The Need for a Truth Commission to Investigate January 6th
The sun rises in the east, the year is 2021, and 2 + 2 = 4. These are all indisputable facts. The statement that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election is also an indisputable fact. Yet, some who walk the halls of Congress question the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Questioning the legitimacy of a free and fair election has real and dire consequences. The events of January 6th were the direct result of the reckless abandon for the notion of truth.
Accountability for disinformation is necessary for the future of American democracy. Holding those responsible is necessary both to stop disinformation and to start the healing process. Congress should create a truth commission to investigate the roots of the invasion of the Capitol, to begin reconciliation, and help our nation move forward.
The attack on the U.S. Capitol shook the nation and the world as it played on every media network around the globe. The idea that armed invaders could so easily enter and threaten the lives of lawmakers has forever changed the way America is viewed by the world. Accountability for this attack and the disinformation that fueled it must be a top national security priority. A truth commission is the urgent first step that Congress must take.
A truth commission will rebuild the nation’s trust in the institutions that are hallmarks of our democracy. A truth commission would clearly pronounce the facts and realities of the 2020 presidential election and the events that happened on January 6th. We have an opportunity to bridge the political distrust that so harshly divides us from one another, and to a certain extent, from reality.
A truth commission will address and debunk the disinformation spread by white extremist and right-wing politically violent groups. They are a threat to national security and January 6th should be taken as seriously as any other attack on the United States. After 9/11, a fact-finding commission was created to investigate what happened and why it was able to happen. The invasion of the Capitol also calls for a truth commission.
A truth commission will bring accountability. The recent acquittal of former President Trump, who is primarily responsible for the disinformation surrounding the 2020 election, highlights the dire need for a shred of accountability. The Republican Party’s refusal to punish Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for her blatant promotion of QAnon conspiracies and harm to fellow lawmakers is further evidence of the need for accountability. To bring justice and a shared acknowledgment of what happened on January 6th is the reckoning with the truth that the American people need to heal as a nation.
Some may point to the effectiveness of grassroots coalitions to change the perceptions of what happened at the U.S. Capitol, rather than a top-down initiative like a truth commission. Yet, the attack of the Capitol is distinct. Lawmakers who were under attack should be the ones to deliver a clear and understandable report of what happened. A grassroots-led campaign to bring awareness of the attack would be too splintered in messaging and would lack the impact of a duly-constituted congressional commission.
The American people cannot live in darkness about what took place on January 6th. The American people deserve access to the truth. The American people also need a clear path for reconciliation. Enabling a truth commission to address January 6th and the spread of disinformation about the election, white supremacy, and baseless conspiracy theories is necessary to combat this unprecedented national security threat. A truth commission will help heal the wounds and help our nation move forward.