The United States nearly broke out into Civil War: Now what?

In the midst of this Constitutional crisis, where do we go from here?


Image from NBC News. One of the most powerful pictures in American history: New Jersey Congressman Andy Kim on his hands and knees cleaning up the mess in the aftermath of the attempted siege.

Adviser’s Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this opinion article belong solely to the author and do not reflect the view of The Colt Chronicle Staff, Kinnelon High School, or its students and staff members.

There are two dates that every American knows—or at least should know: Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001. Unfortunately, another date can be, and truly should be added to that list: Jan. 6, 2021. When democracy was questioned, and when everything this country has endured since 2014 was revisited in a few short, history-changing hours.

In case you have been living under a rock, here’s what happened: Supporters of Former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building and entered the chamber of the House of Representatives. 

The reason for this siege was simple: Many Trump supporters believe that the election was stolen from them and that he should remain president for the next four years. To avoid congress certifying the election results, his supporters stormed the building.

Members of the House and Senate, along with Vice President Mike Pence, were taken to a safe location. No politician was injured or killed during the siege. However, five people did lose their lives as a result of the events. 

Eventually, at around 11 p.m., Congress returned to session and at 4 a.m. certified that Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States.

There is no doubt that these domestic terrorists were coerced by an incompetent President into doing terrible things in the name of dictatorship, rather than democracy. 

People, however, are divided on how to move forward after these events. People on both sides of the argument are correct and deserve to be heard equally. They also all agree that President Trump was at fault for the events of Jan. 6 and that he should be punished. It is the question of how to punish him that people disagree on.

On one hand, we have Republicans, who would ideally like to hold an impeachment trial for the President, but after he leaves office. This would ensure that the esteemed and important process of impeaching a president is not rushed, and also delay Democratic President Joe Biden from starting to push his agenda on congress. Additionally, it is important to know that impeaching a president after his time in office is allowed in the Constitution.

On the other hand, we have Democrats who would ideally like for the President to resign. This is almost certainly not going to happen. Their second preferred choice is having Vice President Pence enact the 25th amendment, which would essentially mean Pence is telling Congress that the President is not capable of being in office and that they should remove him. However, the Vice President is a strong supporter of President Trump so this too seems unlikely. The final option is again, impeachment. However, the same problems arise, there would not be enough time to complete this process before Joe Biden takes office, which would result in a delay in Biden’s agenda, which includes a faster rollout of the COVID vaccine. 

Right now, we are at a crossroads in American history. The decision of Congress is a historic one that must be made quickly and rolled out smartly. Whatever they do, I just hope for the sake of our country and our democracy that we finally come together and unify as one. Because at the end of the day, the most important thing isn’t being a Democrat or a Republican or being conservative or liberal. Rather, it is being American, which means being unified for better or for worse.