Our View: Democracy must, and will, prevail

Americans stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

Read that again: Americans stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

Anger is what got us to this point of treasonous mob action, stoked by the president and his inability to accept defeat.

It was a confusing and sad day, and it became dangerous on Wednesday afternoon when President Donald Trump, the leader of the Free World, told an already irritable mob in Washington, D.C., that they should take their anger over his Nov. 3, 2020, loss to Joe Biden, to the Capitol.

The mob followed the president’s word and interrupted Congress’ certification of the Electoral Vote. Later, gunshots and pipe bomb demolitions were heard. A woman was shot.

Millions of Americans have visited the Capitol Building at some point in their lives. Maybe it was a family vacation, or work, or a school trip, but we have been there, and we’re proud to see where laws of our great land are formed. As news images of the riots appeared Wednesday, many of us remembered visiting the sites where the treasonous mob trampled.

Wednesday’s tragedy ranks with the Civil War, Pearl Harbor and 9/11. It was a very sad day.

But as President-Elect Joe Biden said Wednesday afternoon, the mob that stormed the Capitol does not represent all Americans.

The same Nov. 3 campaigns that resulted in a Biden victory, also resulted in wins for Republicans Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate majority leader, and President Donald Trump ally U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. Stark opposites, indeed, yet in each case the people had their say in our democracy.

Over the weeks since Nov. 3, each state has ratified its election results and sent along to Congress their Electoral College votes to be certified. Not one state has found rampant voter fraud or major concerns in the Nov. 3 election beyond a few irregularities.

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Northern Illinois has maintained Biden’s victory since the election, defying many of his Republican colleagues, some of whom later acknowledged Biden the presidential winner.

On Wednesday, Kinzinger told CNN: “Anywhere else around the globe we would be calling this a coup attempt. And that’s what I think it is. But have no fear, the guardrails of democracy and the Constitution will hold. I think when this is over we will look back and realize where this cancer has come from and go after it.”

Just an hour after Kinzinger’s comments, and as the mob continued to obstruct our democracy, the president went to Twitter to again fraudulently claim a stolen election. Yes, he did tell the mob to go home, but it was already too late.

Our country has a process in place to guarantee elections. The president doesn’t trust that process, even though he took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. The president’s attempts to thwart the process through legal means and exercising his power and influence has failed at each step. He continues to spread lies and misinform his followers. Now he’s leading a treacherous mob and his steamroller tactics have gone too far and have to stop now.

Democracy must and will prevail. We must never again experience what we experienced on Wednesday.