We are not enemies
Violence in any form is unacceptable.
Yet, objections to the results of the presidential election have inflamed many Americans to the extent that a minority of citizens resorted to violence in our nation’s capital on Wednesday.
Sadly, four people died from the chaos. Dozens were injured, including law enforcement officers.
What happened on Wednesday in Washington D.C. is a permanent stain on this nation.
The world views us in a different light.
“We” view “us” in a different light.
We mourn that this happened in America, that more than two centuries of peaceful transition of authority were violently interrupted.
In the end, Congress reconvened and fulfilled its constitutional obligation to certify the election on the Jan. 6 following a presidential election.
Some have come to call this obligation “ceremonial.”
Sadly, that is a far cry from the way the day went as rioters were encouraged to act as they did.
Let’s face it, those who believe the election was “rigged” are angry that so many mail-in ballots were allowed.
Yes, the use of mail-in ballots was expanded because the nation is battling a deadly pandemic.
The result was record “turnout” of votes tabulated by the people.
Every state in the union will now look at their laws expanding mail-in ballots and either keep them intact because of that record turnout — or the continuing pandemic — or change them depending on the beliefs of the majority party controlling their Legislatures.
That’s how it works.
Our Democracy is fragile.
It must be cared for and protected, lest the bedrock that allows for our freedom will be damaged beyond repair.
We need to strive to achieve a higher ideal and practice the art of compromise and cooperation.
The events of Wednesday may be over, yet the nation must remain vigilant in the weeks ahead. Those who took what many had believed would be a peaceful protest over the line — and we believe the insurrectionists were in the minority — must be sought, identified and fully prosecuted. Sure, they can peacefully protest, but they cannot be allowed to interfere with the seating of the next president between now and Jan. 19.
It is time to solidify our status as a peace-loving people who can co-exist despite our differences. In America, we have always been able to set aside our differences as we strive to form that “more perfect union” promised in the U.S. Constitutionand protected by our honorable public servants over the centuries.
Today, we call on all reasonable men and women to accept the results of the 2020 General Election and make change if you believe change is needed. Again, that’s how our Democracy works.
We end this editorial with selected comments made from the floor Wedneday night by Nebraska U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse. We agree.
“… It turns out that when something is ugly talking about beauty isn’t just permissible, talking about beauty is obligatory at a time like that.
“Why? Why would we talk about beauty after the ugliness of today? Because our kids need to know that this isn’t what America is.
“I don’t think we want to tell the Americans that come after us that this republic is broken, that this is just a banana republic, that our institutions can’t be trusted.
“I don’t think we want that. We don’t want that in this body, we don’t want that in our home towns.
“I don’t think we want to tell our kids that America’s best days are behind us because it’s not true.
“That’s not who we are. America isn’t Hatfield’s and McCoy’s blood feud forever. America is a union. There’s a lot that’s broken in this country but not anything that’s so big that the American people can’t rebuild it. That freedom and community and entrepreneurial effort and that neighborhoods can’t rebuild.
“Nothing that’s broken is so big that we can’t fix it.
“The center of America is not Washington, DC. The center of America is the neighborhoods where 330 million Americans are raising their kids and trying to put food on the table and trying to love their neighbor. That’s the center of America. We’re not supposed to be the most important people in America, we’re supposed to be servant leaders who try to maintain a framework for ordered liberty so that there’s a structure that back home where they live, they can get from the silver frame of structure and order to the golden apple at the center, as Washington would have said it, which is the things that they build together.
“The places where they coach little league, the places where they invite people to synagogue or church. Sometimes the big things we do together are governmental, like kicking Hitler’s ass or like going to the moon. Sometimes there is governmental stuff, but the heart of America is about places where moms and dads are raising kids, and we’re supposed to serve them by maintaining order and by rejecting violence.
“You can’t do big things like that if you hate your neighbors. You can’t do big things together as Americans if you think other Americans are the enemy.”