Where do we go from here? The impacts of the insurrection


When the protests at the Capitol began on Wednesday, January 6, the students of SPFHS had just finished block 3B. Little did we know that the protests would quickly escalate to riots and leave five dead and hundreds of Capitol workers traumatized forever. Little did we know about the implications Wednesday’s news reports would have on the world’s perception of American democracy. 

There isn’t a shadow of a doubt that the riots in the U.S. Capitol were directly catalyzed by President Trump’s lies. While the calls for impeachment are valid, with only seven days left until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated, impeaching President Trump will do nothing more than incite a game of annihilationist politics – a game that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is eager to play. Perhaps these actions are ultimately necessary in order to send one clear message to the American people: continued political slander, the undermining of the democratic electoral process and borderline fascist actions are intolerable in the U.S. political culture. Beyond the social implications of impeachment, President Trump would also lose access to his security detail, pension upon leaving office and opportunity to run for office again. 

As President-elect Biden gears up to take office with a blue House and Senate supporting him, one thing needs to be made clear: America isn’t transforming into a healed nation. Rather, the first few months of Biden’s presidency will be tumultuous and a test to see if the middle ground of the political spectrum still exists. 

There is a crisis in leadership on both sides of the aisle. As film director Adam McKay tweeted last Wednesday night, the speeches made by Congress condemning the events at the Capitol sounded more like a board of a country club punishing teenagers for drawing something obscene on an expensive car than uniting the country. 

The consequences and greater underpinnings of this event will continue to ripple out. When President-elect Biden takes office, the vehement racism and schism of this country will remain present if these issues continue to be swept under the rug. The chasm between Trumpism and liberalism may get even wider; although Trump himself committed political suicide, Trumpism isn’t going away – the GOP will just repackage it into the identity of their 2024 candidate. 

As members of Trump’s administration are jumping ship while the boat is still sinking to save what is left of their political reputation, the GOP must recognize the defects of Trumpism and the implications that it has on democracy.  

So, the question as to where we as a nation go from here remains outstanding. It is naive to assume that the Trump model will magically dissolve into the fold come Jan. 20. With the political turmoil of the past four years, sans resolution, a sense of political normalcy may be impossible to regain. A day where Americans will see eye-to-eye may seem unachievable. Generation Z has yet to know an empathetic and cooperative political climate. If the events of Jan. 6, 2021 continue to be swept under the rug, perhaps we never will. 

We must tread carefully in the coming months knowing that things can easily get out of hand. We have already begun to feel the effects of extreme political division throughout the country and cannot begin to imagine the dire state of our nation should Americans lose all connection to one another and the practice of Democracy. 

This is our America.