization. Now, the Republican Senate has almost entirely assumed the collective psychopathic character inculcated by Trump, so the vast majority of Republican senators will not do their job and hold Donald Trump accountable. He has successfully dismantled the Republican Senate's collective conscience.