Letter: Acquittal, Jan. 6, body blows to our democracy


On Saturday, the U.S. Senate voted 57-43 to acquit former President Donald Trump of any responsibility for inciting the riot that overtook the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Trump goes free, but some questions remain:

Would the people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 even have been in Washington, D.C., if the then-president had not summoned them, claiming the rally would be “wild?” No.

Would they have marched — Confederate and Trump flags raised — to the Capitol if he hadn’t urged them and said he’d go with them. No.

Would they have chanted “Hang Mike Pence” if he hadn’t called his own, ever-loyal Vice President a traitor? No.

Would they have beaten a Capitol police officer to death with a flag pole — Old Glory still waving from its top — while screaming he was a traitor to his country if Trump hadn’t deputized them to fight his treasonous war on democracy while he went to his safe space on Twitter? No.

Apparently “Blue Lives Matter” doesn’t mean what you might think.

This last Saturday, 43 American senators voted to say the former president had nothing to do with what happened on Jan. 6. They voted to say words don’t matter, that it doesn’t bother them at all that some of their colleagues phoned their children to say goodbye. They voted to say, “fine by us.”

From our public servants we must demand honor. Honor is what we deserve and what our nation was founded upon. Last Saturday, we saw not honor but cowardice from 43 people who swore allegiance to this nation and its sacred Constitution, not its leader. May that day be, as the Senate majority leader implored after the vote, America’s second day of infamy.

Just as in 1941, we can decide who we want to be. We can close the book on hate, we can fix what’s broken, we can change the ending of the story of Jan. 6 from sadness and anger to a country that looked the worst of itself straight in the eye and said “no more.”

That day in January was a body blow to America and her principles, but we still have a chance to fix it.

God help us if we don’t.

William Harper


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