Jan. 6, 2021: A date that will live in infamy. And it is Donald Trump who caused it.
They are famous and strong words, uttered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and referring to Dec. 7, 1941, the day Japan attacked the United States of America: ”A date which will live on in infamy.”
This will also apply to Jan. 6, 2021. But this time the attack was not from a foreign nation, and not against a naval base far out in the Pacific Ocean.
This time the attack was in Washington, D.C., the Capitol of the United States of America. And it was the losing side in an American presidential election who stormed the Capitol building. This was to stop the Electoral College vote certification planned to take place there, which would have given Joe Biden victory in the presidential election. Now it had to be abandoned.
One person was shot dead inside the Capitol. Pictures of police officers inside with weapons drawn were transmitted across the world.
The world was in shock. These were scenes we had never seen before from the U.S. Things like this happen in other countries, sure, but not the U.S.
In the White House, the president of the United States was sitting in front of the TV following developments. In a way, Donald Trump got what he wanted.
He was the one encouraging his supporters to come to the Capitol today. He was the one who had continually claimed the election victory was stolen from him through extensive election fraud. He tamely tweeted about ”No violence!” and for all at the Capitol to conduct themselves peacefully. Eventually he asked them to go home. It was about time — way too late.
None of this would have happened if Trump had done what his predecessors did before him: acknowledged himself beaten, congratulated the winner and started preparing for the move out of the White House. Instead, he has incited the shameful, devastating scenes we have witnessed from the U.S. Capitol. It is a coup attempt — or perhaps more of a riot — we have just witnessed. An attempt to stop the democratic process.
Biden was not holding back in his short speech. He said that democracy is under attack.
Thankfully, it is not the military who are involved. It is the loser in the election who refuses to accept the result and trying to force a different one in which Trump gets to stay in the White House.
That is not going to happen. After a few hours Congress reconvened and continued the execution of the ceremony which normally would only be a formality, the certification of electoral votes. There was a debate about the result in a few states, like Arizona and Pennsylvania, but attempts to invalidate the electoral votes there were voted down, as expected. Some Republican senators who had planned to question the result changed their minds after what happened.
Trump will leave the White House on Jan. 20 and will leave the post dishonored. The events in Washington this Wednesday are going to be a blot that cannot be washed away.
The Republicans have paid a price for Trump’s actions over the last few weeks. The party will lose control over the Senate, since the two Democratic candidates won the runoff election in Georgia. This means that the Democrats now control both houses of Congress. This is, of course, very good news for Biden.
In 2016, some Republicans warned that with Trump, the party had created a monster over whom they risked losing control.
That is exactly what has happened. The party has in many ways been transformed into Trump’s party. It remains to be seen if Trump will continue to live on politically after leaving the White House.
Frankenstein’s monster was, as we know, very difficult to get rid of.