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Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6 is stain on nation

To the editor:

Let me begin by stating I am an American, I am a patriot, I am a U.S. Navy retiree, and I love my country. None of these things are mutually exclusive, nor do they belong to any one political party or ideology.

The hearings of the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol demand the attention of the nation.

The peaceful transfer of power is what has defined the United States from its origin. It is the one tradition to which we could all point and say, in this respect, America is exceptional.

We can no longer say that.

Donald Trump rallied, incited and supported an insurrectionist mob to keep him in power, despite overwhelmingly losing the election in both the popular vote and the Electoral College. And still today, he will not admit what has been repeatedly proven: He lost.

There is no parallel in U.S. history. Power was peacefully transferred following the contentious election of 1800. Again following the election of 2000. Even the election of 1860 saw a peaceful transfer of power.

“The Confederacy accepted the election results,” says University of Mary Washington professor Stephen Farnsworth. “It just didn’t want to be part of a nation where Abraham Lincoln was president.”

The Thursday, July 21, hearing brought Trump’s un-American behavior into sharp relief.

The words of Illinois Republican and committee member Adam Kinzinger, succinctly, and clearly, spelled out what is at stake, and as I can find no way to improve on his closing statement, I will use his words:

“Whatever your politics, whatever you think about the outcome of the election, we as Americans must all agree on this: Donald Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6 was a supreme violation of his oath of office and a complete dereliction of his duty to our nation.

“It is a stain on our history. It is a dishonor to all those who have sacrificed and died in service of our democracy. The militant, intolerant ideologies; the militias; the alienation and the disaffection; the weird fantasies and disinformation. They’re all still out there and ready to go. That’s the elephant in the room.

“Oaths matter. Character matters. Truth matters. If we do not renew our faith and commitment to these principles, this great experiment of ours, this shining beacon on a hill, will not endure.”

David Nelson

Fredericksburg, Va.

New Ulm High School class of 1979

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