Is attacking the Capitol trending?

Justin Farris

By now I imagine most Americans have heard about the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. A large portion of Americans have also heard about the April 2 attack on the Capitol, though it was of a much smaller scale. America being as divided as it is, it has raised concerns that some sort of “taboo” about attacking the seat of democracy has been lifted.

This is immediately concerning for many reasons. It’s not to say that tomorrow we’re going to have another siege of the US capitol, but it is to say that we may be developing a pattern. I’ve written at length about how the United States might slowly devolve to the point of a revolution or second civil war. Repeated and violent attacks based on political beliefs are not required to kick off the violent uprising, but they are often preludes to greater violence. At any rate, it’s undesirable for the stability of a nation if violent people start believing that attacking the seat of power is a viable strategy. 

The United States is unsurprisingly divided amongst itself. There are many severe problems facing the country and the world at this very moment. Despite the corruption, endorsement of violence and lack of human decency presented by politicians, hope is never truly lost. The United States government certainly has problems. It’s inefficient, often unfair, systematically discriminatory and still stacked in the favor of the people in power, or with the most money. Despite all of this, it has, on occasion, tangibly made people’s lives better. 

There are a lot of things that need to be addressed before America can ever truly claim to live up to the spirit of its founding words. Those changes are unlikely to be brought about by threats of violence. Historically, this only ever polarizes us more. We need to evaluate how we’ve gotten to the point where January 6 happened and how it has apparently inspired other radicals to follow in the footsteps of taking violence to the heart of the nation. America is deeply flawed, but the ideals behind that flawed image still hold water. The situation will not be fixed through bloodshed. Violence is the most likely candidate for why the United States may fall apart entirely. I would ask you to consider what might rise from the wake of the government falling apart.

Our system is bad, but things can always be worse. There are groups of armed men around the country who have proclaimed that they are waiting for a civil war to happen. Most of them do not have the best interests of anyone who is not white, straight and Christian in mind. For all of its flaws, the government does keep these people from actually ruling parts of the United States and writing more overtly racist, sexist and homophobic laws into reality. 

The Capitol is a symbol of the American government and its power. The more it is attacked, the weaker the government seems. Though most of the people reading this are not of the inclination to personally attack the capitol, an increasing number do not want the United States to continue, seeing it as too corrupt, discriminatory and morally bankrupt. It certainly can be all of those things. But the alternative may be far worse for the vast majority of Americans. A country cannot survive in the long term without some level of faith from the citizens. When that faith starts to weaken, you get more extremists. Eventually, you’ll get terror attacks and attempts to force fringe policy into the mainstream. Once that is evaporated fully, it signals the death of a nation. I would ask those reading to consider what is most likely from the ashes should the American government fall, and if it truly will solve any of our problems in the long term, or only perpetuate a cycle of suffering.

“Caution Tape at the United States Capitol in Washington D.C.” Image taken by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash. No changes were made to the image. Use of this photo does not indicate photographer endorsement of this article.