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The End of American Democracy

Capitol hill

“The enemies of democracy will rejoice at these inconceivable images,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted on Jan. 6.

Followers of President Trump had stormed the Capitol that afternoon to stop the certification of the Electoral College ballots that elected Joe Biden. As lawmakers went into hiding, the mob roamed the marble halls, occupied the Senate chamber, and trashed offices. Live video showed a party atmosphere, with some of the insurrectionists posing for pictures

in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and the seat where minutes before Vice President Mike Pence had presided over the ballot counting.

Trump incited the riot by telling his followers the election was stolen and urging them to march on the Capitol. When he finally told them to go home in a video message, he added, “We

love you.” Trump showed every sign of believing his own warped narrative of mistreatment, which, scarily, means that the U.S. government is in the hands of a full-blown narcissist who can’t distinguish reality from fantasy.

As this photo essay shows, Jan. 6 was one of the most shameful days in U.S. history. The next question: When Trump self-destructs, what becomes of Trumpism? —The Editors


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