As I’m writing this column it is pouring rain outside, which only seems fitting, as this is a truly solemn day in American history.
“This is the most significant breach of an American government institution since the Battle of Bladensburg, August 24th, 1814, when the British came and burned the Capitol and also burned the White House. We have never had an instant of an incursion inside the U.S. Capitol building to this degree since that time.”
These are all statements that have been said today in observance of this treasonous act — our democracy is under attack. What we have witnessed today is heartbreaking. The United States Capitol Building, a symbol of freedom and democracy, a beacon that many Americans hold in reverence, was ambushed.
A presidents’ words matter — what we are now seeing is the result of that sentiment. What we are witnessing today in our nation’s capitol is the result of unfounded, false election claims. It is the result of the president of the United States pushing debunked conspiracy theories to rally up his base. It is the result of hate.
These domestic terrorists (yes, they are terrorists) came out to object the certification of the Electoral College votes by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. They broke down windows and overran the Capitol police. They stormed the Senate floor and yelled obscenities as members of Congress were escorted out wearing gas masks over their heads. They waved Blue Lives Matter flags while assaulting police officers.
This is not America.
We are a country of individuals who love our democracy; who are proud of it. Today’s events are a national embarrassment and are not reflective of American values. The president, along with some senators and House members, share the blame for what we are seeing today. Simply put, if it had not been for these individuals pushing this hateful and untrue rhetoric, the events unfolded today would not have happened. Every single elected official who took part in breathing life into the distrust of our election system, the very foundation which makes this country so great, has blood on their hands.
Moving forward, our country has a great amount of healing to do. The past months have been filled with disdain, unwillingness to listen to the other side and overall hostility. It is time to overcome all of these dividing actions. Today’s events are a continued solidification of how deeply divided this country is. This is not something that should happen in America — it is something that journalists report on happening in third world countries.
To all Republicans: Today is one of the darkest days in modern history for our party. We lost the Senate in what used to be a solidly red state; we had members of our own party before a joint session of Congress cast doubt on a fair election; we had people who claim to be Republicans attempt to take over the home of our nation's democracy.
This is not us. This is not our party. We must do better.
It’s time to unite. It’s time to elect responsible, intelligent and compassionate officials. Above all else, it’s time to put this awful chapter in our nation’s history behind us.
We are resilient and we will get through this.
God bless the police who protected our elected officials and our nation’s capitol. And regardless of today’s events, God bless the United States of America.
Sam Somogye is a political science senior and columnist for The Battalion.