Purdue Political Scientist: Pro-Trump Capitol Hill Mob Indicates American Political Culture Issues

Jan 9, 2021

Professor James Toole discusses reaction of France's president, Emmanuel Macron, as well as others. (French Embassy in the U.S., Creative Commons)

When a pro-Trump mob stormed Capitol Hill Wednesday, many world leaders condemned the attack.

James Toole is a professor of political science at Purdue University-Fort Wayne focusing on international issues. 

He says global reactions fell  into two broad camps: those of strategic competitors such as Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, who noted the fragility of western democracy.

And those of allies such as France, where President Macron said he stood with all people who wanted to determine their lives through free, democratic elections.

“The US has been known as a leader of democracy around the world," he says. "Americans have certainly viewed themselves this way. There’s been much skepticism of this around the world. That skepticism is only going to increase.”

Toole says in the last five to ten years, there has been democratic roll-back, increasing authoritarianism, and national populism around the world. He lists Turkey, Hungary, Poland, the Philippines, and Brazil as examples.