Your Views Sunday, Jan. 10
How does the country move forward now?
Under siege by a president bent on insurrection, our Congress voted to approve all electors. The vote prevented Donald Trump from destroying one of the tenets of our republic. But, what if Trump had won that vote? Democracy is not, after all, a given. A similar vote passed the Reichstag in 1934 when the “Enabling Act” granted Hitler dictatorial powers over Germany. Most democracies die from within. As John Adams said, “There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
How does our democratic republic move forward from this grievous wound? We must start by realizing that Trump is a hijacker of, but not an integral part of, the conservative movement. The truth is that the vast majority of the 75 million people who voted for Trump are neither racists nor anarchists. The second point is that the extreme right and left are equally subversive. The smarmy cancel culture of the far left is as much of a bully as the right extremists who sacked the Capitol. Most historians agree we have been on a 30-year period of alternating vengeful party politics. Now is the time to stop this slide. Now is the time to start by listening to and respecting the defeated as well as the victors.
Shortly after the only other insurrection in our republic’s history, Lincoln advised, “As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
Kyle Toal, Oklahoma City
People must be held accountable
On Wednesday, we were attacked by domestic terrorists at our nation’s capital. It was caused by the president inciting supporters to disrupt certifying the 2020 election. One senator said 39% of voters didn’t believe the election was legitimate, without having any real evidence. People need to be held accountable for not standing up for our democracy and promoting the ridiculous conspiracies that the election was stolen.
Terry Turner, Oklahoma City
Professional politicians back in control
It looks like the professional politicians are back in total control of the government in Washington, D.C. This comes about with the election of the two Democratic senators in Georgia and the election of Joe Biden as president. So what can the American people expect with these changes?
We can get an idea by looking at the last two times this happened with the Democrats, in 1993 with the election of Bill Clinton and in 2009 with the election of Barack Obama. In Clinton’s first term, we saw the largest tax increase in modern times. It passed both houses of Congress in August 1993 and was made effective, retroactively to January. This made many taxpayers have to come up with large sums of money to pay their taxes. In Obama’s first term, he was able to finagle the Affordable Care Act through Congress in March 2010. It made it mandatory that all citizens have health care insurance or face a federal fine. Much of this act has been repealed and the Supreme Court changed the title of “fine” to tax, so it could rule that it was constitutional.
I’m afraid these two examples might not hold a candle to what this new regime may have in mind for our country. Hopefully, the courts or judicial branch can hold the legislative and executive branches in check until a new Congress is elected and sworn in, in 2023.
Tom Miller, Oklahoma City