Here’s a visual depiction of how democracy was faring at the start of Donald Trump’s presidency — and how things stand now.
On Wednesday, just two weeks before he is set to leave office, Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Lawmakers and the press were forced to evacuate and take shelter. Some wore gas masks as police deployed tear gas and flash grenades in an effort to clear the intruding rioters.
At the president’s provocation, extremists had marched on the Capitol, refusing the accept the results of the 2020 election, and instead declaring Trump the winner. Trump had urged his supporters to protest, after spewing disinformation and conspiracy theories about a widespread campaign of fraud perpetrated against him for months.
In an address to the rioters ― who destroyed property, clashed with police, made violent threats and invaded the House chamber and legislative offices ― Trump said, “We have to have peace,” and asked them to go home, before adding, “We love you, you’re very special.”
News commentator Philip DeFranco posted two images on Twitter, one of a swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol and one of the building on Wednesday. (DeFranco’s first photo was actually from former President George W. Bush’s inauguration.)
“How it started: How it’s going,” he tweeted, using a popular meme format.
Here’s how the Trump presidency started:
And how it’s ending.