Any analysis of the events that took place on January 6 in the capital of the United States must start from its absolute exceptionality. We are talking about the assault on the Capitol, the seat of the United States Congress, that is, of the North American federal legislative power. The only time in more than two hundred years of history that the ‘sancta sanctorum’ of American democracy was forcibly occupied occurred during the so-called War of 1812 that the United States fought with the British Empire. The English soldiers occupied Washington, DC for twenty-four hours and they set fire to the Capitol and other public buildings. The Americans never thought they would witness anything even remotely similar.
But the exceptionality does not stop there. Never in history has a candidate for president of the United States refused to accept his defeat at the polls. Richard Nixon’s reputation is not exactly that of a politician who respects the law and the institutions. However, when in 1960 he lost to Kennedy in the closest election of the 20th century, he accepted his defeat. Moreover, when a New York journalist launched an investigation into electoral fraud in two states, Nixon asked him not to continue down that path, arguing that it would damage the international image of the country, and with an even more definitive one: « Nobody steals the presidency of the United States.
Never in history has a candidate for the presidency of the United States refused to accept his defeat at the polls
It is evident that President Trump has been very far from the height that the first president of the United States is supposed to be. In a nation that is held together by respect for the law and the veneration of institutions, its attitude has come to deteriorate those ties of union. On the other hand, the assault on the Capitol has come to focus on a divisive element in American society: race. The available images show a mob of assailants made up almost exclusively of whites. In the coming weeks, the American media will offer an increasingly complete X-ray of the protagonists of the assault. Now we only have those images that have been around the world, and in which paramilitary clothes and some supremacist symbol are seen, such as the old flag of the Confederacy. Some words of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election campaign come to mind, when she said that half of Trump’s supporters entered what she called the “basket of deplorable ones.” It was, without a doubt, those “deplorable” who have desecrated the Capitol.
But they are by no means half of Trump’s voters. It is hoped that the majority of the Republican electorate will soon be disillusioned with the illusions and lies of radical populism and will lead his party – Abraham Lincoln’s party – back to its rightful place in the institutions of the larger and oldest democracy in the world.