An Assault on Our Democracy
Posted on January 7, 2021
Yesterday was a dark day in our country’s history. Over the years, there have been presidential election outcomes I have found bitterly disappointing while others rejoiced. In other election years, I celebrated and others were crestfallen. In every instance, those who supported the winning candidate and those whose candidate lost were certain of one thing: we would have a peaceful transfer of power guided by rules of law and our Constitution. Yesterday’s storming of the Capitol building by a misled mob was an unlawful and violent assault on our democracy, an attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power, and a grievous injury to our country.
False claims about presidential election results — all put forward without any credible evidence — stoked the anger of extremists and ignored the bipartisan reaffirmation of President Trump’s loss. Multiple recounts by state secretaries of state, confirmations by state legislatures, and the rejection of spurious lawsuits by the courts not only confirmed the election results, but reassured the nation that this election was well conducted and to be trusted.
The threats we face from outside enemies pale in comparison to the grave danger we face from within. Lincoln famously said that “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” and yesterday’s attack on the citadel of our democracy was a frightening reminder that words have power, our institutions matter, and too many among us are willing to resort to violence and hatred. Members of the SNHU community cover the full political spectrum, but as we are an institution of higher education dedicated to truth and compassion, I hope every member of this community joins me in condemning yesterday’s attack on the country’s most important political process – the election and peaceful transfer of power to a new president – and joins me in a reaffirmed resolve to find common ground, to heal this country’s deep wounds, and to rebuild our trust and faith in each other. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. implored, “Let each of us try to be a light to see our country out of this dark moment.” The future of America depends on it.