Capitol Riot Anniversary

President Joe Biden speaks from Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol to mark the one year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

President Joe Biden on Thursday memorialized the anniversary of Jan. 6 Thursday with powerful words that provided a sober reminder of the fragility of our democracy.

Biden forcefully condemned ex-President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” and its incitement of the riotous and deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. His condemnation was appropriate, given that 57% of Americans lay blame for the attack at the ex-president’s feet.

It’s important that all Americans hear the facts, not just one year after the event but perhaps for dozens of years to come, given how close Trump and his co-conspirators had come to derailing our democracy and everything for which it stands.

“For the first time in our history, a president not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol,” Biden said. “But they failed.

“Democracy was attacked. We the people endure. We the people prevailed.”

This is just not empty rhetoric.

As the facts become more clear, American democracy was nearly toppled.

The Jan. 6 bipartisan committee, in recent revelations, has discovered Trump saw fully what was happening and was advised by his executive team and family to do something to stop it. And he did nothing as the event became more violent.

We know he had teams of lawyers working in advance to conjure up specious legal arguments aimed at disrupting the final certification of Biden’s win. Trump threatened numerous executive officials, election officials, members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to do things they all knew to be illegal and dishonest.

And various investigative reports in the Atlantic and other legitimate news organizations report Trump is continuing to build an infrastructure that will allow him to discredit the next election should he lose. Dozens of surrogates have fanned out over dozens of states to weaken voting laws and put political foot soldiers in charge of what used to be nonpartisan election offices.

So the threat continues to exist.

What can we do?

Become informed on the threat if you have not already done so. Speak to any and all duly elected representatives of what they might do at the local, state or national level to defend our voting system so it allows every single vote to count, without possibility of those votes being nullified.

A recent report showed the system of certifying the Electoral College votes as done on Jan. 6 could be challenged in court due to some ambiguity. Members of Congress are working on a bipartisan bill to explicitly limit any challenges to the counting of legitimate votes and clarify that the vice president has strictly a ceremonial role.

That reform should be approved quickly.

We’re all responsible for the preservation of our democracy and that defense is more urgent now in light of the serious and impending threats.

— The Mankato (Minnesota) Free Press

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