Invaders Attack The Capital
Lion’s Roar Staff
On January 6, 2021, thousands of invaders violently stormed our nation’s capital in the name of Trump. This left two women dead and interrupted the verifying of the electoral votes in a joint-session of Congress. The members of Congress and reporters were evacuated to safe locations as well as members of the press. Anyone watching their televisions that night will have the horrific images of people storming the Senate floor, offices, and wreaking havoc over the nation’s capital. Needless to say, America was left with lots of emotions, ranging from shock to anger. Heroically, the session of Congress was able to reconvene, late at night on the Senate floor, and showed the American people and the international community the resilience of our democratic republic.
Like many Americans, I was glued to my TV watching the “protestors” get evacuated and pushed away from the capitol building and watching the images of people assaulting capitol police as well as vandalizing offices. Watching the coverage was a roller coaster of emotions which included shock, anger, and confusion.
The fact that Americans, our own people would attack and disrespect our democratic processes is embarrassing. It’s one thing to protest the electoral votes. We have the first amendment right to do that. What we don’t have a right to do is be violent. This is a blatant act of domestic terrorism.
Another immediate thought that comes to anyone’s mind is “how did this happen?” It’s both frightening and enraging that thousands of people organized to protest outside the capitol, yet there was almost no police presence or any kind heightened security. Go back to earlier in 2020 when George Floyd was killed and the protests that went on during that time. There were police everywhere. People were routinely tear gassed and the police were ready with riot gear. It shows the obvious double standard in America. If you’re fighting for black lives, for immigration reform, for women’s rights, then you’re met with a strong police presence, but if you’re fighting “in the name of Trump” you get something close to a free pass.
While that in it of itself is enough to get anyone frustrated with our current government and society, there’s more. Donald Trump has a large part in the blame of what happened on January 6. First of all, he refused to condone white supremacy and refused to say that he would accept the result of the election if he lost in his reelection campaign. In fact in a September presidential debate, Donald Trump told white supremacists to “stand back and standby”. He continually spewed false rhetoric about the 2020 election, saying that it was rigged and full of voter fraud. This allegation has been refuted in courts around the country, yet he refuses to even admit that he lost the election. In fact, both Vice President Mike Pence spoke out saying that Joe Biden was to be the next president. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority, cited that fact that Donald Trump lost the election. He did everything he could do legally in order to refute the outcome of the election and none of them worked. Trump’s ego and inability to accept reality reached its peak (hopefully) on January 6, when he addressed the “protestors” (mob). Instead of firmly telling them to stop and go home, he said, “Go home. We love you. You’re very special...I know how you feel.” Additionally, this was a recorded message. He did not go on live television, and probably was forced by his team to say “go home”.
In contrast, Mike Pence, Joe Biden, and leaders in the Republican party, like Mitch McConnell, released firm statements against the raid long before Trump did. Members of his team and party urged him to make a statement to the American people, particularly those raiding the capital. Instead, Donald Trump decided to, in a way, defend the people who decided to raid the capitol building. He is a coward, and an embarrassment to the American people.
The cabinet has discussed keeping invoking the 25th amendment, in which the Cabinet, along with the Vice President could vote to get the President out of office, making Pence the new president until Biden could take office. Of course, the inauguration would likely be full of protest, but there would be an absence of Trump’s incendiary rhetoric. Four years is more than enough, and the events January 6 were the result of four years of false rhetoric and complete disregard for our democratic processes.
The most frightening part of all of this, is that the perpetrators of the attack honestly allegedly believed that they were fighting for what was right, along with the thousands of people outside of the capitol building. They truly believed the incendiary statements and conspiracy theories spewed by President Trump. They thought that the election was rigged and that Trump was the real winner. These people felt more compelled to fight in the name of Trump than to respect the Democratic-Republic we all live in. This event exposes the deep and dark division in this country.
Ultimately, I have hope in this country to reunite and bounce back from this attack. I have even more faith in the next generation of leaders to bring back order and decency to this nation. We, as young people, have seen so much happen in the world in a short amount of time, and ultimately, it’s our job to learn from the mistakes of our current leaders and make sure that history does not repeat itself.