THE spectacle of a violent mob ransacking the citadel of American democracy demonstrated the ugly face of Donald Trump’s far-right populism. It was the last desperate attempt by the outgoing president to forcibly stall the White House transition.
Described as an insurrection, the attempt not only failed but also brought ignominy to the man who controlled the destiny of the world’s most powerful nation for four years. It was certainly not a spontaneous act of violence but one that was incited by the president himself as well as a right-wing media wanting to overturn the result of the election. Trump was never willing to accept any electoral outcome that went against him. The attack took place when Congress was meeting to endorse the 2020 presidential election.
Urged on by President Trump, the mob that forced its way into the Capitol last week disrupting sessions in both houses of Congress was said to largely belong to well-known militant white supremacist and hate groups. They believed that they could force the Congress to change the electoral result. They claimed they were there to bring a revolution. The violence forced lawmakers to evacuate the building. For many, the events of last week were reminiscent of the storming of the German parliament by the Nazis in the 1930s.
An impeachment move against the American president is already in process. His being at the helm even for a week before the new administration takes over is deemed dangerous not only for America but also for the world. The move raises the possibility that Trump could become only the fourth president in American history to face impeachment. It is the second time that he is being tried by Congress.
In an unprecedented move, Twitter and other social media operators have closed his accounts in order to stop him from inciting his supporters. What a shame for the world’s greatest superpower.
Notwithstanding these actions, Trump’s legacy of hate, racial and cultural divisions and fascistic politics will continue to haunt America and the world for long. His fanatical support base remains a threat to democratic values. He failed to win a second term yet got 70 million more votes than what he did in 2016. Trump’s supporters were made to believe that victory was stolen from them. Shockingly, despite the violent attack on the Capitol many of the Republican lawmakers voted against accepting the Electoral College results.
The storming of the Capitol may have shocked the world but what happened last week was not surprising. As Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate and a columnist with The New York Times, put it: “This putsch was decades in the making.” Neither racism nor widespread attraction to conspiracy theories is new in American political life.
Trump galvanised racial antagonism, nativism and far-right nationalist populism that have always existed in American society. His rise to power was certainly not an aberration. He further energised the far-right white supremacists, xenophobic movements and conspiracy theorists during his term.
(Created by "Darsiyo")
saving score / loading statistics ...