A joint session of Congress gathered on Capitol Hill Wednesday for the usually uneventful task of certifying the electoral votes that determine the next president of the United States. But there was …
A joint session of Congress gathered on Capitol Hill Wednesday for the usually uneventful task of certifying the electoral votes that determine the next president of the United States. But there was nothing usual about what the world witnessed taking place.
A violent mob of insurrectionists, encouraged for weeks and earlier that day by President Donald Trump's baseless and false claims of a rigged election and systemic voter fraud, stormed the Capitol building in an effort to stop Joe Biden from being certified as the 46th president of the United States.
As we've said repeatedly in this editorial space, there is a place for peaceful protests and nonviolent demonstration in this country. There's a rich tradition of it in our history and it's part of what gives the idea of this country so much promise. But when political demonstration descends into violence and chaos it should give every American pause.
According to developing news reports of Wednesday's events, several members of the capitol police force were taken to the hospital and treated for injuries. Four people are dead, including one woman who was shot by law enforcement. Congressional leaders were told to wear gas masks and were temporarily evacuated. Tear gas was fired inside the capitol rotunda.
This is not who we are as a nation. We have to be better than this. What we saw Wednesday was an obscene demonstration of the greed, grievance, racism and hubris that still infects our society. It's an assault on the peaceful transition of power that has come to define our democratic republic.
It's long past time to accept the results of the national election held on Tuesday, November 3 when approximately 161 million Americans voted early, in person or by mail. Joe Biden won with 306 electoral votes, the same President Trump received in 2016. More than 50 lawsuits filed by President Trump alleging systemic voter fraud were tossed out of state and federal courts across the country. The Supreme Court, with three members of its conservative majority appointed by Trump himself, rejected two challenges to the election results. The electoral college cast its votes and a joint session of Congress has now certified them. It's over, and we will not be intimidated by thugs.
Democratic processes and a republic form of government are fragile things. It's not the natural state of a world that for most of history has been governed by brute force - the idea that “might is right.”
If we are to preserve this experiment of government by the people, we need leaders who are not motivated by power or personal ambition, but instead by service to a greater good.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here