3rd Anniversary of Capitol Riot: Political Farce Continues and US Government Dysfunction Worsens

On Jan. 6, 2021, a huge crowd of people broke into the Capitol in a violent attempt to prevent a joint session of the U.S. Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election. Five people died in the attack, including a Capitol police officer, and 140 law enforcement officers were injured.

It'[s been three years since the attack, and the Capitol, “the symbol of American politics,” has become a theater where the Democratic and Republican parties attack each other in a political farce. In an environment of political polarization and intensifying partisan disputes, America’s economic and social agenda has stagnated and governmental dysfunction has grown worse. U.S. society has a disease that’s hard to cure.

Over the course of 2023, political polarization and division intensified in the United States, with ongoing political theatrics occurring in Congress.

In January 2023, the Republican Party regained control of the House of Representatives after four years, only to become embroiled in internal conflict. After 15 votes, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy became House speaker. The election set a record for the longest time to elect a speaker in 100 years. The House ousted McCarthy on Oct. 3, becoming the first speaker in U.S. history to be voted out of office. It took only one day to go from filing the motion against McCarthy to passing it.

The removal of the speaker paralyzed the House for three weeks in the wake of division within and between the two parties. Chaos and disrupted government policy operations led to fierce political gamesmanship between the two sides on the debt ceiling and the federal budget. The U.S. national debt remains high, the appropriations bill for the 2024 fiscal year has not yet passed, and the U.S. government is again facing a shutdown.

Given such political polarization and endless party disputes, it is difficult to effectively address society’s problems in the U.S. and the federal government has been rendered dysfunctional.

Gun violence, a perennial American, continued to strike a raw nerve in 2023, when such violence killed more than 42,000 people and injured 36,000. There were 655 mass shootings, which involve at least four deaths, prompting repeated calls for gun control. However, it is difficult to pass gun control legislation in Congress.

On Feb. 3, 2023, a train derailment in Ohio led to the spread of toxic gases. Cleanup of the chemical residue at the site is not only still ongoing, but a bill to impose stricter safety checks on the operation of trains carrying chemicals has stalled in the U.S. Senate because the two parties cannot agree.

On Aug. 8, 2023, the deadliest fire in U.S. history struck in Maui, Hawaii, killing nearly 100 people. So far there has been no significant progress in finding the cause of the fire. Local media have reported that many local government officials were extremely uncooperative with the investigation and that many people affected by the disaster were disappointed and tired of all levels of government passing the buck. The Democratic and Republican parties have engaged in stunts to maintain their political reputations but have often shied away from actual problems related to the safety of people’s lives and property. The trust of the American people in the federal government is in jeopardy.

As Diao Daming, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Renmin University of China, has commented, “We can see that American politics is in a self-reinforcing vicious cycle of decay, intense party struggles and fragmentation without a solution. Behind this chaos of political degradation is a manifestation of the shortcomings of the U.S. political system and American-style democracy. The U.S. presidential system, the U.S. congressional system, and its system for electing presidents and members of Congress create a huge space for the two parties to engage in vicious fighting and polarization. Viewed in this way, it can be said that American politics will remain in a state of decay and imbalance for a long time, with no meaningful self-correction or adjustment. Under such circumstances, the attack on the U.S. Capitol in 2021 may just be the beginning. It is difficult to rule out similar or even more serious political turmoil occurring again and again in the U.S. political arena in the future.”

About this publication

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply