The nation’s increasingly polarized politics are instilling new concerns in lawmakers and employees, as seen by Saturday’s scheduled Capitol demonstration in support of those jailed on charges connected to the Jan. 6 Capitol disturbance, The Hill reports.
According to congressional aides, the “Justice for J6” demonstration brought back unpleasant memories of the insurgency, when members and staff alike were concerned for their safety as Capitol Police were swamped by a violent crowd.
Many people who say they have been scarred by the events and have recounted the long-term psychological burden of having their business ransacked to prevent the 2020 election certification find it insulting that others would embrace imprisoned insurrectionists.
Real security concerns have been voiced in recent months, ranging from the rebuilt fence that currently encircles the Capitol to personal security for lawmakers.
The constant danger of violence, as well as the resulting political divide, has had a variety of effects on politicians.
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a young Republican member who has been openly criticizing former President Donald Trump, said on Thursday that he will not be seeking reelection. He recalled a sudden epiphany about the changing circumstances of his public service when he was arriving for a vacation to Cleveland’s airport and extra security was required.
According to The New York Times, Gonzales said that when the House voted for Trump’s impeachment, he and his family were given additional security detail in order to ensure their safety, which was a surprising revelation.
The tale struck a chord with several Republicans outside of Congress, who watched the insurgency change the boundaries of the modern GOP with rage and bewilderment.
Many current GOP legislators are still clinging to Trump’s false accusations of election meddling, but others who aren’t running for reelection have talked openly about the impact of his rhetoric on the atmosphere in U.S. politics.