Americans need to reflect upon the Capitol riots


Courtesy of ABC News

On the anniversary of the Capitol riots America recognizes the events continual impact on democracy

After a full year since the events of January 6, 2021, it is important to reflect upon the ongoing struggles in the United States of America. On this day one year ago, American citizens, supported by the President of the United States, attacked a symbol of American democracy — the U.S. Capitol building. Thousands swarmed the building, sparking fear in the politicians working inside, placing the Capitol police in danger, and causing global mistrust in the stability of American politics.
For years, lawmakers’ inability to create prosperous bipartisan relationships has left the American political system floundering. Instead of working towards the betterment of their country, many politicians choose to vote on party lines, only concerned with their party’s agenda. Former President George Washington once warned about political infighting and urged politicians to remain united in order to protect American ideals. Since then, many have unfortunately chosen not to heed Washington’s warning. After the divisive election of President Joe Biden, many have additionally allowed for a “spirit of revenge” that Washington once feared to spread across the country.
However, the events of January 6 were not the first time that American citizens ever rioted violently at the Capitol. On July 5, 1932, the Bonus Army, a group of World War One veterans who wanted to receive war-related compensation from the government early, stormed the steps of the Capitol building. This ultimately resulted in countless acts of violence in the D.C. area and left the nation wondering how it would survive a time of political unrest amidst the then-ongoing Great Depression.
When the Capitol riots first occurred, however, news outlets spoke of how these actions had never been seen before. The U.S. has a habit of keeping past transgressions out of the spotlight. This cannot happen in regards to the Capitol riots of 2021.
American citizens need to defend the democracy that has formed the foundation of the United States by holding lawmakers and other citizens accountable. While American citizens do have the right to freedom of speech, the right to freedom of assembly, and the right to petition the government, it is important to remember that even such freedoms have certain limitations. Instead of using these freedoms to hurt others, as rioters did on January 6, 2021, people should be using their voices to defend their political beliefs while not endangering the lives of other American citizens. Instead of fighting for their party, they should be fighting for the prosperity of the nation, because according to the Los Angeles Times, “the lies that fueled the riot remain deeply embedded in American politics.”
Throughout the past year, Republicans and Democrats have refused to acknowledge the significant impact their strained relationship causes. Instead, through legislation such as the infrastructure bill currently being proposed by Biden, politicians attempted to push their agenda instead of fighting for the legislation that needed to be enacted. It is a common tactic for parties to include unnecessary topics in a bill that fit with their party’s beliefs, in conjunction with the imperative topic, hoping that the opposing party will agree because they recognize the importance of certain aspects of the legislation. However, most of the time this leads to the legislation continuously being turned down, which only causes citizens to suffer.
Former President Donald Trump himself continues to exacerbate political tensions by claiming the 2020 election was fraudulent on multiple platforms.
While the Capitol riots should have pushed the United States in the direction of unification, the nation remains divided. Never will there come a time when everyone holds the same political beliefs. Healthy debate is what allows the nation to thrive. Instead of enforcing such a rigid line between Republican beliefs and Democratic ideals, citizens need to be more accepting of others. This does not mean that you have to adopt others’ beliefs. This means that you have to act with common human decency towards others.