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US has a speaker but disunity clear on January 6 anniversary

Ramin, Mazaheri
Press TV, Chicago

The two-year anniversary of the election integrity protest which burst into Congress on January 6, 2020 was overshadowed by Congress’ historic delay in selecting the third-most important post in the country, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

After more than a dozen votes, mainstream Republican Kevin McCarthy finally won a majority, ending the total paralysis of the new Congress. However, the embarrassing stalemate was the worst of its kind since before the American Civil War.

As the Speaker chaos continued, Democrats demanded attention for 2020, while Republican lawmakers largely ignored the anniversary. The stark difference isn’t surprising: polls have long shown that 35% of the country still calls the events of January 6 a “legitimate protest” while 50% still calls it an “insurrection”.

The subsequent January 6th Committee to investigate the incident was either branded a political show trial and witch hunt, or a necessary defense of American-style democracy.

While Washington is repeatedly faulted for encouraging protests in other countries, almost 200 January 6th protesters have been sentenced to prison terms.

Seemingly every participant has been publicly hunted down, which may serve as a chilling effect which forestalls future protests.

Has Washington’s response to the controversial events of January 6, 2020 reduced conflict, division and disunity? We cannot ask Congress because - just like two years ago - they cannot meet in peace.

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