Rot in the US system clear to all

No matter how the Republican Party, still under the sway of former president Donald Trump, tries to doctor what happened that day, Jan 6, 2021, is marked in history as one of infamy for the United States.

One year ago, supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol building to try and prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes that would make Joe Biden president of the United States, leaving five people dead and many others injured.

The insurrection was both a crime and a scar on the conscience of a country that touts itself as a “beacon” of democracy. And the amnesic aftermath of the ugly events of that day has further laid bare the ills in the US democratic system.

One year after the storming of the Capitol, apart from having dramatically different perceptions of what went down, Democrats and Republicans remain split on almost every issue of public interest, ranging from gun control, healthcare to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

On Monday, the US shattered a single-day record with more than 1 million COVID-19 cases amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and the easing of prevention and control measures in the country. The fact that the US remains the country worst hit by the pandemic, with the most cases and deaths, is itself a tragic indictment of its political system.

The Jan 6 insurrection was the final nail in the coffin of the US’ claim that it was championing democracy.

The US has for decades flagrantly violated the basic norms of international law and diplomatic norms by interfering in the internal affairs of other countries in the name of democracy, turning a blind eye to the skeletons in its own cupboard.

Yet a multitude of problems at home, such as rising racism, surging gun violence and a widening rich-poor gap, all testify to the deterioration and dysfunction of its political system.

A recent study by the Robert Bosch Foundation in Germany found that over half of US citizens think its system does not function at all under the current circumstances.

Neither Americans nor people elsewhere can continue to dismiss as negligible the serious problems plaguing the US’ democratic system.

Jan 6 should forever serve as a sober reminder to the US that it should clean its own house first before pointing an accusing finger at others.

Even the “democracy summit” staged by Washington last month cannot repair the US’ damaged image nor salvage the decaying core of American-style democracy.

Such antics cannot possibly help the US solve the deep-rooted political, social and economic problems that have plagued it for decades.

Even judged from a low standard, the US’ democratic system is hardly the “envy of the world” as it only exists in form, not in substance.

-The Daily Mail-China Daily News Exchange Item