What will remain of this January 6, 2020? In a few years, little Americans will certainly learn that on that day their democracy faltered. They will be shown the images of these colorful activists taking over the Capitol: the “new age” Indian chief and his horned helmet, the messy QAnon signs, the “Biden is a pedophile” signs, the gallows and even a guillotine … he most striking image of this day is perhaps to be sought a few minutes earlier. Just before the crowd storms.
At the beginning of the afternoon, tens of thousands of supporters of the president are already massed on the Mall, the famous park which extends from the Potomac to the steps of the Capitol. It is barely more than 5 degrees in the federal capital, but it takes more to cool their heat. Trump is in the gallery. As often, he harangues the crowd. “Go down to the Capitol! We are going to cheer our brave senators and elected officials (…) and we probably will not cheer some of them so much, because we will not take back our country by being weak. ”
The image is striking. As Trump calls for a riot, the entire American establishment is warm, a few hundred yards away, under the towering dome of the Capitol. Even Vice President Mike Pence ended up falling in line. Remained faithful to the end, he has just sent a press release indicating that he is committed to recognizing the victory of Joe Biden. He is alongside the leader of the House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi. The official ceremony can begin, we do not know that it will not be completed on Thursday.
United by hate
Rarely has the populist name been so well illustrated. The tribune is almost alone outside – there is only his family and his loyal right-hand man Rudy Giuliani by his side. He smiles again, because he is in the middle of his supporters. He calls them the people. His opponents “A basket of pitiful” (« a basket of deplorables », according to the formula used in September 2016 by Hillary Clinton and which made date). What unites them is the hatred of elected officials and “traditional” media. All those who are just on the other side of the Mall and who are about to confirm the defeat of their champion. Senators, elected Democrats or traditional Republicans, TV channels, news agencies… the entire establishment is there, at the end of the alley, only sheltered by institutions and one of its most famous monuments.
Confrontation is inevitable. Most of them came from far away, they had probably never seen the Capitol in real life. Some of them took the same plane as Mitt Romney, the Utah senator and former presidential candidate, who is one of Republicans most critical of their champion. “Traitor, traitor! They told him as they boarded for Washington.
The traitors are obviously also the media. As unbelievable as it may sound, CNN and MSNBC, two of the nation’s biggest channels, did not air Trump’s speech on the Mall. They are live “full pot” on what is happening inside Congress. Only Fox News opts for the screen cut in half to show what is also happening outside the building. But the tone has changed, even on Fox. The love affair between conservative TV and the whimsical president is over.
The people against the establishment, Trump will have played this card for 4 years with more or less skill. November 6 marks the climax of this strategy. The battle is lost, Trump has come to recognize it. He is now all alone in his bunker at the White House. And to pass his last instructions, he can no longer even count on his favorite weapon, his Twitter account, now suspended. It was via a very official statement that he announced that he was committing to a peaceful transition of power on January 20.