Healing and common ground are possible
The events that occurred at the Capitol Wednesday are the results of a lack of leadership at the highest level of our country, and should bring embarrassment to all of us regarding where we are as a country. When the president tweets that he will “see everyone in DC on the 6th”, asks his followers to “fight like hell”, and announces through his attorney that he wants “trial by combat” we don’t have to look very far to find where these thugs, rioters, criminals found their motive to attack our capital and democracy.
This attack doesn’t share any relevant similarities to this summers protests and riots. This summer’s actions were the result of an unarmed black man losing his life at the hands of Minneapolis Police officers, and many many other injustices that happen way way too often in this country. People were hurt, upset, and wanted change to laws, regulations, and statutes that have hurt so many of our citizens. Wednesday’s events were the result of a conspiracy pushed forward by Trump that our electoral collage process was fraudulent. This is a claim has been dismissed from more than fifty different state and federal courts.
We have audio proof of Trump asking Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes to overturn the election results. While challenging the results of an election is lawful, and Trump took advantage of this right, the results are in. Over fifty different judges have “reviewed the facts” provided by Trump’s attorneys, and have found no cause. So yesterday’s actions weren’t the result of a fight against injustice, it was a fight against a lawful and legitimate outcome that people don’t want to accept because it’s not what they wanted. Comparing the two in an attempt to diminish the vile, uncivil, and disrespectful attack on our democracy that were taken yesterday is not going to help move our country to the standards and expectations we hold our country to.
Now, in the aftermath of what occurred, I’ve seen a lot of “We’re not sure who’s responsible for these acts,” and “Let’s gather all of the facts before we jump to conclusions.”
I appreciate the innocent until proven guilty mindset, and the hesitation to jump to conclusions. I encourage we do the same for the election conspiracy. However, in my opinion, our focus should be on what we can do to be better. For example, how law enforcement were able to use restrained force yesterday in comparison to the protests and riots of this summer is one of those. While the reason “why” these officers found the self control yesterday brings to light an entirely different conversation, (and a conversation I encourage everyone to push with those that will listen to you), I still believe there are positives in the conduct we can take with us moving forward.
My hope as we begin to heal and begin this new year is that we can all find common ground by agreeing on a couple things. First, Joe Biden is going to be this countries president whether you voted for him or not, and there is nothing that is going to change that. Second, what we saw yesterday is not acceptable in any way, and can not happen again. Lastly, that this country is not living up to any of our standards, and we all need to do what we can to help fix that.
Estherville Lincoln Central Class of 2014
Law clerk for Hennepin County Attorney