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One year after violent assault on Capitol Hill, Americans remain concerned about their democracy


On January 6, 2021, thousands of supporters of Donald Trump, refusing to recognize the election of Joe Biden, stormed the Capitol, breaking into it to engage in looting and looting in an outburst of violence. A year later, Americans are still “concerned” about the future of their democracy, according to two polls.

66% of them believe that democracy in the United States is in danger, according to a major YouGov study for CBS News published this Sunday, and 68% of those polled believe that the events in Congress last year are significant of an increase in political violence.

Another poll also published Sunday by the Washington Post indicates that 34% of Americans believe that the use of violence by citizens against the government can sometimes be justified. The YouGov and CBS News study also shed light on the subjects for which the use of violence could be justified, according to the respondents: civil rights (35% for, 65% against), gun laws (29% for, 71% against), and even the result of an election (28% for, 72% against).

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Patriotism or insurrection?

The interpretation of the events of January 6, 2021 remains extremely divided and fractured between those close to the Democrats and those of the Republicans: while 85% of the former estimate that these acts are the result of an insurgency and an attempt to overthrow the government, the former the second estimate at 47% that it was a manifestation of American patriotism, and 56% of acts aimed at “defending freedom”.

According to the Washington Post poll, 92% of Democrats believe Donald Trump is largely responsible for the assault on Capitol Hill, while 72% of Republicans believe he has little or no responsibility for these events.

Just before the assault, Donald Trump had however addressed his supporters, assuring them that the election had been “stolen”, calling on them to “fight like devils”. Without taking into account partisan proximity, 60% of Americans recognize the part of responsibility of the former president in the attack.

Support for Trump in 2024

However, some continue to believe that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president, elected in a rigged election, and that the office of President of the United States belongs to Donald Trump. If 62% of Americans believe that the latter should never stand again, 26% are waiting for his candidacy in 2024, and 12% want him to fight to regain his place today, according to the CBS News poll.

On Thursday, January 6, Joe Biden and his vice president Kamala Harris will speak to mark the first-ever anniversary of the assault on Capitol Hill. While he had made promises of reconciliation, the current tenant of the White House struggles to rally around him, and faces affronts even in his own camp.

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