Very unusual and dangerous things happened near and inside the Congress of the United States of America on January 6. These can have repercussions for this country and also for the whole world, including the Republic of Moldova, if it considers itself part of this world. The reasons, effects and solutions for lessening the effects of such developments were discussed by experts invited to IPN’s public debate “What is going on in the U.S.? What will happen in the world?”.
Dionis Cenușa, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Science at Liebig-Justus University in Giessen, Germany, said that some of the U.S. experts speak about a failed coup, while others propose the notion of “insurrection”, which is an attack or a violent attempt to take over power. Currently, representatives of the U.S. Congress seriously discuss the initiation of the second impeachment against President Donald Trump over the insurrection attempt. The 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution mentions insurrection and, consequently, if President Trump is found guilty, he will be banned from holding public posts. As a result, he will be unable to run for President again in 2024, as he planned. That’s why the notion of “insurrection” matters a lot as the discussion about impeachment will center on it.
A coup is traditionally mounted with the assistance of the army and other institutions. “This didn’t happen, but the U.S. community of experts says that unlike other states where the democratic institutions are weaker, the United States showed yet particular resilience. That’s why other institutions that are usually involved in coups, such as the army and the public media, didn’t support President Trump’s approach and remained loyal to the constitutional provisions. As a result, we are witnessing a failed coup and an insurrection attempt that will most probably be crucial for the future political career of Donald Trump,” stated the expert.
According to Dionis Cenușa, the events in the U.S. are important as the events happening there somehow set the tone of democracy at global level. “That’s why the assault on the Capitol, the attempt to take over power or to hamper the official appointment of Joe Biden as President transmitted alarming signals to the other democracies”.
Expert in international relations and security Valeriu Ostalep, ex-deputy minister of foreign affairs, said that until the end of 2020, there were the same players we saw five years ago, at the previous elections in the U.S. There are now the same voices as Joe Biden, Bill Clinton and other figures who take part in the discussed process. These persons play a very important role from political and financial viewpoints not only in the U.S., but also at global level. Direct players, representatives of a number of radical organizations and parties are seen in the U.S too.
Donald Trump attempted a coup by hampering particular processes. On January 6, an attempt was made to hamper the implementation of these legal mechanisms, including discussions in the Capitol, but this failed. In several months, things that cannot be made public know will become known. It is in the interests of the U.S. political class to complete an objective inquiry into the events of January 6. Donald Trump tried to take over illegally or at least to hamper the democratic mechanisms and the January 6 events can be considered a failed coup. The other players are less relevant, stated Valeriu Ostalep.
Ion Tăbârță, expert in international relations, said that what happened in the U.S. during the last two-three decades, including the socialization, equalitarianism policy that was sometimes taken to extremes created counter-reactions. “It was evident that after a post-modernist policy of the left pursued by President Obama, contradictions will arise and a political player like Donald Trump appeared as a result, serving as a catalyst for particular extreme policies. Consequently, the American society became polarized. After the events of January 6, polarization appeared even inside the republican party and voters,” stated the expert.
According to Ion Tăbârță, there is also a particular dose of archaism in the U.S. electoral system that ultimately enabled Donald Trup to speculate on the election rigging even if he provided no conclusive evidence in this regard. As a result, an unprecedented situation is witnessed in the U.S. and in parts of the world. An insurrection indeed took place and this was to lead to a coup as, in strictly political science terms, insurrection is a violent attempt to take over public institutions with the involvement of the masses. The insurrection staged on January 6 failed. What is paradoxical is that this was staged by the power, not by the opposition, as it happens usually. In this case the power should have been conceded peacefully. The insurrection was caused by Donald Trump, who hasn’t recognized his defeat in elections and only radicalized a part of his voters.
The public debate “What is going on in the U.S.? What will happen in the world?” is the 166th installment of the series “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.