The January 6 Attempted Coup Was a Dark Day in American History | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by David Adler during a Newsweek podcast debate on January 6. You can listen to the podcast here:

Recall what former President Trump said: "We want to go down, we want to stop the count." So it was clear what the message was to those 2,000 or so people who marched on his behalf. So whether an attempted coup succeeds by decrees in a halting way or in a bloodbath, at one point or another your own definition of attempting to depose a government is, in fact, met under these facts that occurred on January 6th, because no coup is going to be successful in a minute's time or in 24 hours, unless every governmental actor is deposed and removed and perhaps in prison. So that would be a more narrow definition of a coup.

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the
Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Brent Stirton/Getty Images

And by the way, let's not focus simply on what occurred on that day, because there was a long running effort to derail and delegitimize effects of the election—as you know, beginning with President Trump's long effort first to inform Americans that the only way he would lose would be if the election were rigged and it were fraudulent. He was warning people six or seven months before November that that was going to happen. And then of course, on election night, he repeated it and said the election was stolen. And so there's a long-running gambit undertaken here by the former president and his supporters to delegitimize the election—and to declare that Joe Biden was, in fact, an illegitimate president. That's all part of the effort to bring down our constitutional government.

David Gray Adler is president of The Alturas Institute.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.