How 2021 became a lost year for American democracy

Democrats failed to coup-proof America after the Capitol riot

The Capitol riot.
(Image credit: Illustrated | AP Images, iStock)

Tomorrow marks a year since the outgoing president of the United States instigated a mob of his most fervent supporters to sack the Capitol building, where they set about taking selfies, occupying offices, and hunting members of Congress as part of an ultimately unsuccessful — yet still quite damaging — effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

For a brief moment, the horror of the insurrection seemed to unify America's fractious political class in shared revulsion. But in the ensuing year, nearly every elected Republican chose to close ranks, while Democrats failed comprehensively to address the weak points in our system that former President Donald Trump and his vandals exploited.

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