28 July, 2021

A Dirty Phalanx

The rampage at the heart of American democracy is a final, horrifying statement of all that Trump has stood for

A Trump supporter invades Nancy Pelosi’s office during the US Capitol breach by thousands of Trumpists
A Dirty Phalanx

That American polity, and society, is a deeply fractured one sounds like a truism in 2021—the November elections bore it out, and so did the long drawn out Black Lives Matter protests in recent years. It all seemed like a rerun of the fractious 1960s. But it took the active, persistent goading of lame duck US president Donald Trump to bring hordes of rightwing, White, overwhelmingly male malcontents to the very heart of American democracy. Their unruly, violent rampage—by turns angry, sneeringly sarcastic and jubilant—on the US Capitol sent shock waves across the globe. That America, the world’s oldest democracy, a beacon of hope for the free world, should have descended to the level of a banana republic, with wild-eyed protestors out to negate the results of a legitimate election, kept the world riveted to television screens.  

On hindsight, it was a logical outcome—a grand finale, if you like—of the Trump presidency, with the president bent on breaking rules and allowing White supremacists to come to the fore. Trump’s...

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