During President Joe Biden’s address to the 117th Congress on Wednesday night, he referred to the Capitol riot of Jan. 6 as the "worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War."
The Civil War was the deadliest military conflict in American history. The Capitol riot saw five people dead, one unarmed woman, Ashli Babbit, was shot by police, while four other people, including an officer, died of natural causes. Experts have estimated that rioters caused $30 million dollars in damage.
Social media pundits were quick to point out that the damage and loss of life caused by the Islamic terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the 1941 suprise attack by the Imperial Forces of Japan on the US military bases at Pearl Harbor were both significantly higher than the riot on January 6. 2996 people were killed on 9/11 and 2,335 people were killed during the Pearl Harbor attack.
Calculated in for inflation, in today's dollars the damage at Pearl Harbor cost $221,680,000 to repair. The cost of the 9/11 attacks has been estimated at over $3 trillion, with incalculable damage due to the fall of global markets.
More recently, the riots that broke out across the US in 2020 following the death of George Floyd have been estimated to have caused over to $2 billion in damage from just May 26-June 8, 2020, and do not include the subsequent riots, autonomous zones and unrest that continued for much of the year into 2021.
Those numbers do not include over 120 consecutive night of rioting and attacks on the federal courthouse in Portland, the 3 week long armed occupation of 6 blocks in Seattle or the riot that burned Kenosha, Wisconsin.
According to The Guardian, "at least 11 Americans have been killed while participating in political demonstrations this year and another 14 have died in other incidents linked to political unrest." More than 2,000 law enforcement officers were injured during the protests and riots.
The riots were primarily organized by Antifa and BLM activists. Antifa has called for a violent anarchist overthrow of the US, while BLM is operated by trained Marxists seeking to eliminate America’s capitalist system.
While the Capitol riot should be condemned for its violence, it's objectively far from the worst attack on American democracy.