Trump’s Final Days in Office

The Historic and Deadly Insurrection on Capitol Hill

Trump’s Final Days in Office

     On January 6th, 2021, an insurrection occurred on Capitol Hill. 

     Four years of hate, conspiracies, and lies spewed by Donald Trump to power his ego culminated in the insurrection. In the last several weeks before Biden’s inauguration on January 20th, Trump displayed the worst of his lawlessness, a level many of us have long feared. It began with a phone call to coerce officials in Georgia to change the results of the election. 

     “I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break,” Trump told Republican Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Secretary of State. 

     Trump’s attempt to undermine the moral principles of America finally became a reality, as we witnessed the greatest assault on American democracy since the Civil War. 

     Thankfully, Trump failed, and our systems of democracy remain intact, albeit with serious injuries. Images of people flooding the halls of the Capitol with guns, zip-ties, and a Confederate flag flooded the internet. Rioters smashed windows, trashed offices, and overran the Capitol, as Congress rushed out of their chambers. The insurrection interrupted a meeting certifying Joe Biden as the next president. The outgoing president, sitting idle, fueled the flames of the rioters. 

     Before the riot developed into a full blown attempted-coup, Trump and his associates held a rally to “stop the steal” of the election by the Biden administration. “You have to show strength,” “fight like hell,” “let’s have trial by combat,” are just some of the insinuating language spewed by leaders at the rally. 

     The situation quickly escalated, as Trump supporters swarmed onto the steps of the Capitol building. With few police enforcement to counteract the number of protestors, a stark contrast to the officers decked out in military and riot gear last June for the Black Lives Matter protests, rioters shattered a window to the building. 

     The chamber paused their meeting, and soon police officers pointed guns from inside the House chambers with face masks protecting themselves against the coronavirus. Trump, meanwhile, remained silent for two hours, only tweeting a “remain peaceful” message with an added “I love you,” as people cheered on with flags bearing his name. 

     As 2020, a year battered by record-setting wildfires, rampant inequality, and COVID-19 came to a close, there was optimism that 2021 would be a year of rebuilding. Yet, six days later, the surrealism resumed. 

     I felt, somehow, a disconnect with Washington D.C.. Watching the event unfold through the television and social media, I struggled to believe that this was actually taking place. At that moment, the Capitol, the center of America’s government, was being taken over. I was living while history was unfolding. A day that will be in the history books in 20 years. But I was not there. I could not see it firsthand with my eyes, smell the cold air around the Capitol, or hear the sirens as I did for those dreaded first months of the NYC pandemic. Feeling such a distance from the event, people shouted “fake news!” at reporters narrating simply what they saw occurring. 

     From bottom up, Trump has conditioned people to believe anything. He has ingrained an unfathomable level of distrust. Distrust that will prevent people from taking an imminent viral infection seriously or from taking a world-changing vaccine, all while threatening the very function of our government. When we need healing and peace, Trump promotes violence and chaos. 

     Is America great again? President Joe Biden echoes the somehow hidden, profound reality: “This is the United States of America.”