The sight of a violent mob inspired by President Trump smashing its way into the Capitol was more than just a shocking spectacle. It also highlighted one of the most dangerous parts of Mr. Trump’s legacy: the disbelief in democracy that has metastasized among many of his supporters.
While the turmoil on Wednesday has divided Republican officials, with some resigning or calling for Mr. Trump to leave office and others rallying behind him, there are few signs of division among these voters who fervently back Mr. Trump. In lengthy interviews with some of them this week, they expressed sympathy with what they said were the motives of the mob — to stop the counting of Electoral College results in Congress, under the false premise that widespread fraud had deprived the president of re-election.
The adherence of Mr. Trump’s base to his groundless claims of a “sacred landslide” victory, and their rejection of a routine Constitutional process — a position abetted by 147 Congressional Republicans who objected to certifying Mr. Biden’s election — suggests that a core part of the Republican Party, both voters and some officials, is dead-set on rejecting the legitimacy of any politics or party but their own.