January 08, 2021

America Must Show Unity for the Sake of National Security

By Richard Fontaine

Within hours of the rioters breaching the Capitol, the chaotic and violent attack was over. A day later, President Trump conceded the election he lost in November. And on January 20, Americans will have a new leader. Yet the national security effects of the Capitol insurrection will endure far longer.

I spent seven years working in the Senate, and to watch the siege on a place so familiar had an especially painful resonance. Congress is the body that, at its best, comes together in debates and votes on the most consequential issues facing the country. The branch that, for all the bitter partisanship, has retained a sense of decorum and even camaraderie. The institution designed to channel popular opinion and passions into sober and representative action. The living symbol of American democracy and union even in an era of division.

The Capitol assault was an attack on democracy itself.

The Capitol assault was an attack on democracy itself. It threatened rule by leaders empowered only through consent of the governed, chosen by and responsible to the people alone. The tragedy is that the mayhem was based on a lie: the crowd sought to stop a vote not stolen, protest a system not rigged, and save a country not fallen. It was an insurgency in pursuit of a fever dream, driven first and foremost by a commander in chief clinging to power at any cost.

Read the full article in The Hill.

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