By Luis Miguel - thenewamerican.com
These are dark days for our Republic. Does light await on the other side?
Capitol Hill exploded in pandemonium on Wednesday afternoon as masses of President Trump's supporters marched on Congress while lawmakers counted the electoral votes from the 2020 presidential race that would certify Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president.
Storming barricades, protesters made their way into the Capitol, prompting the postponement of the electoral vote counting process as Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress were evacuated to their offices for safety.
Clashes arose between police and the president's supporters. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly requested that National Guard troops clear and secure the Capitol.
Once inside the Capitol Building, groups of protesters (perhaps including agents provocateurs) wandered down the halls looking for lawmakers. Some made it onto the floor itself, with one individual climbing onto the dais and yelling "Trump won that election!"
Emotions ran high as conservatives, not only in D.C. but across the nation, felt a sense of betrayal as key Republican figures showed they weren't going to help President Trump overturn the electoral results believed to have been compromised due to fraud.
Contrary to what the president had expected of him, Vice President Mike Pence did not block the votes from such states as he counted the results.
President Trump criticized Pence on Twitter over the decision.
"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!"
After the capitol building was breached, he also made a one-minute video statement urging people to go home.
In another move that left Trump supporters wringing their hands, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attempted to block members of his chamber from challenging the certification process.
"Our democracy would enter a death spiral" if Congress overturned Joe Biden's victory, McConnell said.
Prior to a sudden halt in the proceedings, GOP lawmakers objected to Arizona's slate of electors, leading to separate debates on accepting the slate in both chambers.
The storming of the Capitol further highlights the looming possibility of civil war or a similarly existential conflict enveloping America in the near future. When a significant portion of the people, whether on the Right or Left, no longer sees their government as legitimate - whether that belief is correct or not - they will seek to break the bands that tie them to that government.
The Left and Right in America have grown irreconcilable in their ideological differences, and each increasingly views any institution controlled by the other as illegitimate. The current sad state of affairs can be exploited by freedom's enemies to foment violence and use the violence as a rationale for imposing police-state powers on the road to tyranny.
Yet violence can be avoided if both sides return to the founding principle of federalism. Under the Constitution, the national government possesses only those few and defined powers granted to it, and all other powers are reserved to the states and the people. Thus, some states may be more conservative and others more liberal in their policies, depending on what the citizens of those states want.
Moreover, state governments can and should exercise their power of nullification to stop unconstitutional infringements by the national government at their state borders. States also need to restore election integrity - and should do so quickly - so that elections can no longer be stolen. And of course, the people need to be better informed regarding the principles of sound government, so they are not beguiled into voting themselves into slavery.
Undertaking such steps will do much to quell tensions and restore both the states and the federal government to the roles intended by the Founders.