In the wee hours of the morning (Indian time), many of us night-owls watched in horror as Capitol Hill burnt. As lawmakers counted electoral votes certifying Joe Biden as President-Elect, supporters of incumbent President Donald Trump stormed Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Capitol Hill is where the US Senate and House of Representatives are seated at. In the latest update, at least 4 people have died and at least two pipe bombs have been found at the RNC and DNC.
World leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, condemned the violence and urged that all parties ensure the peaceful transfer of power in the United States of America. But as we saw the shocking scenes from the seat of democracy, one has to wonder what led to the violence that left 4 dead and the Capitol Hill breached? For a country that prides itself for being a model for the rest of the world to emulate, what went so horribly wrong?
Strangely, while Washington burnt, one is reminded of an interesting quote from Jimmy Carter. He once said, “The best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic process is worthy of emulation”. And that is not a sentiment that is absent today. For a large majority of Americans, the American process is worthy of emulation. Then one simply has to wonder how did the democratic process worthy of emulation end up with 45% Republicans supporting the storming of Capitol Hill?
For India and most of the democratic world, perhaps, the form of democracy that is touted to be that based on which the country functions, is a Deliberative democracy. Essentially, nations assert that any decision taken in the democracy has to go through an authentic deliberative process. But unfortunate as it is, that process has collapsed entirely in the United States and instead there was widespread anarchy and rioting across the country.
In the USA, what we saw in the past few months could perhaps be considered as a prime example of the Left burning the country down to ashes and the worst face of radical democratic thought. With Donald Trump being the great disrupter in American politics, it did not really come as a surprise when ANTIFA, encouraged and egged on by the Liberal politicians and newsmen, proceeded to burn the country down.
While the apparent trigger was the death of George Floyd, and the merits of his death remain an issue for the USA to solve, the ultimate aim of the protests were extremely different. A disruptor had won, unseating the high and mighty cabal of the Left, and the people wanted blood.
For the Left, a democracy only works when their own people occupy the seat of power and the moment that momentum is disrupted, all bets are off. While ANTIFA thugs went around murdering Trump supporters, unleashing violence of the roads, rioting, looting stores and unleashing anarchy, the politicians and media persons not only pandered to the riotous mob, but also defended their unbridled violence.
Sample this statement by Chris Cuomo.
“Who said protests have to be peaceful”, he asked when ANTIFA thugs ran amok.
Pramila Jayapal had hailed the ANTIFA violence as well. “Never stop fighting to make it better”, she said.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also hailed the “protests” that were burning her own country down. “The whole point of protest is to make people uncomfortable”, she said.
“Everyone beware”. “They will not stop”. “They will not let up and they should not let up”. Kamala Harris, the “president-elect” according to a gaffe by Joe Biden himself, said repeatedly.
Listen to every single word and watch it twice, it’s the only time you will ever see her being completely honest. pic.twitter.com/ZExCl0z2o0— Kristy Swanson (@KristySwansonXO) January 7, 2021
To bring some clarity and context to the issue, Donald Trump had earlier declared that the USA will designate Antifa as a terrorist organisation. Antifa is short for ‘anti-fascists’. While numerous people believe anyone who does not endorse fascism is ‘antifa’, in reality, the word has a very specific meaning. It is of great concern now that Antifa India is a thing as well. Antifa is just a fancy name for 21st Century communists.
It is an umbrella term used to denote far-left political ‘activists’, who often employ violent rhetoric to achieve their political objectives. Like their Soviet and Chinese counterparts, these radicals are not fond of freedom of expression and have effectively shut down free speech in universities across the USA. It is also pertinent to note that it is almost entirely an urban phenomenon.
So while Donald Trump wanted to ban ANTIFA, Left politicians and the media fanned the violence and even justified the carnage that was being left in the wake. With months of violence, what precipitated was the final break-down of patience and the result was for the world to see.
Once Trump supporters occupied Capitol Hill, the same politicians and media persons who were justifying ANTIFA violence, began to rue the death of democracy in America and how, the violence at Capitol Hill was the legacy of “fascist Trump”.
Just one of the many tweets came from Pramila Jayapal, who was earlier hailing ANTIFA violence as ‘patriotic protest’. While ANTIFA thugs were patriots, Trump supporters were domestic terrorists.
This phenomenon, however, did not occur in a vacuum. Truth be told, it has become the favoured tactic of the Left and the mainstream media. Their conduct has proved definitively that they are not averse towards violence, they are only opposed to it when their footsoldiers are the ones who have to suffer the consequences for the violence they themselves unleashed. In fact, I would go out on a limb and say that the Left wanted this.
When the Left unleashes violence, they are perfectly aware that violence is a two-way street. When people are pushed to a corner with months of carnage, the retaliation could possibly be brutal and imminent. For a cabal that seems to orchestrate large-scale violence, this possibility, this imminent possibility, was well evident. Therefore, it stands to reason that when the Left unleashes violence, part of their grand plan is to provoke a reaction so they can then paint their political opponents as the terrorists wanting to burn the country down when it was them who lit the fire.
There are important lessons that India can learn from this. The first and foremost being that anarchy on the streets will have consequences. When people see that a particular section of the country is allowed to hold cities at ransom, block highways and bring normal life to a halt because their demands haven’t been met and yet, no action is taken against them and they are allowed to run rampant, then other sections of society will also attempt the same.
It is only a matter of time before complete anarchy erupts if one section of society is constantly permitted to get away with holding cities at random. That is why it is so important that anarchy such as the farmer protests and Shaheen Bagh is not permitted to continue for long. Because it has debilitating effects on the health of a nation. If people come to believe that blocking highways is how one has his demands granted by policymakers, then voting and elections take a back seat.
When that happens, we do not have a democracy anymore. The Left should also be aware that actions have consequences. If they justify lawlessness and anarchy in the name of civil rights protests, it is only a matter of time before their opponents take the same route. And they may not like the results when that happens.