Shaurya K Sangra
The World community stands shocked and horrified over the anarchy writ large at the US Capitol Hill on January 6. It’s intriguing, however, to mull over how it ended up the way it actually did and make sense of what lies ahead.
On November 3, the United States of America conducted the 59th presidential elections which take place every four years. It was contested between the incumbent Republican leader, Donald J. Trump and the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden who had previously served as the deputy to Barack Obama while he was in office from 2009 to 2017. Joe Biden won both the Electoral College vote as well as the popular vote. The trouble began when Donald Trump did not concede the election the way every contestant does and that is, making way for the President elect. Relying heavily on the voter fraud conspiracy, Trump vouched that the elections contested in November 2020 were stolen from him and the results were contested at the US Supreme Court but his lawyer could not make a healthy case out of it resulting in quashing of the petition.
On the 6th of January, the US Congress assembled to certify the presidential vote and confirm Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. Ahead of this, Donald Trump had called upon his supporters to attend a Republican Rally at Washington DC and his supporters answered his call by showing up in huge numbers. Donald Trump addressed his supporters at about noon and quoted “We will stop the steal” and “After this we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you – to the Capitol.” That’s exactly what the protesters ended up doing but their messiah, Donald Trump decided to stay back.
At about 2 pm, thousands of Trump supporters assembled outside the Capitol building and eventually some of them managed to break in. This led to an abrupt pause to the proceedings of the Congress. The Congressmen and women were stuck in the Congressional House but were eventually evacuated by 5 pm. During this time, a video was released by Donald Trump telling the protesters to leave the Capitol building and maintain peace but he didn’t back down from his claim that the election was stolen from him. This very video was later taken down by Twitter and YouTube as it could potentially incite violence. The following morning, at about 3 am, the US Congress assembled once again and certified Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.
There is a lot of speculation surrounding the implementation of the 25th Amendment by the cabinet which would put Mike Pence as the interim President of the United States till Joe Biden takes his Oath. For this to succeed, 2/3 of the US Congress will have to vote in favor of the amendment. But the damage has already been caused and this would be a saving grace not for Donald Trump but for the members of the Republican Party and the cabinet ministers because everyone has finally realized that this ship can’t sail anymore. Various senior members of the Republican Party who were close aides to Donanld Trump have finally stood up against the President. Various members of the President’s cabinet have resigned including the deputy national security advisor, Matthew Pottinger. But this is being seen as a mere step by them to save their respective political careers as they were the ones who supported Donald Trump throughout his term of four years and never for once questioned his authority and his decisions regarding domestic policies or foreign relations.
What could be more unfortunate and disgraceful than seeing the loss of five precious lives including that of a US Air Force veteran and a Capitol Hill policeman at a place which is considered as the highest seat of democracy. This, surely, is a dark day for democracy. America, for long, has been the torch bearer of democracy and has had a history for fighting wars and rebels, be it the Vietnam War or installation of stable governments in Latin America. But there was a paradigm shift after Donald Trump came to power in January 2017. America’s involvement in crucial world affairs has significantly been reduced. America had been busy fighting its own battles within the country with various cabinet ministers and Chief of Staff resigning leading to a lot of commotion at the White House.
One major take away from the Capitol Protest is the revival of the consciousness of the Republican Party. The lines on which the Trump administration was governing and its policy implementation were totally contrasting to the likes of Ronald Regan and George W. Bush who are regarded as the greatest Republican Presidents of all times. During the election, Donald Trump had called upon the American working class to cast their vote. The working class for long had been the core vote bank of the Democratic Party and the American Left but since Trump arrived in office that paradigm shifted towards the American Right aka the Republican Party. This was due to the contrasting tax reforms and free market capitalism that Trump implemented by going totally against the party lines.
The time has now come for Trump to peacefully exit the White House on January 20. There lies a chance for the revival of the Republican ideology and the party that had been destroyed by the four years of Trump in office. The party will need to find its core once again and unite itself together as a combined unit. Senators and Congressmen like Marko Rubio and Lindsey Graham who have condemned the horrors committed at the Capitol Hill will definitely need to stand up and take the charge of the party and secure its future.
The world now eagerly awaits ushering in a new era with Joe Biden being sworn in on January 20 as the 46th President of the United State. This would surely lead to the revival of the American Dream and America’s Diplomatic presence all around the globe.
(The author is pursuing his Higher Secondary at the Jodhamal Public School)
Shaurya K Sangra