During the War of 1812, the English invaded Washington, DC, and burned down Congress. Now it was Donald Trump´s turn who in an incendiary speech incited right-wing militants to protest the November election that the president insists, without any any factual evidence, was fraudulent.
“Walk down to the Capitol…,” Trump told his supporters at a rally on the National Mall. “… you will never take back our country with weakness.”
Insurrectionists, which included racial supremacy groups, nationalists and conservative Republicans, following the implicit orders of their leader, climbed walls and stormed the historic congressional building where lawmakers were in session with the constitutionally-mandated task of certifying the election results. A process that has traditionally been a simple routine, but that with Trump’s incessant accusations became the last trench for the Right to avoid confirmation of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Several representatives and senators, including Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, joined the president’s futile effort to question the votes.
But let´s be clear. The moment the Trumpist protesters entered Congress by force, at that precise moment, they ceased to be citizens exercising their constitutional rights and became domestic terrorists.
The extremists, shouting and waving their Confederate flags, advanced through the Capitol Rotunda and took control of the entry, halls, and balconies. They attacked policemen, left packages with explosives, and engaged in vandalism. Some were filmed breaking windows and others appear in photos sitting disrespectfully on the chair of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Make America Great Again extremists managed to disrupt the congressional session, forcing lawmakers, protected by armed security personnel, to flee to safe areas and prepare for the worst.
But once the security forces regained control of the situation, the seditious rioters could not prevent Congress from concluding the counting of electoral votes and from reaffirming the victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. A discouraging conclusion for these criminals who, hours earlier, had received another blow when it was confirmed that the two Democratic candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, had won in the Georgia senatorial election. A crucial result that gives Democrats a majority in the Senate, and more political oxygen to implement the legislative agenda of the Biden Administration.
THE INSTITUTIONAL COST
No matter your partisan colors and how you analyze what happened on January 6, 2021, all leads to the unquestionable fact that the damage caused to American democratic institutions is of historical dimensions.
“This is how results are disputed in a Banana Republic, not in our democratic republic,” said former President George W. Bush.
And this is how the presidency of Donald Trump ends. Like in a Banana Republic. With chaos. With seditious proclamations.
Considering the questionable moral background of this president who promotes a world of alternative realities and falsehoods, its is safe to suggest that Trump encouraged this insurrection with the intention of interrupting the constitutional process and creating the conditions to perpetuate himself in power. In other words, we were witnesses, the world was a witness, of an attempted coup d´état , ironically, in the nation that prides itself on being the cradle of modern democracy.
But Trump’s political ideology and criminal behavior are not the most dangerous challenges ahead. The worst is that, as some suspect, the president may be unhinged. The pressure of losing power and heading for an uncertain legal and economic future would have him in a dubious state of mind.
According to reports, this would have motivated consultations between Vice-President Mike Pence, members of the cabinet and some legislators to explore the possibility of invoking the 25thAmendment to the Constitution that provides for the removal of the president.
Although there are only two weeks left before his term ends, perhaps this is the only reasonable solution to the possibility that an uncontrolled, mentally-ill Trump could push the country and the world into an unimaginable catastrophe.