Chaos at the Capital: The Product of a Dark Presidency

Liberty. Freedom. Democracy. These are the values our nation was founded on. Sadly, on Jan. 6th, 2021, these core values were threatened not by foreign warlords or terrorists, but by our fellow American citizens. On this day in our nation’s capital, government officials from both parties engaged in the centuries-old democratic process of confirming the President-Elect of the United States of America. On this same sacred day, President Trump, along with others, incited a seditious attack on our nation’s Capitol, on a scale that has not been seen since the British sacking in The War of 1812. But how did we get to this point? Well, it was not a random chance. Instead, it stemmed from the deliberate actions of none other than President Donald J. Trump’s administration.

President Trump has been called many things, but the one thing the past four years have proven is that a lot of his actions are very intentional. For it was his intentional actions that led to the chaos and insurrection at our nation’s Capitol. One of the earliest and most notable of these actions was when he directly implied moral equivalence between white supremacists protesters and counter-protesters aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement. His exact words were that there are “Very fine people on both sides,” sparking up outrage and controversy that was not entirely uncalled for. By saying that people in favor of white supremacy and pro-Nazi were just as moral as those fighting for the equality of an oppressed ethnicity, Trump started a flame that was by no means going to be extinguished anytime soon.

Part of the reason I believe we got to the point of our Capitol being attacked is that our president does not see himself facing repercussions for his words or actions, no matter how horrendous they are. NPR News was one of the many news outlets that reported these exact words from when he was running for president in 2016: “I could shoot somebody and not lose any votes”. This opinion certainly did not change over the years either. This past summer, Trump called the President of Ukraine to get incriminating information on the son of one of his political rivals, Joe Biden. This scandalous action led to Trump being one of the few presidents in American history to be impeached. Although Trump dusted his impeachment off, he was given the Republican nomination. He began a stream of lies and mistruths that shook the democratic roots on which this nation was founded.

One of the most devastating falsehoods Trump has fed the nation is that the presidential election was “a rigged election”. Although most people think this is a current rumor Trump has been spreading, he started these dangerous falsehoods as early as August. At the time, this was just labeled as typical Trump behavior. However, what he was doing with these lies and rumors about the election was arguably a lot more dangerous than anything he’s ever done. The reason being is that by getting into his supporters’ heads that only a Trump victory would mean a fair election, Trump upturned a centuries-old process that has gotten us through over 200 years of democracy. And, at the heart of this democratic process is something known as a peaceful transition of power. Peacefully handing over power to the incoming president, our country has stopped chaos, hatred, and insurrection from breaching the walls of our wonderful democracy. But, on Jan. 6th, 2021 those walls were breached, physically as well as symbolically.

The breaching of our Capitol marked a dark chapter in American history. While the occasional politician or activist might have mentioned the darkness that laid with our land was dangerous and active, after current events no one can say America is the epitome of an unblemished nation. However, we are a resilient nation because on the same day our democracy was challenged, we rose to the occasion and did not let domestic attacks stop us from carrying out the confirmation of the President-Elect of the United States of America. So, while these past four years have shown that there is a darkness that lies in our nation, we have also proved that there is hope for our nation’s democracy, and hope that we will rise from these dark recent events and emerge as a better America.