January 6th, 2021 is a day that Americans will not soon forget. The United States experienced an attack on its democracy as violent protestors stormed the Capitol, spurred by an unfounded belief that the election of the 46th President of the United States had been rigged. New evidence exploring what occurred behind closed doors regarding the January 6th attempted coup has affected citizens’ views on democracy in the United States.
The aftermath of January 6th has questioned many people’s beliefs in democracy. In the article, “Three-Quarters of Republicans Sympathize With Jan. 6 Rioters: Poll” by Susan Morgan, it discusses the impact the coup had on these people’s beliefs. The article states that “The national survey, conducted with USA Today, found that 71% believe the nation’s democracy is weaker than it was four years ago. But that superficial unanimity disguises deeper divides: The skepticism is higher among Republicans – 85% of whom believe democracy is weaker compared to 59% of Democrats who agree with the statement.” Even with the divide being more in favor of Republicans, one cannot ignore the mistrust both parties feel with democracy in the United States.
Since the January 6th attempted executive coup, there has been evidence that Congressmen played a role in the insurrection and that it was more of a “planned” event. According to the CNN article,” Ex-White House official close to Meadows says he was warned January 6 could turn violent” by Katelyn Polantz, new documents have surfaced explaining that The West Wing had been informed that the January 6th event could turn violent, according to a former Trump White House official close to then-chief of staff Mark Meadows. The article goes on to say that “In the filing, the House released new text messages between Meadows and Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry as a plan was taking shape to overhaul Justice Department leadership. The House also cited startling exchanges between Meadows and the President’s son Donald Trump Jr., as well as right-wing hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, to make its points.” The article continues to discuss the fact that more than 2,300 text messages have been turned in for further investigation, leading many to believe that this investigation will only further prove that the violent event was planned.
A similar article by the New York Times gives more information on the matter. The article” Meadows Was Warned Jan. 6 Could Turn Violent, House Panel Says” by By Luke Broadwater and Alan Feuer, states that “Ms. Hutchinson — who testified twice before the panel in closed-door interviews in February and March — said Anthony M. Ornato, the former White House chief of operations, told Mr. Meadows that ‘we had intel reports saying that there could potentially be violence on the 6th. And Mr. Meadows said: All right. Let’s talk about it.’ But despite this and other warnings, President Trump urged the attendees at the January 6th rally to march to the Capitol to ‘take back your country,’ Douglas N. Letter, the general counsel of the House, wrote in the filing.” The House lawyers have gone on to say Mr. Meadows,”…was not acting as anything like a typical White House Chief of Staff advising the President on official matters of government policy, Mr. Meadows was playing a campaign role, attempting to facilitate a strategy that would have reversed the certified results of the 2020 election.”
These articles are very telling as it clearly explains that there was knowledge of the possible attack before the rally could even begin. The Former President had a strategy to flip the election around and tried to use people such as Mr. Meadows to help him with his plans. It is revealed that Donald Trump’s son Donald Jr. was a part of the conversations about the possible overhaul which could suggest that Donald Trump knew or played a bigger role in those conversations. This evidence only creates more doubt in the public’s view on democracy.
Following the aftermath, the lack of the truth continues as the article “ ‘I’ve Had It With This Guy’: G.O.P. Leaders Privately Blasted Trump After Jan. 6” by Alexander Barns and Jonathan Martins, shows new evidence that Republican congressmen Mitch McConnel and Kevin McCarthy believed that Donald Trump was responsible for the January 6th mob attack and that they were going to try and get rid of him. The article states that leaked audio messages have caught McCarthy stating “I’ve had it with this guy” as he was talking to a group of fellow Republican leaders.
However things completely changed as “ …within weeks both men backed off an all-out fight with Mr. Trump because they feared retribution from him and his political movement. Their drive to act faded fast as it became clear it would mean difficult votes that would put them at odds with most of their colleagues.” It is very clear that there is a huge difference in what the public is being told and what these congressmen actually think among themselves in private. It is shocking that Mr. McConnel would rather ignore what’s right in order to keep his position in Congress. Trump’s actions on January 6th were clearly motivated by a desire to maintain power and due to the horrific aftermath he was politically at his lowest point. It is not unrealistic to assume that with the backing of Senator McConnel and Congressmen McCarthy, getting rid of Trump out of politics (possibly impeaching him so he couldn’t run in 2024) wouldn’t be that far fetched. Unfortunately, one’s personal gain is more important than what is good for democracy.
January 6th shows that Republicans wanted to win, not by long-held democratic means, by any means necessary and that they are planting the seeds for a win in 2024, not through another insurrection, but by ensuring that electoral officials are put in place who can guarantee an outcome favorable to Republicans.
Broadwater, L., & Feuer, A. (2022, April 23). Meadows was warned Jan. 6 could turn violent, House panel says. The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/23/us/politics/mark-meadows-jan-6-trump.html
Burns, A., & Martin, J. (2022, April 21). ‘I’ve had it with this guy’: G.O.P. leaders privately blasted Trump after Jan. 6. The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/21/us/politics/trump-mitch-mcconnell-kevin-mccarthy.html
Morgan, S. (n.d.). Three-quarters of Republicans sympathize with Jan. 6 rioters: Poll. Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2022-01-04/three-quarters-of-republicans-sympathize-with-jan-6-rioters-poll Polantz, K. (2022, April 23). Ex-White House official close to Meadows says he was warned January 6 could turn violent. CNN. Retrieved April 23, 2022, from https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/22/politics/mark-meadows-scott-perry-january-6/index.html