There are events unfolding now in Washington that will reverberate far beyond the US Capitol building stormed on Wednesday by a baying mob trying to prevent both Houses of Congress from formally certifying the results of last November’s presidential election.
Yes, the mob did manage to suspend the democratic proceedings — but early on Thursday lawmakers confirmed the US presidential results. Joe Biden was elected president by a majority of more than 7 million Americans, he will take office in less than two weeks’ time, and Trump will be a one-term leader of the US.
The events of January 6 are unprecedented. Never before has a mob threatened the US Capitol — the last time it was sacked was by British redcoats in 1812 — and even during the darkest days of the US Civil War as Confederate General Robert E. Lee led his troops up the southern side of the River Potomac, its confines were considered sacrosanct. Not anymore.
Americans, regardless of their political beliefs, can take no comfort nor solace from Wednesday’s events. Instead, they must mend what is wrong, willful and malicious — and do so with haste
That podium, where successive presidents have delivered their State of the Union addresses, was violated by a camouflaged goon taking selfies; those corridors of power, where the policies of the US are honed, were roamed by deluded hordes; offices of senators, both Democratic and Republican, were raided and ransacked, and the lawmakers of both Houses of Congress, duly elected and sworn to protect the Constitution, sheltered in the Capitol as rioters marched up and down the citadel of democracy.
The extent of violence in the American Senate was both condemnable and shocking.
Lasting wound to the image of America
The events beamed live to a disbelieving world were not in some banana republic. The acts of this mob, the lies and false claims on social media, the incitement have delivered a deep and lasting wound to the image of America. During these acts of sedition, four people died.
This is now a time for soul-searching. Yes, those responsible for policing the Capitol building complex have many questions to answer. But so too do Americans about the very nature of their society.
When Joe Biden formally becomes president in less than two weeks’ time, he will swear to uphold the Constitution on the very steps of a building that have been defiled by a heaving mob attempting to prevent that very act.
Americans, regardless of their political beliefs, can take no comfort nor solace from Wednesday’s events. Instead, they must mend what is wrong, willful and malicious — and do so with haste.