An attempted coup, instigated by a defeated president. It’s a plot for a Tom Clancy novel, not something that would happen in the Citadel of Democracy. But yesterday it is. It was the most significant attack on the United States Capitol since the British invasion in 1814.
That ominous sight overwhelmed the other big story of the day: the election of two Democratic senators to the once-solid heart of the South, ceding control of Congress to the new president’s party. Many political analysts in Georgia have attributed this one to President Trump as well. As always, the outgoing president is the center of attention.
For businesses, it’s the second story that dramatically changes the outlook for the next four years. Many business leaders hoped for a different outcome – a divided government whose center of gravity rested on centrists like Romney, Collins, Manchin and Warner. With clearer control in the hands of Democrats, the president will be under greater pressure to respond to his progressive caucus – likely creating bigger headaches for business.
Most disturbing is the fact that a significant portion of the American public – including a number of CEO Daily readers – sincerely believe that the November election was fraudulent, despite 50 states and some 60 courts saying otherwise. According to YouGov, 45% of Republican voters approve of the storming of the Capitol building, based on what they have read or heard about the event. It’s hard to see how democracy survives when the most basic facts of public life are to be grasped and immune to any resolution.
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