What we all witnessed at the US Capitol on January 6th was shocking and appalling. Never would I have imagined such a scene unfolding here in the United States, as this is something that I thought was reserved to less developed democracies and dictatorships.
Working for an organization that is dedicated to building understanding and creating change through dialogue, I feel compelled to say what shouldn't need saying. This assault on our democracy is wholly unacceptable and not in line with the democratic values of our country. No matter where you want to place the blame for these actions, we as the United States of America need to all agree that there is no place for this violence in our country. Each and every person who illegally entered the capitol building should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
In addition to being a national embarrassment, this further weakens the US', and democracy's, appeal abroad. Dictators around the world can use these images as propaganda to show their citizens what "democracy" looks like. They can say "you may not like the tight control I impose, but at least we do not allow violent mobs to storm our government buildings."
Another issue that is not getting a lot of coverage is what has been going on while the US has been, rightfully so, distracted by the false accusations of election fraud. Iran has been building up their nuclear and missile arsenals, North Korea has been taking an increasingly aggressive stances, and China has been flexing its muscles all over the Pacific. All of these issues can impact our National Security, but have been relegated to back burner status as the US has needed to stay focused on the undermining of our democracy.
Finally, I hope that having this incident occur on our home soil will help us all better understand when similar things happen abroad. Without a doubt, this drives home the point that democracy can be fragile, anywhere in the world, and we all must do what we can to support it, both at home and abroad.