By Natalie Domaas
After four years of continuous and dangerous rhetoric, the hate fuelled administration of Donald Trump has reached its zenith. On January 6th, 2021 the United States Capitol was stormed by pro-Trump protesters who descended upon Washington D.C. to try and stop U.S. Senators from confirming the electoral votes that would officially ratify the results of the November presidential election in which Joe Biden won. What was most shocking about watching the live news coverage of the seat of American democracy being stormed by an armed right-wing militia, was the almost baffling multiple levels of hypocrisy that have led to the events of yesterday.
Having grown up in the D.C. metro area, I can confirm that going anywhere near the Capitol and other government buildings on an ordinary day is near impossible due to the constant levels of law enforcement personnel present. Yet, on a day where an armed militia breached the fencing surround the Capitol, broke windows, and stormed the seat of American democracy, police did not immediately react. Compare this to six months ago, when peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters staged a sit-in near the White House and were met by police in full riot gear, tear gas, and rubber bullets. This is not the image of two Americas as pundits and analysts like to say, this is the image of the United States in its most stark form.
Not only is the reaction of law enforcement towards these two different groups the definition of hypocrisy, but the manifesto of the right-wing militias claim that they are “saving America” and “protecting democracy”, yet how does storming and destroying the seat of government that they claim to love and defend prove their point? This was never about defending democracy; it was about usurping and undermining the very fabric that had been created in 1776.
To add the final nail in the coffin, at a moment when the country needed a strong and comprehensive message from the president condemning this militia, Trump instead decided to release a video message via Twitter which began with “We had an election that was stolen from us” and towards the end of the video said, “We love you.” This is what the last four years have been building towards, what true Democrats have been sounding the alarm on since 2016. In two weeks, the Trump administration will officially come to an end, but its impact will be felt for years to come, and as the events of today have shown, the United States will never be the same country it once was before the name Donald Trump ever entered the political sphere.
(Image credit to Eric Lee, Bloomberg via The Print)