US Capitol
The events of January 6, 2021 serve as a watershed in America’s political narrative Image Credit: Gulf News

It is a year since the images of a mob of Donald Trump supporters scaled the steps of the US Capitol Building in Washington, overwhelmed security staff and police, and roamed its confines in a failed attempt to try and halt the official confirmation of the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

The images of flag-waving protesters, some in fancy dress costumes, others in masks but all intent on usurping the proceedings of that day, were startling — seeming more from a Hollywood movie than a real-time insurrection unfolding on our screens — and aimed at confirming the results of each state’s electoral college results confirmed the victory of Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

Five people died on that day, a direct result of the marauding nature of this mob intent on disrupting the processes of American democracy and the work of Congress. Criminal proceedings are still under way too, and at least 300 from that mob have been processed, each receiving high fines, stiff custodial sentences — or both — for their actions a year ago.

Time-honoured tradition

It is difficult to comprehend that such an insurrection took place in a nature where the transfer of power had always been exemplary, a time-honoured tradition that ensured continuity and stability. That is a myth now forever shattered by the events of that day, and it serves as a sentinel warning that the institutions and procedures associated with political institutions in the US are fragile and under threat.

The work of a special Congressional committee into the events of January 6 are under way, and it is making headway in getting to the bottom of how the events unfolded, who knew what, and who planned what.

It must continue its important work to shine a light on the dark corners and subversive powers that were guiding events that day. And when it does produce its report, those responsible for the events must face the stiffest consequences for what many around view as an act of sedition and rebellion.

The events of January 6, 2021 also serve as a watershed in America’s political narrative. It is a day where truth diverges from fact into an alternative reality, one where Trump supporters and now some elements of the Republican party believe that the election was stolen, and the system that has served so many for so well is somehow flawed.

And they are electoral rump with a chip on their shoulders and an axe to grind. That is a dangerous cohort.