Letters to the Editor: Insurrection at the Capitol
January 14, 2021
The Countywide & Sun:
Shock, outrage, sadness, sorrow and fear describe the range of emotions felt on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The greatest democracy, in the world, was under siege by domestic terrorists, of our own making.
Wednesday's mob, encouraged by President Trump's words, tweets and lies about voter fraud, assaulted the nation's Capitol. Fortunately, the death toll though not insignificant, was small over what could have been, but the damage to our democracy, Capitol and American institutions is yet to be fully realized.
Perhaps the biggest loss is our trust in the survivability of American democracy. American exceptalism isn't so exceptional after all. Wednesday, America looked like another third world country, where rioters using assault tactics tried to seize governmental power. Who could have imagined in their wildest dreams that our own president and complicit citizens would bring to the brink the rule of law and the trampling of the Constitution?
Rebellion, insurrection, attempted coup, domestic terrorism and incursion are terms describing what happened at our nation's Capitol. Article II of the Constitution states, "The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; " The Constitution does not say, if you don't like the states' election results you can vote to overthrow the election or conduct an attempted coup de ta to maintain power.
Many bear responsibility for what happened Wednesday, with the President chiefly responsible for giving license to the radical right of the Republican Party to believe they were the only "patriots." True patriots do not shout racial epithets and chant "Jews will not replace us" and a whole host of other despicable exhortations. There can be no authoritarianism in American democracy. An indisputable majority of American voters rejected Trump's policies and brand of authoritarianism.
President-elect Biden received nearly 8 million more votes than Pres. Trump. Numerous recounts, 50+ court rulings, two Supreme Court rulings, and an attempted act of sedition could not change the outcome of the election or the Constitution. A president that foments lies and orchestrates a mob into rebellion to hold onto power is a demagogue.
There is only one way to change government direction and that is through the ballot box with a free and fair election. Can state elections be more fair and free? Sure, but there is a time, place and manner for that analysis and change. It belongs with each state's legislature.
As to Oklahoma's congressional delegation, Sen. Inhofe apparently read the Constitution and stated days before, he would not object to certifying the states' electors. Sen. Lankford chose not to follow the Constitution, until scared Wednesday, when he changed his objection and voted to certify. Unfortunately, Oklahoma's five House of Representative members (Bice, Cole, Hern, Lucas, and Mullin) chose to vote against certification, even after seeing the day's carnage. They rejected the Constitution, chose continued complicity, and in the end, feared more their party's political radical right. Let us remember those five at the ballot box, which is the real patriot way.