By Vivek Pattanayak in Bhubaneswar, January 18, 2021: What happened on the 6th of January 2021 at the Capitol Hill in Washington would go down as the worst assault on the legal transfer of power in the history of the United States – the country known as the world’s oldest constitutional democracy and trumpeted in the West as the beacon of orderly society in the globe, and often referred as the Mecca of liberalism.

The day incidentally was the sacred Christmas day for the Armenian Christians of the world who had taken succour in this free liberal democratic country to escape inhuman persecution from the oppressive Ottoman regime.

Rightly in the aftermath of the attempted coup by the infamous President Trump, whose popular rating plummeted as low as 29% according to the Pewsurvey, was impeached by the Congress for instigating insurrection through his deadly lawless supporters. Action was quick, swift and prompts very appropriately, correctly and timely initiated by Nancy Pelosi, the putative Speaker of the House of Representatives. Whether the Senate as the Jury would ultimately remove him from his office is another question since politics play big role in the impeachment proceeding rather than ethics, values, law, and justice.

What is a permanent blotch on the present President is that he was impeached second time, which is a first such event in the American history. What is the difference between Trump’s method and approach to remain in power and that of Chavezor Maduro of Venezuela, Fujimori of Peru, Noriega of Panama, or Juan Peron of Argentina? The questions and issues will generate any number of debates, produce volumes of papers and countlessviews in the print, electronic and social media.

Trump’s spreading of lies that election was stolen from him even after repeated failure to show evidence before legal election officials and courtsand exerting pressure on the Secretary of State of the State of Georgia to discard votes cast in favour of Biden, and finally making efforts to interfere with the Vice-President whose role was simply to preside over a formalcertification process to set aside legal election result and instigating mobs, many with bullet proof jackets and helmets tomarch to Capitol Hill who captured Congress in joint session, the sanctum sanctorum and the citadel of American democracy constitute an unequivocal, despicable, unprecedented, overt and unabashed attempt to seize powerin full glare of live television watched by millions across the world raise the question how is it different from Mussolini’s and Hitler’s attempt to take control of the State machinery in Germany and Italy during the inter-war period.

Madeline Albright’s book Rise of Fascism with pointed references to the events in her own country of birth and then of adoption published a year ago must be read to appreciate how democracies can die.

Debate in the House and Senate during Congress certification process and impeachment proceeding reflected that there were still some hardcore Republicans who kept on harping that the election was doubtful and fraudulent andwhat was disturbing was their words and demeanour reflectedanger and frustration which mirrored lack of repentance of their leader who went to the inglorious wall at the Texas border soon after.

The presidential election campaign, Black lives matter agitation and riots which preceded the election showed or rather exposed that the American political society is deeply and dangerously divided andmore importantly the fragility and the soft under-belly of the so-called great American democracy. Insurrection nakedly demonstrated that Ku Klux Klan, White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Evangelists, and other extremists can have wild swayover the America nation when led by an irresponsible, incompetent, andimmature fractious leader holding the highest executive post.

Election result was crystal clear. Both popular votes andelectoral college votes went in favour of Biden. All the legal challenges including at the highest court failed unequivocally. Attempt to manipulate the Electoral College could not succeed. Certification in the Congress despitedisruption confirmed the election of Biden.

As the days pass since the attempted ignominious putsch, more information come to light that deadly mob included some active police and military personnel and any number of demobilized erstwhile uniformed forces. Massive deployment of the policeforce in Washington, National Guard and military andhigh security alert sent out by FBI and other agencies to all the fifty States to guard against ultra-rightist and extremist elementswho might disrupt and cause serious law and order problem including armed attack show that the situation is far from normal.

No matter what the outcome of 20th January inauguration ceremony is, the future of Biden administration internally would not be bed of roses apart from irreparable loss of prestige and reputation of US as a model to all democracies and the moral authority of US in the world to champion cause of the principles laid out by Abraham Lincoln of the government ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’ with free election would be severely impaired for years to come. Will President Carter rush to Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Asia to supervise free election and give his verdict about its fairness? Charity begins at home.

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