Monday, January 17

A year after the assault on Capitol Hill, Americans worried about their democracy

Donald Trump supporters gather in front of the Washington Capitol on January 6, 2021 Jon Cherry

A year after the violent assault on Capitol Hill, Americans remain concerned for their democracy and nearly a third consider that the use of force can sometimes be justified to defend their ideas, according to two polls published on Sunday.

The attack by supporters of Donald Trump on the seat of Congress on January 6, 2021, was “a sign of increasing political violence” and American democracy is still “under threat” today, two-thirds of people estimate polled by CBS News.

As for the “pride” of Americans for their democracy, it fell to 54% against 90% in 2002, according to a study by the daily Washington Post with the University of Maryland.

And the two surveys provide concrete grounds for concern: in the first, 28% of respondents believe that force can be used to defend the outcome of an election; in the second, 34% believe that violent action against the government can sometimes be justified.

These polls also illustrate the persistence of deep divisions within American society, which the new president Joe Biden had yet promised to “reconcile”.

Two-thirds of Donald Trump’s voters continue to believe that the Democrat was not legitimately elected and that fraud took place during the 2020 ballot, in accordance with the speech hammered without proof by his predecessor.

Just before the assault on Capitol Hill, the Republican addressed his supporters in person to repeat that the election had been “stolen” from him and called on them to “fight like devils”.

Some 60% of Americans therefore think that he has a strong responsibility for their intrusion into Congress, at the same time when elected officials were certifying the victory of Joe Biden.

– “Coordinated effort” –

But again, opinions depend on partisan affiliations: 83% of his voters judge his accountability to be “weak” or “non-existent,” according to the Washington-Post poll. And according to CBS, 26% of Americans even want him to represent himself in 2024.

To establish his exact role and that of those around him, the Democratic-majority House of Representatives set up a special commission of inquiry which, despite the lack of cooperation from those close to him, conducted more than 300 interviews and collected information. thousands of documents.

In six months, “we have discovered things that worry us, people have tried (…) to undermine the integrity of our democracy,” its leader, Bennie Thompson, said Sunday on ABC.

“There seems to have been a coordinated effort on the part of a number of people to weaken the ‘presidential election, it could be’ people in the executive, in the defense ministry, in associations, very rich people or state figures … “he added, promising to transmit to Justice any proof of illegal action.

Her colleague Liz Cheney, one of the rare Republican women to sit on this commission, accused Donald Trump of having remained silent throughout the assault. “He could have gone on television to tell his supporters to stop, he could have told them to withdraw, to go home. He did not do it (…) It’s hard to imagine a more serious abandonment of its responsibilities, ”she said.

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