“United States democracy is fragile and the will of the people should never be taken for granted.”
So said Professor Andy Knight, Professor of International Relations, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, during an interview on CNC3’s The Morning Brew, ahead of today’s inauguration of Joseph Biden as US President.
On January 6, supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed Capitol Hill following weeks of unsubstantiated claims that the election had been stolen from him. Mobs of angry protestors made their way to the Capitol on the prompting of the President and caused significant damage to the façade of American democracy. Five people lost their lives in the melee, including a police officer.
Professor Knight said what happened on Capitol Hill was a clear threat to democracy and the US Constitution. He said America has always been seen as the beacon of democracy and the insurrection shattered that image.
Professor Knight said he is satisfied that Trump is responsible for the insurrection and it is an impeachable offence. However, he is not sure the US Senate will get the support it needs from 17 Republicans to vote with the Democrats to convict the President.
Regardless of the outcome, Professor Knight believes the historic action of having Donald Trump impeached twice, will put a stain on his political career. He was quick to point out that while the impeachment has stained President Trump, it does not prevent him from running for political office in 2024.
Ahead of the Inauguration later today, 25,000 troops have been vetted and deployed to protect the event from possible violence and further insurrection.
According to Professor Knight, this inauguration is a major security challenge on Capitol Hill because some Trump supporters are prepared to return to cause disruption.
“To see the beacon of democracy perform in this way is shameful,” he said.
He noted that some countries were elated by what happened as they would love to see American democracy fail, while friends of the world power were ashamed by the events that unfolded there.
Professor Knight said the United States no longer has the moral authority to criticise other countries.