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Author: Jagrati Gupta, I year of B.A., LL.B. from Law school, Banaras Hindu University

The State is a political organization which is responsible for the welfare and protection of the people which is carried out by the governments which come to power through various procedures. The government is a tool to fulfil a state’s aims and aspirations, rectify the mistakes of its past, create new laws and policies suitable to the present circumstances of the country and delete those laws and statutes which have either lost its relevance or were so dogmatic that it is unnecessary to continue them. Not only the government but the citizens of the state also owe various duties towards the state as with the cooperation of both the government and the citizens there will be harmony, peace and order which will enable development in all spheres.

The end of the Second World War encouraged the adoption of democratic procedures in electing the governments, this system has enabled the citizens to keep the check on the government whether they are fulfilling their duties or not and whether their actions demean or uplift their country. Many countries are witnessing a severe downfall in terms of economy, employment, etc. in varied intensities and many are being victims of their governments which are stifling the basic democratic procedures and basic rights of people. For instance, Belgium hasn’t had a functioning government for more than a year, Greece’s nepotistic government’s hiring and swelling of government wages have made Greece debt-ridden, in Pakistan American officials leaked evidence of Pakistan ties to terrorists and other nefarious deeds like the government's alleged role in the torture and death of a prominent Pakistani journalist earlier this year and many other countries are witnessing serious situations in their native lands. Of these situations, the most highlighted is one of America’s, the largest economic and biggest military power of the world which is witnessing its worst time in its democracy and the number one accused in this state of affairs is the all-time contentious Donald Trump.

On January 6 the United States witnessed a major jolt in its power since the 9/11 attack when a mob of supporters of Donald Trump initiated a violent riot against the 117th United States Congress at the United States Capitol in a bid to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election. This unfortunate turn of events at the prestigious US Capitol was incited and initially praised by the incumbent President of the United States Donald Trump who provoked his white supremacists' supporters to smash the democratic procedure through which he was elected in the first place and debase the prestigious US Capitol in the name of “total war” for his alleged accusations of fraud in the elections which were outrightly rejected by Supreme Court. This unfortunate happening resulted in the death of five people including the martyred Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick and sixty Capitol police officers and 58 D.C. Metro police officers were injured. After the initial negligent and provoking speeches, Trump had to take a step back from this kind of behaviour when the force and violence at the capitol resulted in the pressurization from the administration, risk of impeachment, numerous resignations from top Capitol Security officials, public condemnation from political leaders and media in the US and internationally. And thus Trump in a televised statement committed to an orderly transition of power in a televised statement after days of false claiming of election fraud and also modified his attitude towards the rioters from “very special” to “who engage in the acts of violence and destruction: you do not represent our country”. The anarchical and violent incident at the US Capitol attracted severe criticism for Donald Trump from all around the world and many social media platforms either deleted or banned his accounts on their respective platforms including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat. Following this was the impeachment motion raised in the House of Representatives against him and two days later he got impeached which was the second time in his tenure as the President. And now many investigations have been going on against the rioters and him by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and it has listed the rioters in its Terrorist Screening Database.

This incident is surely an episode of a major downfall of democracy of a country which for years has bossed and ruled over the world and with its largest economic and military power and its liberating culture and policies it became an epitome and a paragon for all the countries about how a state should function and maintain law and order and provide basic rights to its citizens so if such a country faces a disrupting and terrorizing event that has not been committed by any terrorist organization but by its citizens instigated by their own President to “go wild” at the prestigious US Capitol for his alleged accusations of election fraud for which there is no proof, what will be the impact in the entire world if this country was not able to refrain from such kind of turmoil and unrest what would be its stand on other countries’ problems which it claims to solve and eradicate when its democracy had such a severe jolt. The attack at the US Capitol was a disrespectful and a shameless attitude towards the democracy which had been acquired on the sacrifice of many people, the attack was not an attack on any outside forces but was an attack on its people and on its own legendary former US President Abraham Lincoln who had defined democracy in the words: of the people for the people and by the people.

The year of 2020 was a fateful and a calamitous year for the whole world but America, on the other hand, received a further great concussion as it remained the red zone of Covid cases throughout the year with over 25.3 million active cases and 421 thousand deaths till now under the governance of the president who had denied the existence of such threat and the death which it had caused in America which was the highest at that time and even ridiculed the idea of wearing a mask and social distancing until he tested positive with Covid in October last year. Trump’s era has been a period of controversies because of irresponsible behaviour, negligent and insensitive statements and withdrawing America from several important treaties and organisations. Trump has made several sexist comments about women and on many occasions has been very disrespectful towards them. During his election campaign in 2016, he had disrespected Hillary Clinton by saying that she is incompetent to be a President as she is a woman, in the same way, he had attacked Kamala Harris (present Vice President of US), Greta Thunberg (teenage environmentalist), Gretchen Whitmer (Governor of Michigan) etc. with his misogynist comments. Many of his actions have been homophobic and anti-LGBTQ like banning transgender people from serving in the military, appointing nominees to Supreme Court who are anti-homosexual; issuing an executive order which assured the federal grantees and contractors that they don’t have to serve those clients who pose a conflict with their religious beliefs, etc.

He had made callous statements after the November terrorists attack about the non-entry of Muslims in America to prevent terrorist’s attacks. Trump was even eager to build a border wall to stop the immigrants of Mexico at an exorbitant cost of $21.6 billion; this move was criticized all over the world. Trump’s attitude towards global warming has also not been satisfactory as he has taken this environmental problem with a pinch of salt and has termed it as “mythical”, “hoax” and “non-existent” and even withdrew America from the Paris Agreement by citing "draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes" on the US. Not only Paris Agreement but he withdrew America from many important organizations WHO, UNESCO, NATO, etc. on frivolous grounds. In short Trump’s entire tenure focused on cancelling the advances and policies of his predecessor Obama who was popular for his magnificent policies all around the world and was appreciated for his elegant and august demeanour whereas Trump’s behaviour on the national and international forum had been informal, inelegant and ignorant of proper decorum that should be followed by a President. In conclusion, we can say that Trump lacked the etiquettes and competency of the head of a state and also lacked the acceptance of defeat that is ought to be expected in a democratic country and also a feeling of accountability and a sense of circumspection about what to say publicly which if not followed can have ugly consequences.

The US Capitol incident was a point of extremity in Trump’s era which followed the acute and uncontrollable situation of Covid cases whose danger was scoffed at and refuted and ultimately this country faced grave consequences. Though the incident was just a single episode of mobocracy it showed how protector of state turned into an enemy of the state and how the citizens of this very country turned enemy to its hard-earned democracy. Irrespective of all the political situations in the US this incident sets a bad precedent for a country of a mighty background and it can be said that the tag of role model of being a perfect example of an ideal state cannot be bestowed on it as the concept of an ideal state is too utopian and imaginary so the only thing to be done is just striving and working sincerely for it.

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