US Capitol Shame: Unprecedented Assault On Democracy Even As The US Congress Certifies Biden Victory!

Just when the bicameral United States Congress was to sit in a rare joint session to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory mobs descended on Capitol Hill, the celebrated seat of the US Government, and drafted a black chapter not only in the country’s democratic history but also in the world’s democratic traditions. Supporters of the outgoing President Donald Trump gathered in large numbers and breached the security to carry out an unprecedented act of desecration and vandalism. At least four people were killed in the violence, and the security personnel, totally overwhelmed by the surging mob, arrested around fifty rioters. Coming in as a light at the end of the tunnel the US Congress had met later and certified Joe Biden’s electoral victory which means that Biden is now the rightful official President of the country set to take over on the 20th of this month. As per the latest news reports Trump has finally conceded his defeat and acknowledged Biden’s democratic victory.


The horrific part of the attack was that it was almost state-sponsored with Trump, still the head of the government, inciting his supporters for the act in a rally held prior to the joint session and putting incendiary social media posts. The social media posts were removed eventually, but a shade too late. We think Donald Trump has become the first ever head of a government in a democratic country to try cling to power in spite of a convincing electoral defeat, and egg on or even congratulate his supporters upstaging sort of a coup of an unprecedented order.


In fact, such acts are not unexpected. The US election of 2020 has divided the country almost into two halves—the Republicans, empowered by a populist and aggressive nationalism, and the Democrats, in the true spirit of democratic traditions to save democracy. Experts and political commentators have been warning about the inevitable repercussions of the divisions in the American society, and that right-wing nationalist Trumpism would outlast the Biden regime. Besides, Trump had refused to concede defeat from the beginning claiming ridiculously that he had won the Elections, demanding repolls and alleging that the Elections had in fact been stolen by Biden. The fact that many Trump supporters in the attack on Wednesday, the 6th of January 2021, mouthing the slogan ‘stop the steal’ in an insane obsession says the sordid story that makes one ashamed of it all, and also fearful of democracy coming under serious global threat.


The growth of aggressive nationalism and intolerance in several frontline countries of the world including India corroborates the fear that democracy is indeed coming under increasing threat, globally. These openly right-wing forces in power propagate their ideologies bulldozing the government machineries, winning over a sizeable segment of the mainstream media through lucrative deals or even coercion, reigning supreme in the social media thanks to their ‘dedicated’ expert IT cells, passing controversial legislations to pander to the majority, repressing democratic movements with brutal force and creating in the process a foolish majority, blindly supporting anything that the ruling forces do or say. Elections are no longer democratic exercises; these are wars to be won at any cost, going to any extent of dividing or instigating or terrorizing the prospective voters. Accepting defeat with humility is a thing of the distant past, and the old saying needs to be revised to ‘everything is fair in war, love and (elections)’.


Donald Trump finally conceding defeat is indeed good news at this despairing juncture, whatever be the eventual outcome. Besides, a whole lot of the Americans still greatly value their democratic traditions with, in fact, some of the Republican legislators and strong supporters of Trumpism voicing against this assault on democracy and cherished institutions. Then of course, a vast chunk of the world’s citizens is still in favor of preserving democratic values and institutions. Therefore, should the fascist forces, disguised as genuine representatives of the people, try bulldoze democracy it would not be without a potent resistance movement across the globe. Save Democracy!


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