We had a lot of “must-run” content for the Opinion page last week, so we decided last Tuesday as we put the paper together that I could hold my column and run it this week.
Then Wednesday happened.
A lot of those words I put to computer screen last week still ring true to me.
We need to give our fighting a rest and stop poking a stick at each other.
We need to realize that we’re all Americans who love our country, just in different ways.
But in the aftermath of that horrible violence at our nation’s Capitol, one of the commentators on TV said something that resonated with me above everything else.
Before we can talk about healing, we have to have accountability.
We don’t have to rehash all the events of that tragic day or the rhetoric that led to it. You’ve seen the images over and over and heard the analysis on TV.
But the kicker of me is that all the anger that turned to horrifying violence was fueled by more than 2 months of lying about how the election was stolen.
President Trump may in his heart of hearts believe that he won the election in a landslide, but he is wrong. The facts don’t bear him out.
There was no widespread fraud. There were no rigged voting machines. There was no vast conspiracy.
And there is no proof of any of that beyond the words of Mr. Trump and people around him – politicians, lawyers and TV commentators alike – who found it in their interest to keep his claims alive.
So we must hold accountable those people responsible for the tragedy of Jan. 6, from the people who beat an officer of the law with an American flag to those who chanted “Hang Mike Pence” as they rampaged through the Capitol searching for the vice president to those who kept up the mantra of a rigged election, when there was none.
If you’ve read this far and haven’t thrown down your paper in outrage, let me say this: I’m not saying you shouldn’t be a fan of Donald Trump.
Appreciate him for what you believe he has done for this country – built that wall, drained the swamp, turned conventional politics on its head or whatever else.
But on the issue of free and fair elections in the United States in 2020, he has been lying to himself and you for months. Don’t let your passion cloud your understanding of facts.
The election of 2020 is over. Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the nation’s 46th president next Wednesday.
And just like Donald Trump was our president – whether you liked him or not – for 4 years, Joe Biden will be your president next, whether you like him or not.
Keep your passion for causes that are crucial to our country, from protecting our borders to ferreting corruption out of government to protecting the middle class.
And to those who were horrified by what happened at the Capitol, I say much the same. Keep your passion for your causes.
But once we have put to rest the awful events of Jan. 6, let’s find a way to live together and to once more remind the world of the greatness of this nation.
And let’s all remember the last 6 words of the pledge we recite so often.
“… With liberty and justice for all.”