Biden warned the US about peril from Trump’s ‘dagger’ at democracy.
Washington DC: January 6 marked a year since the deadly siege of the US Capitol by a partially-armed and whimsically-dressed mob made of supporters of then-President Donald Trump. The attack on the Capitol — a complex that is widely seen as a symbol of American democracy — was unprecedented. The only other forcible breach had occurred more than 200 years earlier when British troops set fire to it in August 1814.
President Joe Biden forcefully blamed Donald Trump and his supporters Thursday for holding a “dagger at the throat of democracy” with election lies that sparked last year’s deadly assault on the US Capitol, using the anniversary of the attack to warn that America’s system of government remains under urgent threat.
That the January 6 assault was perpetrated by flag-waving patriots instigated by a sitting president making false claims of a stolen election — and refusing to acknowledge his electoral defeat — only underscores the political danger it portends. Accepting electoral defeat is, after all, fundamental to the functioning of any democracy.
A year later, Americans do not remember Jan 6 Capitol riot as one people. A Quinnipiac poll found that 93 percent of Democrats considered it an attack on the government, but only 29 percent of Republicans agreed. A poll by The Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that about 4 in 10 Republicans recall the attack — in which five people died — as violent, while 9 in 10 Democrats do. Such a disparity in memory may be inevitable in our hyper-polarized politics, but it’s striking given the stark clarity of Jan. 6 at the time and in its immediate aftermath.
Moreover, many Trump supporters have adopted the former president’s denial over the 2020 election. In the last year, Republicans have passed dozens of laws in 19 states to restrict voting. More election battles loom in the 2022 midterms and beyond.
Meanwhile, the Capitol remains closed to the public, a place where tours once regularly paraded.