Did Terror at the Capitol Unite the Left and Right?
Thousands of Trump supporters approached the Capitol on January 6 protesting what they believed to be election fraud. Dozens broke into the Capitol Building and chaos ensued. The Senators and US Representatives who were voting to certify election results were forced to flee their chambers while the insurrectionists were contained. Did terror at the Capitol unite the left and right?
Until January 6, Congress, like the country, was deeply divided over the legitimacy of the election results. While the rift this created may never fully heal, there was a clear change in tone after the frightening breach in security.
Several Senators known for their loyalty to Trump changed their positions on the election results in a show of unity. Soon after, several Cabinet members followed suit. After four years of division of infighting, it seems that both sides of the aisle might finally be willing to cooperate after experiencing the fear of an attempted coup.
Senators Spoke Out, Cabinet Members Followed
Mitch McConnell had been clear for several weeks that he would vote to certify the election results. But after the insurrection, his forceful speech denouncing the day’s events and calling for unity in the chamber was notable.
Lindsey Graham, known for his loyalty and friendship to Trump, also surprised many watching the vote. While his speech wasn’t bold or inspiring, he said “enough is enough” and unexpectedly cast his vote to certify the election results. Other Senators who had promised not to certify the results changed their minds and supported Biden’s victory, too.
The terror activity at the Capitol and Trump’s alarming response to it disturbed his own Cabinet, as well as legislators. Several Cabinet resignations followed the day’s activities, leaving Trump with a skeleton team to end his Presidency.
Unity at the Eleventh Hour
The deep divide in Congress, and the refusal of some elected representatives to accept the results of a free and fair election, have contributed to the unrest that led to the events of January 6.
But, at the eleventh hour, Congress united across the aisle to support the rule of law and the democratic process. Millions of Americans hope this show of unity and the fear that sparked it indicate better cooperation and collaboration to come.