Trump’s legacy—the shame and the opportunity

Trump’s legacy(ˈleɡəsē)—the shame and the opportunity

The invasion(inˈvāZHən) of the Capitol(ˈkapədl) and the Democrats(ˈdeməˌkrat)’ victory in Georgia(ˈjôrjə) will change the course of the Biden(ˈbīdn) presidency(ˈprez(ə)dənsē)

Four years ago Donald Trump stood in front of the Capitol building to be sworn(swôrn) into office and promised to end “American carnage(ˈkärnij)”. His term is concluding with a sitting president urging a mob(mäb) to march on Congress—and then praising(prāz) it after it had resorted to violence(ˈvī(ə)ləns). Be in no doubt that Mr Trump is the author of this lethal(ˈlēTHəl) attack on the heart of American democracy(dəˈmäkrəsē). His lies fed the grievance(ˈɡrēvəns), his disregard(ˌdisrəˈɡärd) for the constitution(ˌkänstəˈt(y)o͞oSH(ə)n) focused it on Congress and his demagoguery(ˈdeməˌɡäɡ(ə)rē) lit the fuse(fyo͞oz). Pictures of the mob storming(ˈstôrmiNG) the Capitol… are the defining images of Mr Trump’s unAmerican presidency.

The Capitol violence pretended(prəˈtendəd) to be a show of power. In fact it masked two defeats. While Mr Trump’s supporters were breaking and entering, Congress was certifying(ˈsərdəˌfī) the results of the president’s incontrovertible(ˌinkäntrəˈvərdəb(ə)l) loss(lôs) in November. While the mob was smashing(smaSH) windows, Democrats were celebrating a pair of unlikely victories in Georgia that will give them control of the Senate(ˈsenət). The mob’s grievances(ˈɡrēvəns) will reverberate(rəˈvərbəˌrāt) through the Republican Party as it finds itself in opposition. And that will have consequences for the presidency of Joe Biden, which begins on January(ˈjanyəˌwerē) 20th.