A US Coup Ricochets Across Generations of Americans


Katie Browning

The events of Wednesday, January 6th have left the U.S, let alone the globe, in shock. With the last Capitol building breach being the burning down of the White House in 1814 by the British, no one knows how to react to such an event on American soil. Each generation has seen and lived through different Worlds and events and this is just another one to the list. Many in younger generations feel outraged knowing and seeing the different police responses between this insurrection, and the Black Lives Matter protests this past summer. As they cannot quite cast ballots to help this country, they feel that this has been done to them. While older generations feel a sense of responsibility and shame as some of their ballots “led to and help” this event take place. Every generation has one thing in common, a shared feeling of violation and total shock. 

As more and more details come out and unfold from the Insurrection, the more terrifying it becomes. With that, joining adult society becomes more terrifying. Generation Z’s oldest members voted for the first time this November, and the majority of the generation is quickly approaching that point in their lives. And their safety net of ignorance and innocence of childhood has been forced off. A current student at Thomas Worthington High school said, “As I was watching the news coverage of it all, all I could think was why they weren’t being met with the same force as the BLM protests.” He said it made him feel sick to his stomach. “I think with the way our generation has grown up, we’ve been able to see people of all colors, shapes, and backgrounds succeeding and being human. I think that’s helped foster the empathy we have for people.”

For Generation X as they go through their middle ages, they have lived through about half of the Cold War, the Watergate Scandals, the LA riots, the Iraq War, 911, and now, the Capitol being breached by supporters of the current President of the United States. “I think it’s just a total disgrace for all Americans,” a Worthington mother stated. “I feel the same violation I felt during 911, but it’s also a lot different. With 911, we were Americans first and foremost, we felt so united. But, now, we’re the most divided we have been as a country in a long time.”

For the oldest generation, they came into the world in the wake of one of the biggest tragedies in history, World War II. They have lived through the Korean War, the Vietnam War and protests, the Cold War, 911, and all of the Mideastern conflicts. They have lived through many political conflicts, but not a riot in the Capitol building. “I think that if we look at all the things that have happened, like Kent State, we the people, of a free society, have so many freedoms. And I think some of these freedoms, we take for granted,” A local senior says. “And so I think that we’re so free that we feel that we can do anything we want. And because of that, the nation hurts.” He says that there’s no excuse for any of what happened. “Because you know, democracy is fragile. And without the transfer of power, the peaceful transfer of power, you don’t have a democracy anymore.” He closed with saying he feels that, “It’s turned into we, me, and they, with very few us’s. It’s become me against you, and you versus me, instead us together as a whole.”

The events of January 6th are nothing short of a tragedy. And the whole world was there to witness it unfold through the news and social media. It’s an event that will forever “live in infamy”. The US must grow and learn from this tragic violation of democracy.