Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters carrying “Trump 2020” flags and wearing “Make America Great Again” caps dramatically stormed the United States Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. It was a scene that Northeastern professors described as an attempt to undermine the ideals of democracy.
Over the course of the night, as Congress certified the election results and some longtime Trump supporters withdrew their objections, many observers’ attention turned to the possible consequences for President Trump and his base.
A chaotic scene unfolded in the nation’s capital as people clashed with police officers outside on the steps of the White House, while others broke into the building, vandalized certain areas, and hung from the balcony overlooking the Senate floor where lawmakers deliberate and vote. Other images showed a man sitting at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk. Many more people took selfies and video footage with their phones.
“It is not uncommon for activities of this sort to start the end of democracies,” said Costas Panagopoulos, professor and chair of the political science department at Northeastern.
“This is the most un-American thing I’ve ever seen,” he added.