After a year where bad news seemed to never cease, many Americans looked to the year 2021 for a fresh start. Before the week was over in the new year, however, chaos erupted in the Capitol. On January 6, 2021, Pro-Trump rioters broke through the thin police line on the Capitol steps in Washington D.C. while hundreds of lawmakers conducted the ceremonial act of certifying the electoral college and presidential vote inside. A little over two weeks later, the storming is still a prominent conversation among many Americans.
Using inflammatory language to get a rise out of his followers to the extent to cause this situation was President Trump’s main mistake in his final months as president. He came into office as the successful, billionaire businessman who was going to “drain the swamp” of corrupt politicians who argue with each other rather than listening to the people they were supposed to be representing. At the end of Trump’s four-year term, he ended up turning into one of those corrupt politicians he said he was going to get rid of.
To his credit, President Trump was handed a global pandemic to deal with in his final year of presidency, which was an impossible situation that no world leader has handled without fault. COVID-19 destroyed the economy which did not show promise to those entering the workforce or stability to those who had been in it for a while. Since the virus hit the United States almost a year ago, the political climate in the country has become unbearable and unforgiving to those feuding across the political divide. As “15 days to stop the spread” turned into a month and then three, Trump supporters and conservatives stood by the President’s side through all of the ups and downs that 2020 brought.
Even though many Americans felt as if there was no perfect option for the presidential election between Joe Biden and President Trump, it was a decision that faced every citizen. When the dust settled from the election that lasted for days, Joe Biden became the President-elect; however, this divisive election season had not come to a close at the start of 2021. Rather, the division was just beginning. President Trump could not understand how his election victories were turning into losses overnight. He began charging states and voting centers with election fraud. While he filed lawsuit after lawsuit, few revealed any foul play. When the lawsuits fell through for Trump, some Republicans accepted the results. However, President Trump would do no such thing. He continued to lash out against states and courts who couldn’t find enough fraud to serve his case and he called on the support of the radical right. To them, he was the only hope of America, so they rushed to his side.
On January 6, he called out to all of his faithful followers through Twitter and told them he would make one last stand at the Capitol against this “stolen election.” He then visited the Capitol and spoke to Mike Pence who told him nothing could be done. Unfortunately, the radical right took his tweet literally, and they moved their D.C. rally to the Capitol. Several angry protesters began attempting to enter the Capitol to stop the electoral college vote casting. This resulted in the first occupation of the United States Capitol since British troops set the building on fire during the War of 1812.
These rioters broke windows and charged into the Senate Chamber. Acts of open defiance against election results have never been seen before in American history. Who is to stop another riot or protest from overtaking over the White House or Supreme Court which represents the pillars of our nation? Whether or not fraud existed in the 2020 election, there is no excuse to violate our most basic democratic beliefs. The Democratic Republic created by our forefathers was established to serve the best interest of all American citizens. An attack on this system is an attack on all of our freedoms we love and exercise. This country is great for many reasons, but the greatest attribute of all might be the peaceful transition of power between Presidents, no matter what political party is represented. For anyone, to fight this transition for any reason is shameful and a disgrace.