“We should never take our rights and liberties for granted, but we must remain committed to finding a way forward together,” said Miranda, appearing virtually, along with members of the cast.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cited lyrics from the song: We’ll make it right for you. If we lay a strong enough foundation, we will pass it on to you, and we will give the world to you.
The performance was followed by a discussion with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham, both of whom put the January 6th attack and the current political divisions in context with other moments of American history.
Their words were a bit of a warning. Goodwin said that “in my lifetime, this is the hardest moment for democracy,” while Meacham said that he believes “this is a chapter, not the end of the story. And if it is the end of the story we will have failed as a people that the world will forever condemn.”
But polls show a wide gap in beliefs even over what happened on January 6th, with revisionist takes over its root causes and conspiracy theories over the role of the government. The significance of the day also has been minimized, with one lawmaker comparing the rioters to tourists at the Capitol.
Meacham said that what people have to do is to “use the power of memory as an incentive, not as a bludgeon,” i.e. by presenting the situation as one of being on the right side of history.
“We don’t build statues to people who tear down; we build statues to people who create,” he said.
Goodwin said that she is hopeful that the January 6th Committee will be able to “retell the story” of that date, so that “more people can be persuaded that this cannot happen again.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 6, 2022
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