Essay on the U.S. Capitol Siege and Trump Impeachment
Number of words: 1620
January 6th, 2021, remains one of the most dramatic days in the history of the United States elections and transition of power. President Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in protest over the Senate’s declaration of Joe Biden as the President-elect. The unruly crowd overpowered the National Guard personnel and made their way into the chambers, painting a horrifying picture of the world’s most democratic country. The event spurred a national and international backlash against the then outgoing president Trump, with lawmakers resorting to impeaching him for a second time. This decision was historic, as he became the first president in the United States to be impeached twice while in office (Barker, 2021). The intensive and extensive media coverage of the event, impeachment motion, and national and international leaders’ reaction adversely impacted the reputation and perception of the U.S. from the international perspectives.
Addressing the impacts of the U.S. Capitol Siege and Trump Impeachment on international relations and the United States’ perception require that pertinent questions are investigated. In this regard, the following research questions are appropriate.
- What were the major impacts of the U.S. Capitol siege and Trump’s impeachment on the country’s international relations and reputation?
- What were the impacts of the incident on the electoral credibility and peaceful transfer of power that the U.S. has championed for international relations as the leading democracy?
These questions require qualitative research design that underscores the capital siege’s impacts and the Trump impeachment on the United States reputation credibility and its electoral credibility. Qualitative data is derived from the widespread media coverage of the events within national and international platforms. Within the context of international relations, the impacts U.S. Capitol Siege and Trump Impeachment on the international reputation and electoral credibility are crucial qualitative information. The responses of national and international leaders, contributions from the chambers, social and digital media, print and broadcast mainstream, and the House reports are crucial information sources. Besides, the editorial opinions from the international relations experts and professionals can help contextualize the impacts of the two events on the nation’s reputation and credibility (Ellyat, 2021). The objective is to collect relevant qualitative data on how different national and international stakeholders reacted to the Capitol Siege and President Trump’s subsequent impeachment motion.
The research is narrowed to the national reputation and credibility of elections, which have been part of the democratic milestone and practices in the United States. The design is meant to recorded information from the media, reports, and published opinions from credible people and other stakeholders, including leaders, envoys, and other officials within the national and international aspects. The data collected attempts to respond to the questions on the impacts on the credibility of the elections and whether it has hurt the United States’ reputation in ensuring democracy prevails in the world. This aspect is built on the view that America could not hold credible and nationally-accepted elections, which was marked by violence and lawlessness (First Post, 2021). Will other countries listen when the United States calls for free, fair, and credible elections? How will they ask the incumbents to accept the results and facilitate peaceful transfers? Has the event impacted how the world perceives the United States now more than ever? These questions are pertinent to the discourse of the research design.
The United States has been the leading player in calling for credible and free elections devoid of violence and lawlessness across many countries. It has placed hard political and economic sanctions on countries that have attempted to go against its directions on such metrics (O’Rourke, 2021). The focus has been built on years of institutional and structural reforms built on verifiable elections and how they shape the people’s views about the United States. Additionally, there has been a culture of peaceful elections and transfer of power, which elevated the credibility and reputation of the United States on international politics. However, the Capitol siege and Trump’s impeachment reversed the beliefs about the democratic nation, thus underlining how vulnerable it is to violence (Barker, 2021). Many commentaries highlight whether the United States’ perceived democracy and credible elections are overrated and that it is vulnerable. President Trump was able to incite his supporters against the results as they stormed the senate chambers. Such a practice, according to many comments and opinions, is so anti-American in many ways.
The Reaction of Allies and other World Leaders
The United States is a leading international relations partner across many projects, including democracy and electoral justice. Its allies in the international platforms have often relied on their institutional stability as the foundation and benchmark of a successful society. However, following the storming of the U.S. Capitol, concerns are raised about the country’s international reputation. Understanding the impacts of these incidents on the U.S. international relations and reputation is evident in the leaders’ reaction. For instance, Britain PM Boris Johnson described it as a “disgraceful scene” and called for a peaceful transfer of power (First Post, 2021). He acknowledged the critical role of the United States in the global democratic space and culture. Incidentally, Germany’s Angela Merkel was “saddened and furious” with the events and called on President Trump to blame.
