We Need to Understand How We Got to January 6 Before We Can Move Forward

The Mother Jones Podcast explores how the Capitol attack was a recruitment event.

Julio Cortez/AP

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The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol wasn’t the start of something, nor was it the end. What happened on January 6 had been planned for weeks, and the ideology behind it had been brewing for years. That day’s chaos was the moment in which a dangerous mix of far-right factions came together in a way that won’t be disentangled anytime soon. 

Even now, some five months later, there’s still so much to process and still so many questions to answer (especially as Republicans work to forget the deadly attack ever happened). So at Mother Jones, we’re continuing to unpack what led to that day and what has followed.

In last week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast, we brought you the story of an unlikely insurrectionist: Dr. Simone Gold, a Stanford-educated lawyer and emergency room physician who ended up on an FBI most wanted poster. And this week, with the help of Mother Jones disinformation reporter Ali Breland, we explore the historical foundations of modern political fringe movements, like QAnon, and consider how they are the outgrowth of paranoid conspiracy-mongering politics that have taken root across the US over the last century.

We hear from a former Oath Keeper about why he joined and later left the extremist militia. We meet one of the overlooked characters who poured gasoline onto the fire leading up to the insurrection, someone whose online popularity with Gen Z extremists reveals why it is not necessarily the generation that will save us. Plus, we talk to experts about what’s ahead and how we may not know how widespread extremist groups actually are.

Take a listen:

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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