In expressing his shock at the events on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted: “This is 3rd world style anti-American anarchy.”
As we at The Christian Science Monitor begin to wrestle with those events, one lesson seems already apparent. Such anarchy is not a unique phenomenon of the developing world. Nor is America immune to it. Rather, it is a product of the choices a nation makes and the views its citizens and leaders hold of one another.
Today, we begin to sort through what this means for the United States. Tomorrow, we will take a more global look. But at its core, the Monitor was founded explicitly to monitor and chronicle the forces that act every day against such darkness – and to strengthen your efforts to support them. We have covered countless coups and unrest around the world, but we have also looked for the light – where selflessness and goodwill and grace are operating from Oman to Thailand. However small or steady, these always illuminate the path out of darkness.
The United States holds a special place as a pioneer of democracy and leader of a post-World War II world order that promoted freedom and human rights. But to dally with authoritarianism and not to immediately reject lies that would undermine the integrity of democratic processes is to put oneself on the path of instability, whether you are in the developing world or a world superpower.
Recent months give us ample examples of Americans at all levels of government living consistent with its highest ideals. The storming of the Capitol by groups seeking to overthrow a legitimate election underscores how essential that example is – and the need to fortify it though reporting its triumphs as well as making plain the challenges against it.