The Aftermath of Insurrection… How Politicians, Social Media and the American People Have Reacted to the Events of January 6, 2021
Following a contested election full of false allegations of voter fraud, dangerous partisanism and continuous misinformation, tensions reached a boiling point on January 6 as the Senate met to confirm electoral votes certifying Joe Biden’s November win.
As senate members led by Vice President Mike Pence held debates in the U.S. Capitol, President Donald Trump attended his “Save America” rally near the White House. The rally consisted of majority white Americans angered by the results of the 2020 election.
Prior to returning to the White House, Trump addressed the crowd in his speech, “We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue... And we’re going to the Capitol, and we’re going to try and give… We’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
The results of these comments and previous statements of an unfair election led pro-Trump protesters to the Capitol and later, to inciting violence that resulted in the five deaths, damage to the Capitol building and the reminder of the hatred rooted in the country.
As the insurrection left Americans reeling with where to go next one thing remained certain, the constitutional process must continue. Congress returned to the Capitol, once secured, to carry out confirming the November election in favor of President-Elect Biden.
Now two weeks following the events, Americans have watched as the aftermath of rebellion ensue. Many questioned the effectiveness and reaction of the law enforcement present that day. While many officers responded to the attacks, others took selfies, held friendly conversations and opened up barricaded for the men and women invading the Capitol.
According to NPR’s reporting on January 7, “A day after an insurrection that overtook the U.S. Capitol, the Capitol's three top security officials resigned from their posts amid building pressure from lawmakers and others over failures that allowed the dramatic breach.”
Law Enforcement officials were not the only people members of the House and Senate demanded a resignation from. Democrats called out their Republican coworkers saying that all who incited the attack through continued remarks on a stolen election should immediately resign.
Ultimately it would be President Trump’s statements both during his rally and in the event of the attack via Twitter that fell under fire. Shopify, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok all took action either permanently or temporarily banning Trump from their sites. They also began eliminating any posts referencing statements such as #stopthesteal, #QAnon, or #patriotparty.
The Associated Press reports on January 11, “Amazon kicked Parler off its web-hosting service, and the social media app promptly sued to get back online. Google yanked Parler’s smartphone app from its app store for allowing postings that seek to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.''
In Washington, lawmakers began the efforts of invoking the 25th amendment on the President only days after the attack. While some Republicans stated they would vote to enact impeachment most stood against utilizing the 25th amendment to remove the president from power.
CNBC states on January 12, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had pressed Pence to remove the president. She said that if the Vice President did not act, the chamber would vote Wednesday to make Trump the first president ever impeached twice.”
While passing in the House of Representatives, the motion towards the 25th amendment was stopped by Vice President Pence leaving Democrats to bring forth articles of impeachment claiming high crimes and misdemeanors on behalf of the Commander in Chief only a day later. Donald Trump is the first president in history to be impeached twice.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote in a letter to Pelosi addressing Congress' action of impeachment.
The relationship between Trump and Pence has been tainted by the reactions both men had to the events of January 6. It was Vice President Pence who called in the national guard to respond to the attacks on the Capitol, not the president himself. President Trump did not reach out to his second in command and close friend following the attack. He seemed refusing to see how Pence was doing following the attack or to thank him for his action to bring in the guard. The two did not speak to one another until a press conference where the attack on the Capitol was not mentioned.
CNN Politics reported on January 11, “Trump's treatment of a man who served him faithfully for more than four years outraged those in Pence's orbit -- but also many in Trump's, who view Pence as the most loyal of lieutenants whose treatment they regarded as deeply unfair.”
The inauguration of now President Joe Biden took place on Wednesday, January 20, two weeks after the insurrection. Washington D.C. was filled with about 25,000 national guard members in preparation for possible confrontation which did not occur. While Mike Pence was in attendance, now former president Trump did not attend the event.