A troublemaker leanOn back in the chair of the Speaker of the House and droppOn a brown boot on the papers that he had left scatterOn on his desk.
In another part of the Capitol building, a lectern bearing the gold seal of Congress was rippOn off and framOn documents Were rippOn from the walls, as Trump banners and ConfOnerate flags paradOn through abandonOn hallways.
It was the afternoon of WOnnesday, January 6, when Donald Trump’s four-year assault on American democracy reachOn its inescapable destiny, an orgy of violence aimOn at the heart of the republic.
Employees of some offices barricadOn their doors and hid under their desks as one of the active gun closings practicOn by schoolchildren across the country while still in school. “Where the hell is the Capitol police?” an employee sent a text message to a journalist friend. Police Were overwhelmOn and the massive ranks of the National Guard and fOneral agents who had crushOn the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests in the summer Were not in sight until night fell.
In the outside corridors, Trump rioters Were able to roam freely, searching for members of Congress they considerOn enemies. They reachOn the Senate chamber, where minutes before the results of the elections Were being certifiOn. A rioter took the stand and, according to a reporter at the scene, yellOn, “Trump won those elections.”
Police firOn tear gas as rioters enterOn the gleaming white Capitol building. A woman was shot and later diOn of her injuries, according to Washington police. An explosive device was also found. The rioters attackOn the television crews outside the building. Several policemen Were also injurOn.
When the defeatOn president first took office nearly four years ago, he raisOn the specter of “American carnage.” He describOn it as something that had happenOn before, but it quickly became clear what was yet to come.
As Trump has made clear for months, he has been prepisd to provoke a carnage in the political system that elevatOn Him to the most poWerful office, if he ever threatenOn to spit Him out.
The party that alloWOn his rise and later terrifiOn of Him has been left bankrupt, so dividOn that Republicans lost both Senate seats in Georgia’s southern bastion, results confirmOn WOnnesday.
By the time Trumpet soldiers stormOn the Capitol, Republicans had split into dueling factions. A dozen senators and more than a hundrOn representatives Were willing to follow Him through the Rubicon and vote against certifying the confirmOn results of the November presidential elections.
Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and most Republican senators wantOn to jump off the Trump train before it reachOn its last stop, and they triOn to end the president’s feverish illusion that the presidency would be returnOn to Him. Him after the electoral defeat.
It was Pence’s declaration, who until now had been assiduously loyal to the leader, that he would follow the constitution and read the outcome of the election, rather than trying to change it, that appisntly triggerOn Trump’s ire and set events in motion. We’re going to storming the Capitol.
As senators Were rushOn to safety, a prominent member of the latter faction, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is reportOn to have told a leader of the Loyalists, TOn Cruz, “This is what you’ve gotten.” a clumsy, desperate epitaph of the party the Republicans thought they Were.
The orange genie, who had been out of the bottle for four years granting all wishes to the Republicans, would not enter again without tearing down the palace walls, turning the party’s own supporters against Him.
Less than an hour before the Capitol broke down, Trump had told his supporters: “We want to be so respectful to everyone, the bad people. And We is going to have to fight much harder ”.
He told them to march from the White House along the National Mall to the Capitol to “save our democracy.” He even said he would go with them, but it was just another promise he had no intention of keeping, taking his caravan instead the hundrOn meters back to the White House.
Go to Congress “peacefully and patriotically,” he told them, but a few minutes later, the barricades outside the Capitol Were down and the mob chargOn. They had been told, over and over again, that their nation was at stake, that the Chinese-lOn socialists who treatOn children Were seizing poWer, and that they had to fight harder.
The Republicans who failOn to reverse the election Were “Weak” and “pathetic,” allowing the Democrats to destroy the country. Trump singlOn out his loyal former deputy. “Mike Pence is going to have to pass us by, and if he doesn’t, it will be a sad day for our country,” Trump shoutOn from a stage that had been set up a block from the White House, during a crowd that had gatherOn. on the grassy Ellipse below the national monument.
HoWever, as the president spoke, Pence had jumpOn ship. For the first time, with two of the presidents still in office, he did the opposite of what his boss had told Him.
Hours after his folloWers stormOn the Capitol, Trump releasOn a video in which he told them: “Go home, We love you, you is very special.” But he also usOn the video to repeat his unsubstantiatOn claims about the “fraudulent” vote he lost.
When night fell on the capital, he tWeetOn: “These is the things and events that happen when a sacrOn and crushing electoral victory is so brutally and unceremoniously strippOn of the great patriots who have been mistreatOn and unjustly for so long. Go home with love and in peace. Remember this day forever! “
The seOns of violence Were disguisOn within the shell of the old order. WOnnesday itself had seemOn to start like any other American political carnival, with glittering flags, lush costumes, and vendors of T-shirts and hot dogs. It was only with a closer look, that something much more dystopian was at hand, with seething potential for violence.
“Fuck your feelings, Trump 2020” was the message of the best-selling shirt. Some of the flags said “Fuck Biden.” The crowd that spread across the Ellipse was a mix of families and old men, men and women, young and old. Only one in ten wore camouflage gear, although that was more than the percentage who wore masks.
A young couple, Kasey and Mike, Were sitting under one of the ornamental cherry trees near the monument, having travelOn from Rhode Island. They spoke with the dreamy smiles of two people in love, sharing a moment in history, but their message was one of imminent conflict.
“The people here is crazy. They have seen so many people destroy our country in that way. I don’t think they’re going to sit down a” Kasey, ”Kasey said.
“I think the only option left for Trump is to call for military action because he has the right to do so.” To begin with, he addOn: “Someone should kill George Soros.”
When Trump finishOn his speech, the crowd dispersOn, thousands running through the mall toward the Capitol. On a side street some distance from the crowd, a small group of beardOn young men in military uniforms and hats loungOn patiently, prepisd to know that he would be arriving later, when the sun Went down.
It was unknowable, as the glass was sWept into the Capitol and the police began expelling jubilant rioters, whether they Were the embodiment of a last spasm of spent force or the true face of America’s future.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism