At 73, I never thought I would see an episode so ugly as the riot at the Capitol. The pit in my stomach matched the 9/11 attacks in 2001. However, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the reopening of the Wednesday night congressional session, I was so proud of them and all the senators and congressmen for staying and doing their job. Congratulations to the Congress. The president should take a lesson from these men and women. This is what honorable men and women look like.
As a Muslim American and lifelong registered Republican, I was appalled and devastated by the domestic terror that engulfed our nation’s capital. While I respect the right to protest, the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims is by definition terrorism, no matter the cause or organization. It must be denounced and condemned and has no place in a civilized society. If we as a society permit such acts and do not hold our country’s political foes accountable, then we have failed. We must come together as a nation and allow for civilized discourse and debate to prevail — something we almost lost on the floor of the Senate chamber.
While I am ashamed at what happened at the Capitol and believe that it was one of America’s darkest days, I find it reprehensible that all media outlets, in my view, bent over backward since the summer to avoid criticizing looting and rioting in this country but have now developed a backbone.
A valuable lesson was learned by the assault on the U.S. Capitol. We now see how vulnerable our greatest treasure actually is. The heinous attack came from an unorganized mob with no actual plan — just rush in and commit mayhem, ending with five people dying. Imagine if a highly trained paramilitary group with foreign ties had executed a similar attack, maybe with a small thermonuclear device or bomb or automatic weapons. And we learned virtually no defense force was protecting the Capitol. The lives of our representatives would be at grave risk. I believe that we as a nation must reevaluate our security at every major site in Washington. Prepare for the worst and pray for the best.
After the horrific attack on the Capitol, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) delivered a speech in which he admitted he and his Republican colleagues have known for some time that President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud were false. Yet they continued to support his bogus claims apparently out of fear that he would call them names on Twitter. Patriots? Cowards seems more appropriate.
Is this my America?
Michael J. Genzale,
The events at the Capitol make one thing clear, and it doesn’t matter which side of the argument you are on ["House chamber threatened," News, Jan. 7]. Let this be the warning to Congress that the election process must be fixed so everyone is confident in the results. As long as half the country does not trust the election process, I say we will never be a democracy again.
As a veteran, I am upset about the attack on the U.S. Capitol. These nefarious and egregious acts were treason, in my opinion. Furthermore, I see them as attacks upon the very fiber of democracy. This truly was a day of infamy. These insurgents did not win, and freedom and democracy prevailed. As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, these extremists must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and am proud of what this country stands for — freedom for all. That includes the right to protest but not to engage in acts of violence. Democracy must be defended against those who wish to destroy it. Remember: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,
Americans, in my view, should be sickened, saddened and terrified by not only the biased media coverage of the "patriot protest" but appalled at the hypocrisy regarding the Gestapo-like response to the protesters. What kind of signal are you sending when, to me, left-wing anarchists riot and loot in cities virtually without a government response. When small businesses are set aflame and destroyed with little consequence. I see large major cities being vandalized by the left wing and some Black Lives Matter supporters, and yet hardly a peep is heard from politicians in the "swamp." Yet, when a conservative group wishes to express its disgust over what I view as a rigged presidential election, the FBI, the National Guard and metro police are asked to swarm and disassemble the protesters. It is for that reason, I believe, that the anarchy and dissolution of our democracy will not only continue but flourish if the left’s hypocrisy and disregard of our Constitution continues.
In my view, a picture of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) should always hang in our history’s hall of shame. Even after the mob attack, Zeldin still voted to investigate Pennsylvania’s electoral votes based on false information and lies. A few weeks ago, Zeldin’s campaign ads called his opponent a radical and showed that he himself was a family man who could work across the aisle. It is now clear who the radical is. Zeldin will have to live with this vote. In contrast, newly elected Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bayport) voted nay along with all the other Long Island representatives. Unlike Zeldin, they voted to uphold democratic principles.
President Donald Trump promoted a riot and encouraged an insurrection against the U.S. government, this country and the Constitution he swore to serve. Such actions, to me, are nothing more than treason, the penalty for which, at a minimum, should be lifetime incarceration at the Guantanamo Bay prison, where enemies of our country are detained.
Richard M. Frauenglass,
I dislike President Donald Trump and his minions a lot, but I believe it is perfect dishonesty to call his riot at the Capitol "anti-American" because, to me, nothing is more American than overthrowing your own government using violence. Google "July 4" or "Boston Tea Party" and you’ll see whether I’m lying.