Today, January 6, 2021, there was an attempted coup in the United States of America.
Watching from Australia, it was stranger than fiction to see images of the nation’s lawmaking building taken over by an angry, raging terrorist mob determined to overthrow the natural process of the democratic transfer of power.
House of Cards, Handmaid’s Tale and Veep couldn’t have written a better (or, rather, worse) script.
Oddly, it made me think of the 1989 Tian An Men Square protests in Beijing, China.
Wait, how can fighters for freedom and democracy battling a totalitarian regime being mowed down by tanks with many hundreds killed be compared to terrorist fighters of a failing, flailing right-wing totalitarian leader storming the bastion of the nation’s democratic principles?
Admittedly, these are not like-for-like situations but step back from the details and there is something strikingly and scarily similar, even if in the most flipped out of ways.
The students in Tian an Men back in 1989 took a stand against a governing party that brooked no dissent and which, in my humble opinion, made a grave and unforgivable error in the way it handled the situation.
In the January 6 attempted coup in the US, a terrorist coup converged on the Capitol to try to prevent the functioning of democracy by standing against their own democratically elected governing party, which did not brook their misguided notions that the 2020 US Presidential was stolen from them.
These same terrorists damaged the very building that exists to protect their freedoms.
They caused fear amongst the lawmakers some of them voted for.
They laughed and giggled and took selfies of themselves as they paraded the evacuated halls of “their” house.
To support a president who is mentally ill and on a kamikaze mission out of the White House.
Trump and his terrorist cronies just stuck a dagger deep into the heart of American democracy and democracy more broadly.
And once order was restored, the House and Senate lawmakers who continued this game of objecting to the official counting of the electoral college vote — notably Cruz and Hawley who mistakenly think Trumpists will reward them for their “loyalty” when they respectively run for President in 2024 (neither will ever be President) — dug it in a little deeper.
What this group fails to understand is that the next time a US president says his country stands for democracy and supports protestors like those who actually stood up for democracy in Tian An Men Square in 1989, the rest of the world will remember January 6, 2021.
And it will never forget it.