The assault on the Capitol during Joe Biden’s certification of victory came as no surprise to anyone except the tenants of the building. The only unsuspecting was the political class in Washington, which has long lived in a biosphere of privilege and isolated from reality. A very serious disconnect that is at the very root of the rise of Donald Trump and his election as president. Rather, it is the chronicle of an assault announced, publicized and planned for all to see.
The hollow outrage of Congress, its determination to continue the session late into the night in defiance of Trump, the speeches on the sacrosanct House, the Constitution and ‘American exceptionalism’ (this does not happen here), not really they impressed nothing outside the capital belt of the country.
Far from being an isolated act, the events in Washington were replicated throughout the United States in a chain of threatening protests in the capitals of other states where mobs of angry protesters made their way into the legislative buildings, forcing their evacuation. In response to the violent threats, Utan employees of the State Capitol were ordered to leave the building. And in Georgia, the police had to escort Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to safety before a demonstration of militias outside the legislative headquarters in Atlanta.
In Washington State itself, Governor Jay Inslee and his wife had to be removed from the official mansion when a large group of ‘Trumpists’ violated the perimeter. Protesters in Salem burned the effigy of Oregon Governor Kate Brown. In Sacramento, in turn, agents were trying to contain clashes between rival groups. And in Kansas a group of pro-Trump protesters entered the Capitol in Topeka as protests against Biden were held in Austin, Texas, Little Rock, Arkansas, and other cities.
Although many protests were “peaceful” and controlled, many of the outgoing president’s supporters also showed up with firearms and riot shields. The mobilizations highlight the increase in violent confrontations that have been taking place around the capital buildings of most of the States in the last year.
Headlines with alarming implications kept going for months. The armed assault on state legislatures; the plot to kidnap the Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer and her family last summer, in an alleged plot to overthrow several state governments, news that was relegated to a second rank by the artificial duel between the president and the elites Congress and the media.
The slogan: ‘Be waiting’
But the red flags were emerging. Attacks on African Americans, synagogues, Latinos, women, Asians, gays, and journalists filled the newspapers daily. The escalation of violent rhetoric in the ‘online’ forums of far-right groups. Hundreds of stories in the press of intelligence reports on the rise of supremacist groups and their infiltration of the police forces.
A final plot that was being prepared in recent weeks in the far-right forums precisely for January 6, the day of the assault that Trump himself announced from his social accounts while sending slogans of ‘be waiting’ and gave false information about the electoral fraud.
Washington’s “surprise” underscores the enormous rift between the political elites of the country’s capital and the reality of the street. A gap that has fueled the indignation of society against a political class invested with privilege and in concubinage with the special interests of large global corporations. In the end, a little over a week in office, Trump drags everything and everyone into his downfall. With him also sink his unconditional, the Republican Party, the control of the Senate, the credibility of the institutions that he promised to ‘clean’, the political class and the White House itself.