Trump’s Final Weeks: A Look Back


Source: ABC News

On Jan. 6, a seemingly average day was brought to a halt as news trickled in from D.C.: a mob of rioters had stormed the Capitol, attempting to halt the confirmation of Joe Biden as the nation’s 46th president.

The protest, spurned from President Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 elections had been rigged in his opponent’s favor, quickly grew violent, with officers struggling to hold back the tidal wave of thousands of protestors. Five people were killed in the chaos: four protestors and one police officer.

And soon, Nazi flags were waving at the heart of the nation.

“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,” Trump had said at a rally nearby, just before the riot. “And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness; you have to show strength, and you have to be strong. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Only a week later, social media platforms including Snapchat and Twitter banned him for inciting violence. Many joined the criticism toward the violence of the protest – according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 48% of Democrats and 27% of Republicans initially reacted to the news with “strong negative emotions,” although many understood the reasoning behind the initial rally.

“The indefensible behavior of the rioters does not erase the righteous grievance of millions of Americans who have lost faith in an election system cast to the winds of political opportunism,” radio host Mark Davis wrote in Townhall. “President Trump is entitled to his anger. His voters are entitled to theirs. Members of the House and Senate are entitled to their constitutionally established avenues of objection. But no one gets to do what happened Wednesday.”

And as of Jan. 14, Trump has become the first president to be impeached twice. In 2019, he had also been impeached by the House, but the Senate had acquitted him of charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Now, he awaits a second trial before the Senate, which will happen after his term ends; if his conviction is supported by two-thirds, he’ll be banned from holding future office.

“Seeing Trump impeached the second time felt a bit anticlimactic considering his last impeachment was only a year prior,” senior Daniela Ramos said. “Yet I remember being 13 years old, sitting on the floor of my living room as I texted a friend and watched him win the election, commenting to her, a member of another group he had attacked on national TV, how his presidency would end in disaster. I think even then I could not have predicted just how shattered the country would be. It is heartbreaking to see how even the terrified the 13-year-old version of me underestimated just how deep his hatred would run.”

Now, Joe Biden’s first week of presidency has already reversed some of Trump’s past decisions. Prioritizing climate change as a national issue, for instance, Biden had the US rejoin the 2015 Paris climate agreement on his first day, which Trump withdrew from in 2017; his environmental policies, however, have sparked controversy as some pointed out the potential backlash to the economy. From the strengthening of COVID-19 safety measures to a reversal of the Trump administration’s ban on trans people in the military, Biden’s 30+ executive orders have been both swift and controversial. For many Seven Lakes students, his first week and Trump’s final ones have served as a lasting reminder of the worsening division of the country.

“The number of times [Trump has] singled out groups of people and has been the source of division is unbelievable,” senior Tabina Hassan said. “As he continued to claw at the many cracks in our country over the years, what became scary about Trump wasn’t Trump himself, but rather what he revealed about our country.”