photo by Victoria Muller
How Europeans reacted to American capitol assault
The United States Capitol attack on January 6 was a horrific event that shocked many Americans. This news spread all over the world and Europe was no exception. This reconsiders the future of the Republic of the United States.
“When I first heard about it I really couldn’t believe that people would go this far and that any human being with a working mind could think this genuinely was O.K.,” Sophie Fiebig, a former foreign exchange student from Germany said.
“My first reaction when I saw Trump’s supporters who assaulted the Capitol going inside was: “Oh my God, what’s happening to the United States, a land of liberty, the world’s most dominant economic and military power,” French woman Marine Muller said. “After that, I thought to myself that America has become a banana republic, as the worst countries ruled by dictators.”
To most European countries that have a similar government as the United States, the American system seems corrupt to them.
“Compared to many other countries, America has a political system that is overdue for a revamping. The two parties system giving few opinions to chose from, and the electoral college invalidating many voters’ voices. But the fact that, in addition to all, people have now started violently rioting and looting because their preferred presidential candidate lost the election, makes me think about the longevity of the American Democracy,” Fiebig said.
This event spikes European doubt about the American democracy’s future and safety.
“I do believe that these events might backfire on America soon since it doesn’t paint the country and its politic in a good light. From what I can tell, many Europeans, as well as people worldwide, have lost any kind of respect they felt towards America before this,” Fiebig said. “And even though this has been gradually happening for a few decades but over the last four years especially, this seems irreversible and will most likely taint the picture people have of America forever. Where people a few decades ago saw the ‘American Dream’ all there is just shambles of democracy and the image of a group of right-wing, racist radicals who blindly follow their leader.”
This attack proved, to some, that the government of the United States is living in a political crisis, like France a few years ago.
“It’s similar to the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (the yellow jackets crisis of 2018 in France) and the multiple attacks on French symbols, like the Arc de Triomphe but they were only coups. What shocks us the most is that the Republic is touched by its own American citizens,” Muller said. “Throughout its history, America has to remember its weaknesses: The Civil War, the Pearl Harbor battle, and the Twin Towers attack. These events all show how vulnerable the United States can be. The Capitol assault proves that the United States isn’t unreachable and some people have to realize it.”
Some elements have shocked Europeans more than others, especially ones who show a lack of respect and wisdom.
“As a German, what disgusted me most of all, was one picture that surfaced during the riots. It was a guy with a shirt that said ‘Camp Auschwitz.’ To see that it made me think that calling these people ‘conservatives’ is unfair because they are much more and much worse than that,” Fiebig said.
Europe demonstrates all its support to the Republic of the United States and the new President elected. Europe hopes that the situation will get better with time, thanks to the House’s decision to impeach Donald Trump.
“This event weakens Trump’s government who is held responsible for liting the flame of this mass hysteria that led to the Capitol assault,” Muller said.