After watching the unbelievable events unfold at the Capitol last Wednesday, I was shocked and in disbelief as to what had occurred and it is not acceptable. Many are blaming President Donald Trump, including myself. Some are saying he did not order the pro-Trump crowd to storm the Capitol. However, he did whip them up into a frenzy and, according to the New York Times, made it clear in his speech that he was upset with Vice President Mike Pence and that he wanted the people gathered on the National Mall to go to the Capitol immediately afterward in protest of what he claimed was a stolen election.
As much as I like to support Trump and his policies, I cannot condone this type of behavior and I deem it disgusting. He is to blame for this egregious assault on our democracy. If you think Trump is not at fault for this and it upsets you that he is being blamed just think about how you would feel if Joe Biden had done this. What if Trump was declared the winner and Biden and his followers staged a protest and the crowd stormed the Capitol while they were certifying the Electoral College votes for Trump. How would you feel then?
I think the best way to fully understand the gravity of what happened is to put it into a local perspective.
To do that, let’s think about our very own City Hall. What if the city council was meeting and a group of protesters swarmed City Hall and gained entry to the building bringing with them a couple of guns and pipe bombs? I know we would not stand for that and swift action would quickly rectify the situation.
I know this example sounds ridiculous, however, we also had never had the Capitol taken over by our own people (Americans) in riot fashion. The last time it happened was in 1814 when the British stormed the Capitol during the War of 1812.
In my opinion, our democracy has been damaged and it will have a ripple affect going forward as our country is now more divided than it has ever been. I’m not a Biden fan, however, I am a fan of our democracy and we must not let this happen again as the disgusting behavior that was on display at the Capitol is not acceptable.
Ken Harty is the publisher of The Fergus Falls Daily Journal.