When an armed mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, people hid in the House of Representatives.
AP: Andrew Harnik
The chaos and violence in Washington stunned Canberra's politicians and officials.
It is not certain what the consequences of what happened in the US Congress on January 1 will have on our great friend and ally.
People are almost horrified about what will happen to the current US President Trump in the last 12 days of the White House.
On Thursday (January 1), Australians woke up early in the morning and found that social media and TV were flooded with live footage of the chaotic scene of the U.S. Capitol. U.S. senators and members of Congress hid behind the door, and armed protesters wrecked the building. In the office, he took selfies in various strange poses.
Canberra's foreign policy professionals and parliamentarians responded quickly.
"I can't believe what I have seen," an Australian official messaged me.
"It's appalling, it's terrible," a member of Parliament wrote.
"It's too bad," another MP said in a text message.
Backbenchers from both parties also condemned this crazy behavior on social media.
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Trump supporters fought with the police outside the Capitol.
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Trump supporters fought with the police outside the Capitol. (
"As President-elect Biden said, this is not a protest — this is a riot, a dark and shameful day."
Allan Gyngell, a former head of Australian intelligence and a senior official, has been following American politics for decades, but he admitted without hesitation that he was a little surprised by what happened on Thursday morning.
"I never thought that something like this would happen in Washington," Mr. Ginger said.
Ginger now believes that there is evidence that Trump, who is increasingly weird, has "differed from reality."
Trumpism will continue to exist in a divided America
Trump was banned by social media sites for inciting violence, and some people called for his impeachment under the 25th Amendment. (Annotation: The amendment supplements Article XNUMX of the U.S. Constitution regarding the president’s succession procedures when he loses his power and ability to perform duties) , And even forced him to step down.
Regarding what happened, Mr. Ginger said lightly that it was "quite extraordinary."
Even assuming that there is no greater chaos and President-elect Joe Biden successfully took office on January 1, greater problems still exist.
Trump may leave the White House soon, but "Trumpism" will continue.
Political polarization is now evolving into something close to massive radicalization, threatening the democratic fabric of the United States.
Many Americans now seem to be entangled in a huge ecosystem of malicious false information incited by nativism, conspiracy theories, and bigotry.
"The allies of the United States will welcome the arrival of Biden... But if you think that this enthusiasm has not faded, and we may see Trumpism coming back out of the arena in four years, how can you rely on the United States ?" Mr. Ginger asked.
"Can Australia now look forward to seeing the United States as we know it again? Or will we see the return of Trumpism in four years, whether it is Trump himself or someone like him?"
In any case, the next four years of Biden's administration will hardly be a panacea to save the United States.
The U.S. remains Australia’s most important global ally
But the deep political differences between Washington and the entire United States will inevitably weaken the energy and political capital of the new government.
Ginger said that foreign policy will inevitably become its "secondary issue" as the Biden administration strives to resolve domestic issues.
These [for Australia] are thorny and worrying questions, the kind of question where you better not pose to a country that is not only your security bastion but also your most important global ally.
"I have no right to comment on other leaders. I did this out of respect for these countries," he told reporters in Canberra.
Some Labour MPs quickly stated that Morrison’s response was weak and accused him of getting too close to the US President.
Another question is whether the Australian Parliament is susceptible to the political morbidity suffered by the United States.
The Labor Party has repeatedly attacked a handful of Liberal-National Party ruling coalition members who spread some conspiracy theories in support of Trump that have been circulating online.
On Thursday, reporters asked Morrison whether he would condemn backbenchers for spreading false statements about the theft of votes in the US election.
Morrison did not directly answer this question, but simply said that Australia is a country with free speech.
Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus (Mark Dreyfus) made a sharp response to this. He said that the Prime Minister’s response to the Australian Post Office’s disclosure of the purchase of Cartier watches for its executives was more than the response to misinformation circulating in the country. strong.
"Morrison is angry at Cartier Watch, but has nothing to say about the dangerous and baseless conspiracy theories spread by backbenchers in the ruling coalition," Dreyfus said in a statement.
As a source said when the US Capitol was in chaos on Thursday-"We need to monitor this situation very, very closely."
"Given the [information] ecosystem we have now, things can change in a flash."
"We are not America, but we need to pay attention."
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