A President's Reflections

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.

12 thoughts on “An Assault on Our Democracy

  1. I appreciate so much this clear and forceful statement of values.

  2. Miskwa Yellowknife says:

    Thank you for your words. It is hard to believe that these “protesters” are indeed our fellow citizens; those of us who are educators have a lot of work to do.

  3. Javier Olivarez says:

    Thank you for your message President LeBlanc. So many of us needed to hear that we are not alone especially when some of us live alone and the topic is sensitive to bring up. This means a lot.

  4. Julia Montminy says:

    This is what leadership sounds like. Thank you Paul.

  5. Lori Kuechler says:

    Dr. LeBlanc,

    Thank you for speaking against yesterday’s crimes clearly and factually. I am very glad you have challenged every member on the SNHU community to join you, “,,,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.”

    I am a local leader of sorts, and the press called me yesterday to comment on the events of the day. Here was my sobering response:

    “Today’s events represent the first time that the US capital has been breached by an enemy since 1812. In this case, an internal faction, led and encouraged and attended on the same day by the Executive Branch of the United States of America, incited a violent attack upon the Congress of the United States of America while it was in session. The Executive Branch must therefore be held accountable for an insurrection against of the duly elected representatives of the people, and should therefore be identified as committing an unconstitutional and illegal act against the people of the United States of America.”

    I too believe that a peaceful transfer of power is the hallmark of our extraordinary governmental system. That transfer must now be preserved, protected and defended by our laws and in the courts. In addition, we must also compassionately address the false information and resulting grievances that provoke people to such terrifying extremes. I also believe remote higher education can do that.

    That’s why I teach the Liberal Arts at SNHU. I love being a part of the the “light” that Dr. King speaks of. I love helping students who cannot go to brick and mortar schools learn how to see things from multiple perspectives and to rationally think for themselves using facts and reliable information. Now that I read your statement, I love working at SNHU even more.

    Thank you for your leadership on this matter.

    Lori Kuechler
    Liberal Arts Adjunct, IDS 100
    [email protected]

  6. Lee Trueheart, PhD says:

    As someone who comes from a long line of veterans from the Revolutionary War to now, It pained me to see the actions of these individuals. Some of my family members are educators and I truly appreciate your words Dr. LeBlanc.

  7. Jo Copeland says:

    Thank you, President LeBlanc, for this clear and cogent statement against the horrific events that unfolded yesterday in Washington. Like you, I hope that the entire faculty, staff, and student body of SNHU stand together in solidarity against such a blatant display of domestic terrorism.

  8. Tonya Walker says:

    President LeBlanc, I highly commend your reflections shared in this post and concur with you, in regards to the facts. I am grateful for the opportunity to be in attendance of a higher-learning educational establishment where the leadership seems to be of sound mind, promotes peace and truth, and acknowledges reality. Thank you for your sentiments.

  9. Echo Spangler says:

    Thank you so much for your words. I know being a student it is great to see our own president take a powerful stand against the violence our fellow Americans and our past president has come to. This is the time when we as students need a strong voice to follow.

  10. Roseann says:

    Thank you, Sir. I hope that more people will consider your words.

  11. Dierdre Estes - Psychology Adjunct says:

    Thank you President Leblanc for addressing the incident that has touched us all. It has been a traumatic time in all of our lives. Between the pandemic, losing people we love, and quarantine, many of us have been struggling. Yesterday’s events touched me profoundly. The range of emotion I feel runs the gambit, but for the most part, such incredible sadness for the loss of life, a total of five individuals now with the Capitol Officer passing away. Domestic terror touched us all yesterday, and I feel we must make every effort to collectively come together. It’s the only way to ensure this never happens again. I feel blessed and grateful to be a small part of the SNHU team.

  12. Deirdre Lannon says:

    Once again, your compassion, clarity, and leadership in times of turmoil are much appreciated. Would that the leaders of other institutions might follow your lead.

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