Was the Capitol storming America's Reichstag fire?
It remains to be seen whether the incursion into the Capitol (Jan. 6, 2021) was the act solely of Trump-supporters or whether there was some involvement by Antifa agents provocateurs. Given the propagandist character of the major news organizations, the facts may never be honestly sorted out. For now, it may be important to note another incident in history of which the incursion reminds us. Quoting from Wikipedia:
The Reichstag fire was an arson attack on the Reichstag building, home of the German parliament in Berlin, on Monday 27 February 1933, precisely four weeks after Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. Hitler's government ... attributed the fire to communist agitators. ... The Nazi Party used the fire as a pretext to claim that communists were plotting against the German government, which made the fire pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.
Repeat for emphasis: "pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany."
Source: National Archives (Public domain as "seized enemy property")
While it is all too commonplace to compare one's political opponents to Adolf Hitler, it is quite relevant to compare the rise of the extremist left to past dictatorships. If the incursion into the Capitol was a false flag attack, it will be a ready-made pretext for draconian suppression of dissent.
The United States today is, as often has been noted, more severely divided than at any point in the lifetime of most American citizens. People no longer merely disagree on ideology; they positively detest each other, both topically and personally. In such an atmosphere, the art of discussion suffers, and the practice of civilized debate has all but disappeared. Even Fox News, once venerated as "fair and balanced," aborts live interviews with invited guests (such as Newt Gingrich) the moment the guest strays from the "party line." The other networks are even worse. Only the "correct" views are to be tolerated, not only on live television, but on pervasive social media platforms.
The most recent national elections have exacerbated the anger, and the suspicions, to the point where it seems that any major incident, or even a minor one, might trigger not just riots, but rebellion. All that is needed is for passions to be inflamed, politicians to sense opportunity, and a target to be blamed. Instead of communists, it will be conservatives who are vilified.
The suspicions of massive voter fraud can, in fact, be either disproved or confirmed by an honest and open hearing of all the facts by all sides. That hearing has not happened and will not. Much of the public is woefully uninformed about the evidence, or dismissive of it, while a large minority are persuaded that their votes were stolen, an intolerable travesty that even establishment Republicans seem unable to recognize. This is no longer a disagreement; it is war.
As long as the evidence is being deliberately and systematically hidden, misrepresented, or lied about, there will continue to be a festering wound that will destabilize the nation.
America has always had serious social strife, from 1776 to 1861, the 1960s, and beyond. We have always been able to reunite around a common culture and a common cause.
This is different. The courts and the Congress have failed to perform their constitutional duty, whether explicit or implied, to preserve the Union. Until that changes, there will be no unity. How could there be?
Matters will not get better; they will get worse, and that is a terrible thing.