In Washington, supporters of President Donald Trump attacked Congress in a shocking attempt to prevent Joe Biden from being officially certified as the winner of the presidential election. Although the situation was quickly controlled, both American politicians and the public condemned the raid, and Congress formally confirmed Biden’s election soon thereafter, the far-reaching impacts of this incident may be impossible to control.
Obviously, this incident cannot be simply considered a farce personally influenced by the loser of the election, nor can it easily be attributed to the fact that the United States elected Biden to take office. Errors have already been successfully corrected and the chaos caused by the election has entered a two-week countdown.
Congress, which symbolizes the American system, suffered an unprecedented attack by the American people themselves. This is the result of a serious divide in American society today, and the rule of law in that country can no longer effectively manage this split. Trump has refused to admit defeat after losing the election, which has evoked sympathy from many of his supporters and has found many Republican members of Congress not even daring to openly distance themselves from Trump’s ideas. The Republican Party is currently balancing between actually upholding the Constitution and defending the party’s defeated president.
Although it is unacceptable to attack Congress, something on which those in American politics and the public agree, the divide in the U.S. is too deep and the consensus against attacking Congress is not enough to resolve the powerful emotions felt by supporters on the losing side in this past election. On the contrary, the attack on the election results was defeated, but repeated denials of, and attacks on, election results made by the losing party during this time will have lasting effects. This will pose a challenge to the authority of the Biden administration, and will weaken its appeal.
Some U.S. politicians condemned the incident, saying it was an attack on American democracy, and people felt that America democracy remained intact, and the assault came from the outside. But in fact, the problem is serious precisely because it is an internal collapse of the American political system.
The U.S. is still strong, but its strength is found more in a legacy created by older generations. With the passage of time and the blatant abuse and misuse of political resources by generations of American politicians, the U.S. political system has undoubtedly been degraded. This time, the president’s supporters became thugs, and their actions serve as a wake-up call to all of American society about the degradation of American governance.
Every country has its own weaknesses and challenges, and the degradation of the U.S. political system is not necessarily terminal. Perhaps the real problem in the U.S. is that its elite class is too arrogant, and believes that the American system requires great space between the rich and the poor, and that a rotten American democracy is still much stronger than the democracy of other countries. Additionally, American politicians are very selfish, and they are unwilling to take the lead in pushing for thankless and genuine reform. They are only willing to con voters with empty slogans like “hope and change” and “yes we can,” when in reality they are satisfied to drift along on the status quo.
What is even more surprising is that when domestic chaos within U.S. institutions has repeatedly surfaced, the American elite are are not only unwilling to collectively reflect on it, but continue to attack other countries aided by public opinion. In the past few years, U.S. ideological attacks on China can be described as having reached a high point and have been bipartisan. The U.S. thinks that a flourishing China is politically disadvantageous for them, and their negative view of China for the sake of being negative has disrupted its ability to distinguish right from wrong politically.
As a result, so long as politics are involved, there are no alternative positions remaining in political circles, and there is no longer any right and wrong even among the public. Furthermore, there is a rampant double standard: the riots in Hong Kong are a beautiful sight, while those who carry out the same conduct in the U.S. are called thugs. This confusion has been prominent for a while, but it cannot last. The moral capital the U.S. has gained in the past will inevitably be lost as this chaotic situation repeats itself.
American society should do some self-reflection. Its system was once powerful, but today it is undoubtedly worn and outdated. The American elite must own up to their own country’s shortcomings and should no longer wield the methods of extreme international conflict to cover up its own problems or use international confrontation to distort the balance of power.
The United States needs to reform itself. Innovation is not only a matter for developing countries, and history will not end with the Western system. All kinds of signs are constantly emerging around the world which point to the need for the U.S. and other Western countries to be enterprising like developing nations and turn their attention inward. The development of human society requires every country to remain humble and learn from each other’s successes and failures. No one should regard interaction with other cultures as a zero-sum game.
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