An age of divisiveness
Back in 2009, on the occasion of Barack Obama’s ascendancy to the presidency, you printed a letter from me in which I urged Republicans to accept the same advice I’d been offered when George W. Bush was elected: “Get over it.”
It seemed appropriate at the time.
I don’t offer that advice now, though. Not only because it would be unwelcome — and unlikely — but because even though I would mean it with a slight tone of humor, it’s too divisive in a country that needs, more than anything, to turn the temperature down lest we implode.
I know that many people are depressed, angry and scared. Some of them are expecting the worst — the loss of their rights and the loss of their country.
I sympathize. I worried about the same thing when Donald Trump was elected.
And I’ll suggest this:
With President Biden firmly in office and former President Trump now gone to Florida, it’s become more obvious than ever that QAnon's prophecies were false. So much of the Trump-supporting rhetoric was nothing but lies. People were fooled by false prophets.
We’ve all been fooled from time to time.
Many of us want to welcome them back into the fold so that they can work with us to achieve America's promises — for everyone. But we know that it'll take time. They need to reflect and adjust.
But one thing they should do immediately is stop listening to the liars. It should now be obvious who they are.
William B. Perry
Regarding your Jan. 19 editorial, "Trump's legacy":
OK. We get it. You never liked President Trump!
No president in more than 120 years has overseen more federal executions than former President Trump. Thirteen since July.
Not surprising, but I find it very regrettable.
Call it was it is: sedition.
It doesn’t matter if they went inside the Capitol or not. The purpose of the rally was to promote sedition, so anyone there intentionally is guilty. It wasn’t a First Amendment-protected “protest,” it was an organized insurrection. Breaking into the Capitol is not equivalent to breaking into Best Buy.
The resolution in Congress was to promote sedition so everyone who supported it should be expelled. Every elected official must sign a statement that says “Trump lost, there was no fraud” or they should be jailed.
Sedition is a felony, and felons can’t vote or hold elective office. Felons cannot practice law without demonstrating moral fitness and anyone promoting a lie like “Trump won” fails that test, so disbar every lawyer who claimed that.
Every legitimate institution of higher education has a moral code; fire everyone who claims Trump won for violating it.
Elections have consequences, and attempting to overthrow one should have serious consequences.
Learn the lesson
So, we’re at what we hope is the end of an error. And it was a huge one — lasting four years — and almost certainly the worst since our Civil War.
But watching the inauguration, held at the same place as the attempted coup, and only a few days afterward, shows that the country can get past it — if we learn from the lesson it offers.
Still, we will have paid a price for allowing it to happen. The wounds may gradually close over and heal, but the scars that form will be there forever.
One big question is, when the next would-be tyrant shows up, will we recognize him for what he is, and act to stop him before he gains enough power to be dangerous?
The answer has to be yes — or next time, our democracy might not survive.