In less than a week, we will have a new president — a new administration as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris become president and vice president. Our nation will move forward, as it has every time a new president of either party has been inaugurated.
Just over a week ago, we watched the end result of the politics of fear. We saw the natural progression of what happens when you paint the issues as being “us against them.” We saw what happens when you repeat a lie so much and so loudly that it warps people’s view of reality.
The riot last week at the Capitol is what trying to win at any cost looks like.
And the people the insurrectionists were fighting against? Their fellow Americans.
We have a system of checks and balances in this country — three co-equal branches of government to ensure no one person holds absolute authority.
That was the vision of our Founding Fathers.
That is what they enshrined in our Constitution.
That is what we have been working to safeguard, especially throughout the last election — a free and fair election. And that election concluded with Biden as the clear winner.
The states performed their role in conducting the elections and certifying the results. In the case of one contested state, Georgia, the results were counted three times.
Challenges have been made to the courts. The courts have followed the rule of law. As a result, those dozens of suits have failed.
The Electoral College performed its role.
Congress ultimately certified those results in a vote that is ceremonial.
There was no hope that Congress would overturn the election results. Vice President Mike Pence said as much to President Donald Trump.
The only steal to stop was Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, efforts that resulted in violence in one of our democracy’s most sacred spaces — violence that resulted in deaths.
While grappling with the reality that lives were lost, we too have to try to reconcile in our minds how we could end up in this position. We must be diligent to not allow it to get like this again in the future.
We are a newspaper and will forever be advocates of the First Amendment. However, as we have seen this last week — and over the history of our great nation — our freedoms do not always preclude us from consequences.
And when an opinion is proven to be false, it eventually becomes a lie. This newspaper is not in the business of printing lies, nor has it ever been and never will be.
This is not meant to be a divisive editorial. Undoubtedly, you may be drawing your own conclusions on where we stand as a paper. There is nothing partisan here. We stand with Republicans and Democrats alike who reacted to the storming of the Capitol with disgust and disappointment.
We have to move forward. We have to be diligent in recognizing when our beliefs and opinions get in the way of safety for ourselves and others.
We have a lot of pieces to put back together after last week’s insurrection at the Capitol. We have a lot of work to do to beat the pandemic, to rebuild our economy, to address systemic issues in this country.
It is time to move forward together.