Democracy is never a given. January 6th proved that. A wrathful president unable to accept he lost an election, an angry mob stoked by bogus claims of a stolen election, a subservient caucus of Republicans willing to do the bidding of a corrupt president. On that day they all came together in a violent clash that almost derailed our democracy.
Fortunately, the will of the people prevailed — for now. But Trump has said his political movement “has only just begun.” Already we see what that means: punishing Republicans who dared to speak the truth and acknowledged that Trump lost the election and that he incited the insurrection, and rewarding those, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who traffic in absurd conspiracy theories and seek to demonize those on the other side of the political divide.
In the coming months, each of us will have to decide if we are willing to stand up for our democracy, to support and protect it — by paying attention, by calling out lies, by working to roll back voter suppression laws, by voting for candidates who will uphold their oath to the Constitution, and by remembering that our congressional representative, Lee Zeldin, voted to overturn the results of a free and fair election.
Because if there’s one thing history has shown us, it’s that a failed coup often precedes a successful one.
Published in The East Hampton Star, Letter to the Editor, February 18