The Roundup Top Twenty for January 15, 2021


Trump Is the Republican Party’s Past and Its Future

by Lisa McGirr

It's not a question of whether Trump voters are driven by racism, nativism or conspiracy theories, or by "economic anxiety." Republican economic policies have created inequality and instability that the party can only paper over by encouraging resentment, suspicion and hostility. It won't end with Trump's departure.


Josh Hawley Is Not the First Missouri Senator with Blood on His Hands

by Steven Lubet

Senator Josh Hawley arguably helped incite a mob to invade the Capitol to thwart the certification of Biden's victory. Missouri's antebellum senator David Rice Atchison helped incite a civil war in Kansas in 1854. 



Historians in Historic Times

by Karin Wulf

A lineup of historians share their thoughts on how they saw the Capitol rioting and attack on Congress through the lens of their work. Featuring Vanessa M. Holden, Claudio Saunt, Serena Zabin, Marcus Nevius, Michael Hattem, Ana Lucia Araujo, William G. Thomas III, Daniel Mandell, Sophie White and Daryle Williams.



The Silence of the Ellipses: Why History Can’t be about Telling Our Children Lies

by Sam Wineburg

The fairly recent elevation of Crispus Attucks as a hero of the American Revolution obscures the complexity of his role in the Boston Massacre and illustrates the pressure for textbooks to conform to a triumphal American narrative rather than engaging with the complexity of the past. 



How Can America Heal from the Trump Era? Lessons from Germany after Nazi Rule

by Sylvia Taschka

The Federal Republic of Germany disappointed many who sought a complete reckoning with Nazi crimes. But it successfully balanced the exclusion of top Nazi leaders with winning the allegiance of party supporters to democratic government through a commitment to supporting lives of dignity and sufficiency for all Germans.



A U.S. History Teacher Scrambles to Explain Unprecedented Desecration of Democracy

by Jim Cullen

"Our job as educators is to make and model good, conscious choices about what we believe, and to make that necessarily fallible belief system as transparent as we can for students without insisting that they share it."



Vikings, Crusaders, Confederates

by Matthew Gabriele

The far-right has combined a selective and outdated version of medieval history from popular culture to express values of racial superiority, aggressive masculinity and violence in defense of threatened values.



The Capitol Riot Revealed the Darkest Nightmares of White Evangelical America

by Matthew Avery Sutton

Many observers have speculated that American evangelicals have had a transactional relationship with Donald Trump. But his messages of "American carnage" and warnings of dire consequences if he is defeated mesh perfectly with their end-times outlook and have helped tie evangelicals to the far right coalition. 



Reviving Sedition Prosecutions Would Be a Tragic Mistake

by David Beito

A libertarian historian argues that the use of sedition law to charge participants in the Capitol riots would revive a dangerous pattern of prosecuting ideology instead of action, one which those on the left should also treat with suspicion. 



Disenfranchisement: An American Tradition

by Julilly Kohler-Hausmann

Invoking the specter of voter fraud to undermine democratic participation is a tactic as old as the United States itself.



The Inaction of Capitol Police Was by Design

by Kellie Carter Jackson

"Police brutality against Black Americans and police inaction toward white Americans is not some surprising anomaly; it is the status quo."



Impeachment May Not Work. Here’s the Next Best Way to Dump Trump

by Eric Foner

The 14th Amendment empowers Congress to bar persons involved in insurrection against the United States from holding office. This can't remove Trump, but it can stop him (and anyone found to have plotted the Capitol rioting) from returning to office. 



Letters From an American, January 8, 2021

by Heather Cox Richardson

Last Wednesday's events are still coming into perspective through developing news reporting, but a disturbing picture is emerging of possible cooperation between rioters and law enforcement at high levels.



How to Ensure This Never Happens Again

by Beverly Gage and Emily Bazelon

A menu of democratic reform initiatives ranging from strictly defining the electoral vote process to abolishing the electoral college: reforms needed to stop the temptation to undemocratic rule and authoritarianism.



The Striking Parallels Between the Assaults on Charlottesville and the Capitol

by Nicole Hemmer

The right's defense of their violent "Unite the Right" attack on Charlottesville was a precursor to their strategy in the wake of the Capitol riot: blame the left to convert riots into patriotic Americans. 



What Trump Shares With the ‘Lost Cause’ of the Confederacy

by Karen L. Cox

The Lost Cause mythology built around Donald Trump's claims to have won the 2020 election will outlive him and potentially fuel a dangerous reactionary political movement for years to come. 



Josh Hawley's Cancelled Book Contract Is Not "Orwellian"

by Claire Potter

The author has broadly defended free speech as a value. Josh Hawley's complaints about his cancelled book contract don't fit the bill.



A Scholar of American Anti-Semitism Explains the Hate Symbols Present at the US Capitol Riot

by Jonathan D. Sarna

The presence of conspiracy theorists and overt and coded anti-Semitic messages at the Capitol riot shows that far right ideology continues to target Jews in a conspiratorial, eliminationist worldview.



The Gun-Rights Movement Fed America’s Insurrectionist Fever Dreams

by Firmin DeBrabander

"The gun-rights movement cleared the path for insurrection. It blew a hole in the rule of law—and Donald Trump’s would-be soldiers clamored through it. And then scaled the walls of Congress." 



1871 Provides a Road Map for Addressing the Pro-Trump Attempted Insurrection

by Megan Kate Nelson

"The actions that the federal government took in 1871 signaled its willingness to defend the constitutional rights of the nation’s citizens, Black and White, and to protect them against violence."


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