To the editor,
As more people are arrested and indicted for their participation in the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, I wonder just how we measure the harm to our democracy that was done on and after that awful day.
How do we measure the harm done by attorney Sydney Powell when she told a crowd that #45 “could simply be reinstated” as President? How do we measure the harm done to our democracy when Representative Matt Gaetz says “We have a Second Amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it.” How do we measure the harm done to our democracy when Senator Ron Johnson says he didn’t feel threatened on January 6 (I mean, how is this possible?), or by Senator Andrew Clyde who stated that those who smashed into the Capitol that day resembled a tourist group?
How do we measure the harm done to our democracy when 11 Senators don’t participate in a vote to establish a bipartisan investigation into a nearly successful government takeover? How do we measure the harm done when lawmakers continue their efforts to change election procedures, claiming their measures will: 1) reduce fraud, when an unreasonable level of fraud has not been shown to exist; and, 2) allow for better access to voting when parts of their proposals place tighter limits on mail-in voting and ballot drop boxes?
It’s just fine to push a political viewpoint and support certain political causes. Ultimately, however, we citizens need to ask whether these lawmakers even know what the oaths of office they’ve taken really mean.
And how do we measure the harm done to our democracy by a former President who continues to push the unsupported, unsubstantiated claim that the 2020 election was fraudulent?
Perhaps we can only see the harm by noticing how many reasonable people are no longer reasonable.