The authoritarian Left is following the classic authoritarian playbook: exploit a violent act or national tragedy to repress their political opponents.

Last week, a small group of thugs attacked the United States Capitol building, leading to the death of five people, including two Capitol Hill Police officers.

However, the thugs responsible for the violence were just a small fraction of the over 100,000 estimated Trump supporters who were in DC that day. Most of the protesters were peaceful and many people even brought their kids to exercise their First Amendment rights as Americans.

But facts don’t matter to the radical Left.

It is not in their nature to let a good crisis go to waste. They have exploited the crisis to suppress conservative speech at all levels of the culture, including tech censorship and platform banning, freezing conservative bank accounts and political donations, and moving to impeach President Trump for inciting a riot that he didn’t actually incite.

By doing so, the Left is coordinating like the Nazis did when they used the burning of the Reichstag Building to seize power in 1933. The Nazis blamed the arson on their political opponents—although the true culprit has never been confirmed, some historians now believe the Nazis themselves were involved in the plot— and then used the incident to curtail civil liberties and install Adolf Hitler as the supreme leader of Germany.

History.com reports that “with elections set for early March, the Nazis set about suppressing their political opposition. On February 4, Hitler’s cabinet issued the temporary Decree for the Protection of the German People, which restricted the German press and authorized the police to ban political meetings and marches and suspended the right to assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and other constitutional protections within Germany.”

These crisis-exploiting tactics aren’t relegated to the pages of history. They have happened in recent times as well. In 2016, President Erdogan of Turkey exploited a coup attempt against his regime to strengthen his dictatorial hold on his country.

The BBC reported that “beefing up the presidency was accompanied by a massive purge of state institutions.

That purge came after a July 2016 coup attempt that nearly toppled Mr. Erdogan. His grip on power was seriously challenged by military officers – and his response was mass arrests and show trials…

His silencing of critics has caused alarm abroad, contributing to frosty relations with the EU, which has stalled Turkey’s bid to join the bloc.

Since the thwarted coup, more than 50,000 people have been detained, including many soldiers, journalists, lawyers, police officers, academics, and Kurdish politicians.

The authorities have sacked an estimated 150,000 public servants, and there are widespread complaints of AKP-inspired intimidation.”

Sound familiar?

A case could be made that the exploiting of the Capitol Hill riots is more dangerous than what other authoritarians have done because this time the Democrats have the support of Big Tech, the media, and private businesses to purge their conservative opposition.

This is a deadly combination and could lead to far more unrest and violence before it gets worse. Call me cynical, but that seems to be precisely what the radical Left wants.

If this purging of conservatives continues, historians will look back on January 6, 2021, as the American equivalent of the German Reichstag fire.

A dark day in American history indeed.