Half of Republicans believe that Antifa was behind the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to a poll conducted by the American Enterprise Institute’s Survey Center on American Life. Twenty-eight percent of independents believe the same. The same survey found that 66 percent of Republicans believe Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election was not legitimate; nearly 1 in 4 independents hold a similar view. Other polling has produced similar results.
These views are mistaken. And their perpetuation portends growing instability in an already polarized and volatile electorate. What’s to be done?
One obvious step currently being discussed on Capitol Hill: a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate, report, and publicize the truth about January 6 and the events that led to it. But the very partisanship and polarization that such an authoritative investigation would potentially blunt might keep such a commission from becoming a reality at all.
In the aftermath of the acquittal of Donald Trump last weekend, discussion about an independent commission ramped up on both sides of Capitol Hill. Some Republicans are adamantly opposed. For this group, the assault, the impeachment, and the trial are something they survived—both literally and politically. The sooner it’s behind them, the better.