For the first time in 207 years, a breach of security occurred in the United States Capitol, the ultimate symbol of American democracy.
4TH UPDATE – Indeed, the world has seen another “low” for the United States of America.
This time, chaos descended on the hallmark of American democracy, the United States Capitol. Home to 435 congressmen and 100 senators, every single legislator was evacuated from their seats and offices, plunged into utter darkness and uncertainty. With a striking resemblance dating back to the 19th century, pro-Trump supporters have emerged as the modern-day insurrectionists and anarchists that disrupted, and nearly destroyed, the fragile democracy of America. The pictures are striking; the words are too complex to fathom.
President Donald J. Trump has provoked his loyalists to prepare for the event where his election defeat is finally sealed. As his rejection of the election results ascended into its unprecedented climax, the video he released three hours after the madness went out of control was a justification of their actions.
“I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now,” he said. “We can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special.”
The nation was shaken to its core by this nightmare – a nightmare which includes President Trump’s non-condemnation condemnation of the riots. The mob that broke windows and vandalized congressional offices didn’t fear the law or care for the state of the nation, like President Trump, who demonstrated in the past four years that norms were invalid and the Constitution’s opening salvo, “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” was inutile.
With a Democratic president and Congress governing the U.S. come January 20, 2021, the Trump loyalists won’t fade into thin air. Instead, they will be enraged for the next four years, evoking unsubstantiated tantrums across different platforms, most notably social media.
The world has watched America today with sadness and dismay. How did the world’s oldest democracy end up degrading itself from a first-world country to a third-world one? Why did the behavior of these people morph with inanity?
As violence mushroomed on both sides of Pennsylvania Ave., this will be the lasting legacy of the businessman-turned-president. He was already warned by his conservative allies that his successes would be overshadowed by his refusal to accept the election results. Now, his stain is all over these insurrectionists.
One U.S. senator from Pres. Trump’s own party, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, issued a strong statement against the president who is known for his Twitter vociferations.
“Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard,” he said.
He went on: “Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the president’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”
In the media atmosphere, some commentators used stronger words to describe the turn of events. Over on CNN, the day was nothing but domestic terrorism. Others stuck with “mob,” “anarchy,” and “insurrection.”
The president is now facing attempts of removal from office, just two weeks before he is set to step down. This includes the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which permits his cabinet and Vice President, through a written letter, to deem him incapable of serving the presidency. But as of this writing, discussions are still on-going. If his own people invoke this, he will be the first president to be toppled and tossed out under this circumstance.
Meanwhile, his successor, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., is appalled as to what happened. And his job became trickier as Republicans view him as an illegitimate commander-in-chief.
“At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite,” he said. “This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition and it must end now.”
He added: “To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, occupy offices. The floor of the United States Senate, rummaging through desks. On the Capitol, on the House of Representatives, threatening the safety of duly elected officials. It’s not protest. It’s insurrection.”
The assault on Capitol Hill – and America’s democracy – left 4 rioters dead. One of them was shot inside the Capitol; the other three suffered medical emergencies.
President Trump is currently barred from using Facebook and Twitter, as social media companies have woken up from reality and tried to mitigate the situation. These platforms enabled Pres. Trump to poison the minds of half of the American population. Today, their response has come too late.
“As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” Twitter said in a statement. “Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”
The Trump presidency began with a nightmare and will end in a nightmare. Newspaper editorials solely blame him for causing this mayhem, which is rightful. No single force has bound the insurrectionists, anarchists, blind followers and loyalists so forcefully as Donald J. Trump. Shielded from accountability, the president, through his words, wasn’t taken aback by the perpetration of American democracy. Truly, he didn’t fit the integrity of the office of the presidency.
Now that the repercussions are petrifying, questions loom. What will happen on Capitol Hill? His congressional allies? The state of the nation he tarnished? The time will come that the nation will see solace once again. But not now. Not now.
Featured image from Dawn.