Yesterday (January 6, 2021) a real doomsday scenario came to life. At the behest of a U.S. president, a mob of thousands of his supporters stormed the U.S. capitol building. Both the house and senate were in session to certify the election results from the Electoral College. The mob was able to overwhelm security forces, break into the capitol building itself and enter the congressional chambers.
Only by several strokes of luck was a catastrophe averted:
- The representatives and senators were escorted to bunkers and safe spaces before the mob got to them.
- No one was able to find and breach these safe spaces.
- There was very little gunfire, so only a few people died.
- None of the representatives or senators, nor the vice president, were captured or killed.
This event is being currently written up in a thousand news sources, and it is likely to be something historians are still discussing a hundred years from now. The event is unprecedented, nearly impossible to believe. The amount of corruption represented in the event is something that (hopefully) will become the subjects of a dozen investigations. The corruption includes:
- The lies the president and supporters have repeatedly told about a “stolen” election.
- The people in power (including over a hundred representatives, a dozen senators, multiple attorneys general, major news organizations like Fox news, etc.) who supported and amplified these lies.
- The obvious failure of capitol security forces, perhaps because of insider interference
- The lack of a military response (ditto)
- The background of the rally that immediately preceded the attack.
- And so on….
It is quite possible that the American democracy could have been lost in this event had things gone differently. Conjecture is that, had there been enough deaths, or had the vice president and others been captured or killed, the president would have declared martial law, invalidated the election, and seized essentially dictatorial power. A doomsday scenario indeed.