Analysis breaks down the significance of Mark Meadows' PowerPoint presentation

Analysis breaks down the significance of Mark Meadows' PowerPoint presentation
"Mark Meadows" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The House Select Committee has worked diligently to piece together all that transpired on Jan. 6, 2021, as a mob of angry Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Since the beginning of the investigation, the committee has uncovered an abundance of evidence to gain insight. However, there is one piece of evidence that continues to speak volumes.

A new analysis is shedding light on the significance of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' damning PowerPoint presentation, which "outlines scenarios to overturn the 2020 election results, such as declaring them invalid because of 'foreign interference.'"

MSNBC opinion columnist Ruth Ben-Ghiat is analyzing Meadows' contribution to former President Donald Trump's attempted coup. The writer outlined the number of problems Meadows' PowerPoint could have caused.

"The resulting crisis would not just lead to Vice President Mike Pence’s delaying the certification of Joe Biden's victory," she wrote, about also open a window for exceptional actions that would interrupt the transfer of power and keep Trump in the White House."

While Trump and his allies may not have reached their ultimate goal, Ben-Ghiat has reiterated the disturbing history behind coups and democratic failures and the correlation between the two.

"Coups have accounted for 75 percent of democratic failures globally from World War II to the year 2000, and it's instructive to see this coup attempt in that light," she wrote.

"Some states of emergency help authoritarians on the rise to consolidate their power. Italian fascist Benito Mussolini started a custom that continues today when he declared a state of emergency in 1925 to escape political ruin from an investigation into his corruption. The measures imposed by the Laws for the Defense of the State, which created the world's first right-wing dictatorship (secret police, new courts for political crimes, prohibitions on strikes and unions, bans on opposition press and parties) made him untouchable."

She added, "Just as Jan. 6 is billed by Republicans as a patriotic act against Democratic treachery ("stop the steal"), coups around the world have been justified as 'saving the nation' from corruption and tyranny. Propaganda presents the repression that accompanies states of emergency, like arrests and killings of opposition politicians, as necessary to protect the people."

Ben-Ghiat also issued a warning about coups, crisis, and how they've managed to steer countries in unfavorable directions. "The Jan. 6 riot may have failed in its goals," Ben-Ghiat wrote. "But coups and the states of emergency that follow them have long-driven authoritarian history."

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