How do you commemorate a story that isn’t over yet?
It’s one year later, and there is still so much unresolved after the storming of the U.S. Capitol.
We still have no idea who placed bombs outside the Republican and Democratic party offices that morning. Two major probes — the House select committee and the FBI’s massive criminal investigation — are ongoing. Former President Trump is continuing to falsely dispute the last election and his allies are mounting efforts all over the country to challenge the next one. And here in D.C., people who were there that day — including members of Congress, Hill staffers, police officers who endured hours of hand-to-hand-combat, the families of people who died in the aftermath of the attack, and reporters — are still processing their experiences.
It’s difficult to reflect on this anniversary because it’s not clear how the story is going to end. Marking this day is also hard due to the fact much of the country doesn’t agree about what took place on January 6, 2021.
While recent polls showed only about twenty percent of the population supports the people who broke into the Capitol, the situation is more complicated if you look within the Republican Party. According to an ABC News poll released earlier this month, 52 percent of GOP voters believe the rioters were “protecting democracy.” Trump remains popular with his base and is the overwhelming favorite to win the party’s presidential primary in 2024. Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have both paid a high political price for not joining Trump’s push to overturn the vote.
Though the numbers show some Republicans clearly do not support the storming of the Capitol, another poll released by CBS News this month indicated a substantial number of them believe the attack was actually perpetrated by leftists disguised as Trump supporters. Furthermore, while the narrative that liberals — or even the FBI — were really behind January 6 has increasingly been promoted by right wing politicians and media outlets, no evidence has emerged to support these claims.