The United States’ reputation in international relations was stretched to a near end, especially when the violent scenes at the capitol went viral. According to France President Macron, the incident was Anti-American and that it would not last. Other leaders also shared the narratives by then President-elect Joe Biden, calling the siege at the capitol a complete “insurrection.” The leading world leaders also highlighted that the incident was the ultimate impact of “Trumpism” in the United States. There have been frosty relationships between the U.S. and other leading economies and strategic partners during the Trump presidency (Reuters, 2021). It is evident that many leaders celebrated his loss in the elections and demanded that he should be held responsible through impeachment and eventual prosecution.
Media and Senate Responses
The influence of media in shaping national and international opinion and agenda is undisputed. It is one of the most trusted platforms for information sharing and sourcing. The global media is one of the trusted institutions in advancing the international relations agenda across the diverse, globalized world. The reaction to the capitol siege and Trump’s impeachment was divisive, bearing that most media outlets aligned with the political discourse. Most leaders used social media platforms to register their opinions on the capitol siege. For instance, Fox News, which is aligned to the GOP, was uncharacteristic in criticizing the National Guard for failing to thwart the attack. Internationally, the left-aligned British “i” newspaper described the incident with the title “Anarchy in the USA” and blamed Trump for inciting the protestors (Ellyat, 2021). Major European papers focused on the disgraceful act, the culpability of Trump, and the stalemate that faced the Republicans regarding Trump’s hesitation in condemning the act.
Reputation and credibility of elections and democracy were the main subjects of discussion in the impeachment. Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged that a model that resembled 9/11 inquiries should be institutionalized to check on causes and facts. The proceedings also saw a bipartisan approach and resolution to convict President Trump for his roles in the riots and siege at the capitol. The Senate’s debaters focused on the reputation, precedence set, and the need to use the opportunity to set an example on future practices (Conklin, 2021). In essence, many of the members cited that it was against American values and that the president was an enemy of the United States. It is understandable the concerns and the need to impeach Trump for bringing shame to the nation and inculcating a culture of violence and lawlessness.
The U.S. Capitol siege and the Trump impeachment create the discourse for understanding how the world perceives the American democracy. The question is whether there was necessary intelligence to thwart the marauding protestors or whether the president was culpable for openly asking people to occupy the capitol. Moreover, how will the United States pick itself up and rediscover its stellar role in ensuring world democracy is realized through credible and verifiable elections? These pertinent issues are addressed through the media outlets’ response, national and international leaders, and the reports and commentaries regarding the subject. International relations are a vulnerable discourse, which can be thwarted within seconds. The world leaders cited reflect the necessity to guard against insurrection in the United States and globally.
Barker, T. (2021). Us Global Credibility And Capacity To Act After The Capitol Siege. DGAP. Retrieved from: https://dgap.org/en/research/publications/us-global-credibility-and-capacity-act-after-capitol-siege
Conklin, M. (2021). Capitol Offense: Is Donald Trump Guilty of Inciting a Riot at the Capitol?. Available at SSRN.
Ellyat, H. (2021). ‘Anarchy in the USA’: Global media reacts to Capitol chaos. CNBC. Retrieved from: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/07/democracy-under-sge-chaos-and-anarchy-in-the-usa-and-global-media-.html
First Post. (2021). U.S. Capitol breach: A look at how world leaders, U.S. allies reacted to the siege by Trump supporters in Washington. First Post. Retrieved from: https://www.firstpost.com/world/us-capitol-breach-a-look-at-how-world-leaders-us-allies-react-to-siege-by-trumps-supporters-in-washington-9178971.html
O’Rourke, R. (2021). U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R44891.pdf
Reuters. (2021). World shocked by Trump supporters’ attack on U.S. democracy. Reuters. Retrieved from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-international-reaction-f-idUSKBN29B2VS