The violence at the United States Capitol was an attempt to deny the American people their democratic voice. The coup attempt was not unintended. The president himself mobilized thousands of armed and violent right-wing extremists to the District of Columbia. The president attended the rally, spoke to them, and gave them the ideological fire to break through barricades and occupy the Senate and House chambers.

The president does not stand alone in fomenting this coup attempt. The Arizona Republican Party along with a dozen Republican senators, including our own senator, Mike Braun, have spread lies about the election and encouraged and nurtured violent reaction. The GOP must be held accountable as an entire political party for enabling President Donald Trump, supporting his organized militias, and creating the conditions that made this coup attempt inevitable.

The anti-democratic forces that overtook the Capitol have committed the exact same acts of violence in Oregon and Michigan where they stormed the state capitol buildings there and plotted to kidnap the governor of Michigan. Indeed, there, too, the president and the GOP enabled the violence. They met no resistance by Republican officials, because it furthered their collective agenda to undo the democratic will of the people in those states.

The coup plotters are not patriots. They want to take away the power of working people to elect their representatives at all levels of government. Democracy must be defended.

Jason Jones, Pendleton

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