A year after a pro-Trump mob overran the Capitol in the worst attack on the seat of Congress since it was burned by British forces in 1814, polls show that about one in three Americans believe violence against the government can be justified. This is true of 40% of Republicans, 41% of Independents and 23% of Democrats.
These figures show the extreme danger facing our bitterly antagonistic neighbor; the country is armed to the teeth with nearly 400 million firearms in civilian hands, including over 22 million military assault rifles. A significant portion of the population is asserting their constitutional right to bear arms to protect themselves from the government: The United States was created by an armed insurrection against Britain that lasted several years.
On Jan. 6, at a rally near the White House, Donald Trump urged his supporters to “fight like hell” to prevent the election from being stolen, urging them to march on Capitol Hill with him. The coward ducked back into his office to watch the attack on television.
Capitol Hill Riot: the GOP Is Preparing for the Next Step
Barbara F. Walter, a political science professor and CIA consultant, believes the United States is close to a civil war. In her new book coming out this month, “How Civil Wars Start,” she writes that the United States has entered a very dangerous phase.
The Republican Party, like authoritarian movements around the world, sees itself as the only one that can legitimately govern. Over the past year, Republican legislators in 41 states have pushed through legislation that allows state legislatures to deny unfavorable election results to pro-Trump candidates.
The Republican Party is also trying in every way possible to obstruct investigations into the Jan. 6 riot. And so far, it’s working. Trump has managed to block all legal proceedings against him. Congressional subpoenas, defied by Trump’s henchmen, have become a joke. The defendants intend to mount more legal challenges until Congress changes hands in November 2022 and the Jan. 6 commission is dissolved.
Can the Democrats Save the Country?
The U.S. Constitution is not adapted to the political vicissitudes of the 21st century. A major rewrite would be necessary to avoid violent political upheaval and a possible breakup in the coming years. Such a re-foundation of the republic is impossible to achieve at present.
I am astonished and saddened by what seems to me, so far, to be a certain casualness on the part of the Democrats in the face of the grave dangers facing the United States.
They tragically lack an energetic and determined leader, a Churchill-like bulldog. A man who, with a strong voice, could send the message that they will not let Trump and the GOP destroy American democracy.