The January 6th Select Committee has now aired three hearings, each one more compelling than the last thanks to witness testimony and never before seen photos and videos. Before the hearings even began, some political pundits wondered if most Americans would pay attention. Now that it’s clear that they are (more than 20 million viewers tuned in for the first prime-time hearing, with the two subsequent daytime hearings drawing an estimated 12 million viewers each day), the questions are changing: what will the impact of the hearings be, and will it make an impact on the November midterm elections?
On the one hand, common sense would have the average American steaming after hearing the riveting testimony from Trump’s inner circle, who have been the only witnesses that America has heard from. The Republican Party, under Trump, conspired to effectively end democracy by disrupting the Electoral College voting process by any means necessary, but ultimately failed. However, as we all know, the American attention span is so short, I can’t be sure you’ve even read this far.
But these facts do actually matter. Plotting to overturn an election matters. That’s not even light treason, that’s full-on treason. Accountability should be swift and harsh. While there have been over 800 arrests and more trials pending, will it matter to the average American voter five months from now? New polling suggests that voters are less interested in what happened during the January 6th insurrection and more interested in keeping money in their pocket, but I would posit that almost losing our democracy is pretty important too.
Will voters remember who sold them out, who asked for pre-emptive pardons, and who tweeted endlessly about “fraud”? All I can say is that I really, really hope so.