Lhe war in Ukraine masks, at least in the media, a key event for the future of American democracy: the investigation into January 6, 2021. That day, white-hot by Donald Trump, defeated in the elections November 2020, supporters of the incumbent president stormed the Capitol, the seat of Congress and one of the hallowed halls of democracy in America.
The byzantine complexities of the legal and political procedures in progress should not obscure what is at stake. Did Trump and his inner circle of advisers attempt a kind of coup? Added to this – already huge – question is the prospect of a new battle over abortion. It is relaunched by the three judges that the former president appointed to the Supreme Court to overturn a case law of half a century protecting the voluntary termination of pregnancy. Six months before the mid-term legislative elections, the United States is disunited as rarely.
The FBI is processing the files of several hundred people arrested during or after the January 6 riot. In Georgia, a grand jury is investigating the behavior of the president in that state. More important is the investigation being carried out by a House of Representatives commission of inquiry.
To date, it paints a picture of a Donald Trump ready to do anything to have elections canceled that dozens of court decisions have legitimized: on November 3, 2020, Democrat Joe Biden won loyally, without fraud. nor theft. One possibility remained for Trump: to force Congress to give up, on January 6, to certify the result of the ballot and to order, in certain states, a new vote. Hence the demonstration organized by the outgoing Republican President who, that day, harangued his supporters and called on them to ” to walk “ on the Capitol – in vain, the certification will take place during the night.
From these key events in the history of the United States the historian Ran Halevi drew a remarkable little book: The Chaos of American Democracy (Gallimard, 160 pages, 13.50 euros). Because it is indeed a sick democracy that the episode of January 6, 2021 bears witness to, to which the Republican Party gave a kind of imprimatur by defending the big canard of a “stolen election”.
Trump on the move
Professor at the Center for Political Research Raymond-Aron, Halevi wonders: who were these demonstrators? Of the 800 people arrested, 10% are white supremacist activists; less than 1% very poor. The rest come from the white middle class. Not the damned of the earth. Ordinary Americans.
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