Blood and Hypocrisy: Trump Supporters Storm the US Capitol – Republican Article
There is no justification for the events that unfolded on Wednesday. As the hours passed by, pro-Trump protesters grew restless and stormed the US Capitol where Congress were certifying the election results. Truly grotesque scenes happened as a man dressed in a bison costume painted like an American Braveheart entered the Capitol. Someone sat in Nancy Pelosi’s office, someone else stole a podium stand. Guns were drawn, one woman was shot by the police and later died. Another four casualties followed later on.
Even though I’ve seen people who supported Trump condemning the attempted insurrection, many came out in support of what happened, calling out the other side for hypocrisy. “If the left does it, it’s okay!”. They’ve also suggested that storming a political building is acceptable as compared to burning a small business. Except this is in no way justifiable. I’d like to specify why, as someone who openly came out in support of Trump before the election.
Optics: the theatre of politics depends on the optics. It’s just a normal part of our society. What happened at the US capitol proved to everyone who hated Trump that their attitude was justified. It was expected for the media to paint it in the darkest colours. Over the summer, Republicans have been showing off their moral superiority by pointing fingers at the race riots, burned buildings, and often proclaimed that they would never do anything like this. Until now.
Both Trump and Trump supporters proved that they cannot be trusted and played right into the hands of Democrats. The statement provided by Trump amid the situation also left a lot to be desired. He did suggest to the protesters that they need to go home and refrain from violence. However, he also repeated his claims of the election fraud and called the protestors special. This was far from condemning their behaviour and may have led to further upheaval. But for everyone else who saw it – it ruined his optics for years to come. Before, there was an argument to be had. Trump may not be the best orator, etc., but the storming of the US Capitol proved that his words carry weight and affect his supporters in the worst possible way.
Trump singlehandedly ruined the future of the Republican Party. It doesn’t matter that he considered himself an outcast and he wasn’t liked by many in the party. He was still the face of the Republicans for the last four years. He was given a chance and he completely ruined it. Many will be wary of voting Republican in the future. Moderates will think twice before voting for someone like Trump. And Trump supporters will be forever bitter that no one will ever replace their ‘Supreme Leader’.
Principles: When the BLM riots led to over $1 billion in damage, I vehemently condemned the looting and rioting. I strongly believe in a non-violent approach. Equally, I believe that storming the US Capitol was a ridiculous idea and I continue to condemn this behaviour. But many failed to notice their own hypocrisy and defended protesters’ behaviour. If you have principles, you will condemn violence regardless of which side it is coming from. Otherwise it’s partisanship and you contribute to the divide between people.
What is truly worrying though, is the fact that this may only be the beginning of much greater problems. What happened in Washington is a result of a lot of different factors all at once. Trust in media has been steadily decreasing. People who don’t trust the media, tend to turn to the alternatives, such as YouTube and other places. Even though content that can be found on YouTube may sometimes be interesting and on occasion precise, people who lack critical thinking skills may end up finding unverified content that verges on conspiracy theories. This can then be taken as gospel by many people leading to what we’ve seen unfolding in Washington.
There is also a clear divide in the society. Tribalism on both sides is growing. Over the last few years, the gap between the Republicans and the Democrats drastically widened and it will only continue to do so unless we learn how to patch these differences. Let’s hope that the Biden’s inauguration will happen peacefully and we can repair the damage that has been caused.
Written by Republican Writer, Dinah Kolka
Point of Information
Bipartisanship at Last – A Democratic Response
For once, I actually agree with Dinah. The pro-Trump mob’s actions at the Capitol were and still are unacceptable. It was a truly grotesque sight to see these insurrectionists storm the Capitol like zombies attacking a warehouse in a post-apocalyptic film. But what I do not agree with is her comparison of this treasonous insurrection to the BLM’s civil rights movement.
The two are incomparable. One is about undoing over 400 years of institutionalized racism on this land and finally living up to the constitution’s declaration that “all men are created equal”. The other is a set of illegitimate grievances held by radicalized Trump supporters, upset that he lost. The term “race riots” assumes that BIPOC have no right to riot, to be mad, or to stand up for their civil liberties. Ultimately, it assumes that BIPOC should be quiet and accept the 400 years of systemic discrimination at the hands of their white oppressors.
Another objection I have is that Trump did not ruin the Republican party, he is its logical conclusion. The party was moving further and further right since the ’80s with Reagan. Trump merely accelerated this phenomenon. The party signed on to its own demise by allowing Trump to run, become the nominee, and not condemn his irrational and bigoted behavior as president.
But I must say that I do share Dinah’s fear that this could only be the start of something worse. People are turning more and more towards conspiracy theories. This only widens divides within society, making it even more difficult to reunite the United States of America. We can only hope that Biden will do what he promised. The soul of the nation must be re-defined and re-discovered to finally achieve true equality.
Written by Democratic Writer, Ali Lahrech
The Divisions Run Deep – A Foreign Perspective
The storming of the Capitol building on Wednesday was a historic occasion. An occasion that I agree with both Dinah and Ali in saying that the actions of the rioters were unacceptable. It was nothing short of an insurrection against the result of a free and democratic election. But what has been the result of the rioters’ actions?
Well, it is safe to say that they didn’t overturn the election result, or prevent Congress confirming the outcome of the Electoral College vote. As Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader said: ‘They tried to disrupt Democracy – they failed’. But, as Dinah points out in her article, the event has had one significant impact – it has ruined much of any decent legacy Trump had left in the White House. It is the culmination of what began when the President rejected the election result and began to spread false claims. It is an event that will wound not just Trump, but the Republican party as well.
Biden’s comments calling it ‘a dark moment’ in US history only further plays it into the hands of him and his incoming administration. Now, even more than before, the President-elect can paint himself as the leader of a new chapter in US politics, happy to leave the last four years behind.
However, what the storming of the Capitol really shows is how divided those on the right in the US are over the election result. Many in the party didn’t see Trump as a Republican in the first place. He was an outsider who came in and stole the ticket. But, whilst he has been in office, the President has enjoyed the support of his party. This has covered over the cracks in the Republican party. On Wednesday, the anger that many Trump supporters have felt since the 2020 election came to a head, and many Republicans in Congress were left to reckon with their anger.
Politicians that Trump has been able to count on in the last four years have now abandoned him, and Senior party members have come out saying that the President ‘formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob. He lit the flame’. Trump will see out the rest of his term isolated from many in his party, although that won’t exactly be a new feeling for him. It will, as Dinah explained, be a lasting problem for the Republican party, and one that it will take a while to recover from.
Written by Foreign Perspective Writer, Fergus Harris