“The fraudulent 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.” This is the big lie that brought about the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Those who promulgated the lie, those who spread the lie, and those who were taken in by the lie must acknowledge it for what it is — a monstrous falsehood. If we are ever going to heal this country’s wounds, the truth must prevail.
We implore our Republican friends and neighbors of good conscience to speak up for truth. Portions of your party have been led far astray by a charismatic and profoundly unethical authoritarian in the White House. Your trusted voices can help set the record straight. We offer our sincere thanks to
Congressman John Katko (R-NY24) for being the first Republican in the House of Representatives to condemn this domestic terrorist attack and to support Trump’s second impeachment. After the most thoroughly investigated election in American history, every state elections commissioner, state legislature and governor — Democrat and Republican alike — have certified that the voting was free and fair. President Trump’s own FBI Director and Attorney General have attested that it was free and fair. At least 63 state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have dismissed cases, and decried the lack of evidence, brought by the President’s cohorts trying to discredit the election. Nevertheless, President Trump was willing to push the country to the brink of civil war by refusing to concede that Joe Biden was the winner and by demanding extralegal means of overturning the will of the people. His efforts culminated in a rally at which he vilified his own vice president and Republican members of congress who were properly participating in a ceremonial confirmation of the vote.
We all know the result. At the end of the day, the Capitol was ransacked, our elected leaders’ lives were threatened by armed thugs, and five people — including a Capitol police officer — lay dead. Donald Trump has rightfully suffered a bipartisan impeachment in the House of Representatives. He should be convicted by the Senate and prevented from ever holding public office again. But he is not alone in bearing responsibility for the mess we’re in.
We are appalled that, despite the violence and threats of further violence, some in Congress continue cravenly to support the “Big Lie,” including four representatives from New York. Lee Zeldin (R-NY1), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY11), Elise Stefanik (R-NY21) and Chris Jacobs (R-NY27). They have broken their oaths of office and disgraced both themselves and the districts they represent. We call on them to resign immediately or be expelled by their congressional colleagues. They should be repudiated by their constituents.
Trump’s radical supporters have made clear on social media that they are not done rampaging and the lives of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers may still be at risk. Now is the time for followers of both parties to unify in defense of democracy. Please, join us in rejecting the lies, affirming our values and restoring peace to our republic.
Link to Letter to the Editor, Walton Reporter, February 3, 2021