Opinion | Susan Knopf: Can you see the dawn through the smoke? | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Susan Knopf: Can you see the dawn through the smoke?


Thank you, Donald Trump, and your seditious, law-breaking, domestic terrorists who stormed our Capitol. You provided stark visual, incontrovertible proof that Trumpism has nothing to do with American conservative politics.

Thank you for providing visual proof of white privilege. Violent rioters attempted a coup, breaking windows, forcing their way into Capitol buildings, halting the democratic, constitutional process of certifying the vote of the Electoral College. Capitol police barricaded rooms with furniture and ushered our representatives to safety. Four people died, including a woman who was shot, and others were injured.

D.C. police report more than 50 people were arrested during the coup attempt. If the Capitol assailants had been people of color, do you think more people would have been arrested? I do. Why weren’t more law enforcement on hand for a demonstration weeks in the making?

The president should be charged with sedition for inciting insurrection. A cascade of administration officials are resigning in the wake of the president’s rally directing the mob to violently overthrow the government.

Thankfully, Georgia’s election of two Democratic senators gave Joe Biden a mandate and a legislative majority. Republican election officials stand by the Georgia vote. Candid officials say Trump handed victory to the Democrats with his threats against Georgia officials.

Biden stepped into the leadership vacuum and told D.C. rioters to go home. After Biden spoke, Trump offered a taped pitch. He whined the election was stolen, despite more than 60 courts finding no evidence of election wrongdoing. He said he “loves” the rioters.

I heard a man say on TV, “There’s an awful lot of smoke. And where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Or is it Trump and his cronies with a Hollywood smoke machine?

It’s time to blow away the smoke. For decades, conservatives have been stoking fears that Democrats represent a threat to our country. Wave the smoke away from your eyes. The greatest threat to our country comes from insurrectionists who deceptively label themselves “conservatives.“

For the record, they’re not conservatives. They are the radical right wing. This week, Pennsylvania Republicans seized control of proceedings and refused to swear in their 10-year colleague, Pittsburgh-area Democratic Sen. Jim Brewster. He won his state senate race by 69 votes. His win was upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. A challenge is still pending in federal court.

Republicans are flouting the law, rejecting tradition and civility. Their behavior drags down our nation. There is a place for conservative voices in our nation’s politics. There is no place for vitriolic hateful rhetoric. There is no place for demonization of individuals, who are intended to govern collegially.

Michele Obama said, “When they go low, we go high.” On Wednesday, hope conquered fear, and the rule of law vanquished chaos.

With Biden’s inauguration, we have an opportunity to rebuild a centrist government that values all people, regardless of race, place of birth, religion or sexual orientation. We have an opportunity to rebuild our economy, while respecting and protecting our environment.

We have an opportunity to renew ourselves. We can build new bridges and discuss ideas. Senate Majority Leader, and self-proclaimed “grim reaper,” Mitch McConnell refused to allow bills to come to the floor for discussion.

Both Barack Obama and Trump failed to build consensus for their ideas. Even when their programs passed — Obama’s Affordable Care Act and Trump’s tax package — neither were accepted across the aisle and each further divided the country.

I’d love to see citizens, and elected officials, on both sides of the political spectrum look toward the middle. Look for common ground. Be inspired. Be renewed. Govern.

We can work together on important issues.

People are working hard for unlivable wages.

Immigrants, who are just like our own forefathers, seek security, freedom and economic opportunity. We must create efficient, legitimate gateways to citizenship.

Dramatic changes in our climate, our own continuing decadeslong drought, signal the need to constructively address environmental issues while creating good paying jobs.

Infrastructure builds the economy and creates jobs. Investing in our country isn’t bleeding the treasury; it creates the platform for successful business opportunity.

Let’s listen better. Let’s see the struggle of our neighbors and make political choices that create better opportunities for everyone.

Let anger roll off your shoulders. Let compassion, and hunger for verified facts, guide your political participation. And God bless America. Goodness knows we need it right now.

Susan Knopf’s column “For The Record” publishes Fridays in the Summit Daily News. Knopf lives in Silverthorne. She is a certified ski instructor and an award-winning journalist. Contact her at sdnknopf@gmail.com.


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