January 31, 2021
Thank you to everyone who signed our joint statement condemning the January 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C., and demanding transparency and accountability for those who incited, abetted, and participated in the attack. The insurrection attempt and violent attack on our nation’s capitol was fomented in large part by lies and disinformation about so-called widespread “voter fraud”—fraud that did not occur.
The election results have been honored and the will of the people upheld. The insurrection failed. The rule of law prevailed. These dangerous assaults on the U.S. Constitution and our democracy have been subdued, at least for now.
But what we witnessed on January 6, 2021, is not over. The violent mob and the outrageous attempt by the former president and his supporters to thwart the will of the people and overthrow the election results were, unfortunately, not the affliction itself. They’re symptoms of a much larger disease that we’ve yet to reckon with.
The lies, myths, and disinformation—the continuous stoking of hatred for our fellow Americans—which incited that violent mob are still with us. The extreme, religious-style sectarianism that threatens to replace traditional partisan politics in this country is alive and well. The anti-democratic, pro-authoritarian political movements that historically existed only on the fringes of society have now made their way into mainstream politics.
So, if we want to ensure the survival of our democracy and the future of the American experiment, we’ll have to work together to address all of these dangerous trends head-on.
How can we make a difference?
- We can work together to cultivate a culture of respect and empathy for our fellow human beings, especially for those who disagree with us politically.
- We can demonstrate and demand civility and respect within our own political and social groups.
- We can stand up to the bullies in our own ranks, remind everybody that debate is healthy, that reasonable well-intentioned people can disagree with each other, and that exposure to different perspectives often leads to deeper understanding and better policies.
- For those who of us belong to a political party, we can start standing up,—together—to the extremists within our party.
- And we can demand that our leaders live up to the same ideals and standards.
It bears repeating: If our democracy is to survive and prosper, we will require courageous, patriotic leaders who will stand up for our system of elections and who will not lie to us about the integrity of American voters and the legitimacy of election results.
Join us in raising your voice and being the leaders our state and our nation need now.