I am hurt. I lack the literary prowess to accurately describe the violation of the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, and the depth of emotion it has awakened in me.

I watched the events unfold live with the same horror I felt as the twin towers fell. Incrementally — but surely — over the years of the President Donald Trump administration, our most basic and essential institutions have been eroded, culminating in this siege and penetration of the inner sanctum of our democratic republic. We have winced and signaled and complained at each small step down this road, but have not held accountable the people who have perpetrated this steady descent. There will be immense pressure for forbearance as there was for Nixon after Watergate, Reagan after Iran-Contra, and W. Bush after Iraq, but in this instance we must not allow the appeal of magnanimity to overpower the need for justice.

I do not call for retribution or vengeance. That is the rhetoric that brought us to our lowly condition, and it is the language of blind hatred and mob rule. But are we now the addict who hits rock bottom? Or will we allow ourselves to free fall deeper into the abyss? Our country will not survive the continued flood of disinformation that has become a vice for so many Americans, our collective sweet tooth left aching by the saccharine rot of lies; malnourished by the lack of substance and truth.

Any elected officials who have repeatedly amplified a multitude of conspiracies and whipped our nation into a frenzy for selfish political and financial gain cannot remain in office. Trump has failed our nation in the most spectacular fashion, but Trump is as much a symptom as he is a cause. Too many others hide behind the banality of their solemn duties while undermining the very institutions they claim to serve. Mere admonishment of these enablers of a new wave of American fascism has proven utterly insufficient.

If we believe that we are a country of laws, a country that respects its social contracts, a country that is honest and true to its principles, then we must serve justice to the powerful and corrupt individuals that incited an insurrection against our United States.

As a new administration takes the reins, we must pressure our legislators and judiciary to lawfully restore the Republic that is our birthright as Americans — before we lose this Union.

Branch Richter

Banner Elk

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(5) comments


It's really quite simple. We the people put these politicians in office because they promise this and that. Trouble is once they get into Groove of things in Washington they suddenly forget those promises and forget Who they work for. It's not just a Republican or a Democrat thing. It's all politicians from both sides.


While I understand the appeal of an enlightened centrist viewpoint, I must strenuously disagree with your conclusions as they relate to the topic at hand. It is absolutely true that corruption exists at all levels of government; across partisan divides. I am not a party loyalist, and am strongly critical of the Democratic party establishment. But if you are intimating that the "other side" of inciting insurrection is to be found in, say, Black Lives Matter protests, that is a false equivalency. No establishment Democrat ran on a pro-BLM ticket. No Democrat supported the riotous and violent side of those protests -- Joe Biden, amongst many others, repeatedly came down publicly and decisively against rioting. No Democrat has ever come anywhere near support of Antifa violence (which I mention here only because of the correlation often made in conservative media). BLM fights for criminal justice reform. Those who stormed the Capitol sought to overturn the results of a free and fair election after being fed a steady diet of disproven electoral myths, crush the will of the American majority, and in some cases, were ready to kidnap and execute high-ranking public officials to reach this end.

We are apparently comfortable with some level of corruption in our politics, as Americans continue to re-elect corrupt officials. I do not defend this, and staunchly advocate for the removal of money from our politics and encourage the use of the electoral process to remove standard bad faith actors who regularly profit from their elected positions and please their donors instead of their constituents.

This is different. Interestingly, though I make no attempt to hide my ideology, I made no mention of the party loyalties of the officials I demand be held accountable for spreading disinformation and enabling fascism. I named only Donald Trump; not the lawmakers I targeted in this letter. I never used the term Republican. Obviously, this is not a both-sides issue. This is not the groove of Washington.


Wow. Can you believe that no liberals saw the destruction of cities in July and August but noticed the liberals creating a mess of the capital and blaming Trump. Are people blind or stupid?


You truly need metal health assistance. Thankfully, under the new administration, it should be a lot easier for you to get the help that you need. I wish you the best in your recovery and your return to reality!


Hear, hear!

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