January 6, 2021

The U.S. Capitol building was breached for the first time since the invasion of the British army in 1814. I am angry and shocked about this development, but also concerned about the deterioration of our national traditions and norms. This is not a partisan issue for me but a patriotic one. However, I believe this can be a watershed moment and a wake up call for this nation. Dissent is part of our heritage but this behavior cannot be normalized.

What happened today can never happen again. Our democracy is fragile and it’s possible to lose it–not from outside forces but those from within. I hope that our love of country will be stirred in response to this effort at insurrection.

Equally important, however, is that there must be accountability and justice for this moment. People are dead today that do not need to be because of the violence that was incited at the Capitol building. We witnessed a violation at the seat of our democracy. The kind of extremism that was on display cannot be tolerated or simply glossed over for the sake of national unity. There must be consequences to the behavior that was on display before our nation can begin to heal.

I’m reminded of the words of Benjamin Franklin when asked what kind of government had been formed for the new nation. He reportedly said, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

“Whatever may have been my political opinions before, I have but one sentiment now. That is we have a Government, and laws and a flag and they must all be sustained. There are but two parties now, Traitor & Patriots and I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter and, I trust, the stronger party”–U.S. Grant, 1861

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