DENVER (CBS4)– Capitol Hill has long been viewed as a pillar of democracy, but as hundreds of protesters stormed its chambers on Wednesday afternoon, its strength is being called into question.
“I see the events as a dramatic and dark day in the history of our democracy,” political specialist Ken Osgood said.
Osgood is also a history professor at Colorado School of Mines. He says the direct attempt to disrupt the confirmation of the U.S. election may seem unexpected, but it is the result of years of intensifying divisiveness across the country. A division made more prominent under the Trump administration.
“What we have seen really happen in the past four years is that some of those movements have been given a voice and power and a feeling of legitimacy as a consequence of some of the presidents rhetoric,” Osgood said.
It’s also a moment in history expected to have a lasting impact.
University of Colorado Denver, Political science professor Christoph Stefes says depending on the response, it could be a catalyst for change.
“These are moments in time of crisis where the country goes into another direction… it’s not clear what direction.”
“It could go back,” Stefes said, “Or we see how people come together and how they can strengthen the democratic institution.”
Both experts say Americans should be watching closely for what happens next.
“We should all soak it up and pay attention And think to ourselves is this what we want our country to become,” Osgood said.