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The last days of Donald Trump’s presidency are ending in disgrace after he not refused to concede defeat but incited his party to violate the constitution and overturn his election defeat. As the US Congress defied his call and was scheduled to certify the election result, Trump instigated his supporters to ‘resist’ and fight against the results.
Hundreds of Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol and abruptly forced Congress to postpone a session certifying Joe Biden’s win. The scenes were unprecedented as scores of people, mostly White supremacists who form a chunk of Trump’s base, forced their way in and created chaos. Washington was placed under a curfew and the police were incapable of stopping the trespassers.
The assault on the most recognizable symbol of American democracy has been widely condemned by both US parties and around the world. Four people were killed and two explosive devices were found as police scrambled to arrest the rioters. The bloody violence even led the Republican Party to rebuke Trump and there are calls for his resignation or removing him from office.
The mob has left many questions on how the security breach occurred. Biden was the first to call the protesters ‘domestic terrorists’ and said it was unacceptable that police had shown more leniency against them. He called the riots one of the ‘darkest days’ in US history and blamed Trump for stoking violence.
The siege is the legacy of Trump’s presidency who bitterly divided the nation. It is shocking that a Trump supporter carrying the hate symbol Confederate flag can freely walk in the Senate hallways and encounter little resistance. The events were coming as Trump has refused to walk away without a fight and unleased an all-out assault right from the outset.
While the US is reeling from the aftermath of the siege, there are still two weeks remaining until Trump leaves office. The question remains on what will be the path forward and whether any lessons will be learned. Trump showed how he cares for power and he will bring down his party and the country with him. He has now lost the sympathies and trust of those who voted for him and has no chance of making a comeback.
Trump leaves a chequered history replete with incompetence and mismanagement and a populist agenda that has divided the nation. It also needs to be seen if Trump would pursue any other adventurism and has discussed pardoning himself. It is two weeks before he leaves office and the term of possibly the most divisive US President.