The Washington Examiner:
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson told the New York Times Magazine’s Nikole Hannah-Jones that there is a need to “deprogram” supporters of President Trump following last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol.
“There are millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans, who somehow need to be deprogrammed,” Robinson said during an appearance on MSNBC. “It’s as if they are members of a cult, the Trumpist cult, and have to be deprogrammed.”
Asked by Robinson how the country could go about deprogramming Trump supporters, Hannah-Jones said that history shows people need to face consequences for their actions.
“I know we can look to history,” Hannah-Jones said. “What ultimately breaks that power structure in the South is enforcement, right? There has to be consequences. And then once you get those consequences … people have to take a second look at their actions.”
Hannah-Jones said that people become too focused on reconciling their differences after bitter events, which only “emboldens” the type of people who participate in violence.
“What has long been the case in this country is that we have wanted to quickly move on to reconciliation,” Hannah-Jones said. “We’ve always been afraid that if you actually punish those kind of white nationalists element in our society will only make things worse. But, in fact, what history shows is not reacting, not forcing accountability, only emboldens those people and those movements.”
Robinson’s comments come a day after he penned an op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that Republicans were engaged in a “paranoid fantasy” for believing the “delusions advanced by President Trump” that fraud cost him the 2020 presidential election.
Pretending the election was stolen from Trump is popular with the GOP base, which only gives lawmakers an incentive to participate in this awful pantomime,” Robinson argued. “The result is the insurrection we saw last Wednesday.”
Robinson did not immediately respond to a Washington Examiner request for comment.