The attack against the heart of American democracy was the sad but almost logical culmination of the President’s and his supporters’ campaign. Since the November election, they spread lies that the election was rigged and therefore illegitimate.
The events on Capitol Hill are also the result of social polarization. Trump alone is not responsible for this, but the President did nothing to diffuse the situation the past four years either--quite the opposite.
On January 20th, Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States, will not only assume leadership of an extremely tense nation politically but also confront an uncontained once-in-a-century pandemic and its economic and social consequences. The stakes in international relations too could hardly be any greater.
Not only is repairing the West's traditional alliances on the agenda, but Biden will also have to confront increasingly aggressive regimes in Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran.
Despite these immense problems and challenges, there is good news: Biden’s nominations for important positions within the administration have made clear that he is making good on his campaign promise to take a centrist domestic and foreign policy approach.
Likewise, American democracy has passed the past years’ stress test; the institutions have held. 244 years of democracy can neither be undone in four years nor by a few thousand extremists. The United States therefore does not need any lectures on democracy, certainly not from Germany.
This article originally appeared in the Jüdische Allgemeine.