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  • Writer's pictureMario Nicolais

Political violence went on trial. Our republic is under threat.

This year began with an attempted coup d’état and in its final months political violence has been on trial, no more so than over the past week. The outcomes will have existential effects on the future of our country.

I do not remember a single week in which so many court cases and congressional hearings ran concurrently. As news chyrons sped across the bottom of my television, the sheer agglomeration crystalized the peril for me.

Jacob Chansley — better known as the QAnon Shaman who stormed the U.S. Capitol shirtless but adorned with a horned fur hat and face paint — was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his part in the Jan. 6 insurrection. While nearly three and half years is a significant sentence, it still seems unconscionably short for a man at the forefront of a riot that cost several lives, threatened our elected leaders and left cracks in cradle of democracy.

Is it that hard to believe self-proclaimed “patriots” would not see his prison sentence as a justifiable trade-off for attempting to install their preferred candidate?

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