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Big lies have big consequences

To the editor:

Well, we had a good run. We had a peaceful transfer of power 44 times over the span of 220 years. That run ended this year.

We should not be surprised. Donald Trump had repeatedly dodged questions about his acceptance of election results, and his resistance to the peaceful transfer of power played out in dramatic fashion on Jan, 6. You can debate whether he intended for the violent insurrection to happen that day. There is no question that he had been priming his supporters for months with what historians call “the Big Lie”: that he had won the election, in a landslide.

Let’s be clear: The individuals who made up the mob that overran the Capitol on Jan. 6 were not undercover “Antifa.” They were supporters of Donald Trump. They wore his clothing, carried his flags and chanted his name. They had listened to his speeches and read his Twitter posts. Supporters heard that they needed to “stop the steal” and, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Once the attack was underway, Trump was happy to sit back and watch it happen. Sadly, many who were injured or killed in this insurrection were people who sincerely believed Trump’s repetition of the Big Lie.

Also injured that day were over 140 law enforcement officers. One officer, Brian Sicknick, was killed in the attack, and two more officers have since committed suicide. Meanwhile, Trump has called his recent impeachment a “witch hunt,” a favorite term of his, suggesting that he is the real victim here.

Here’s what Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had to say about Trump’s role in the assault on the Capitol: “There’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”

Someone who was never fooled by Trump but still has enthusiastically played along with the Big Lie: our representative Elise Stefanik. She continues to do her part, calling the impeachment trial a “sham.” We can probably all agree that, when it comes to politicians, cowardice is much more common than courage. Stefanik is a prime example. If you remain a Trump supporter through all this, here’s your good news: Elise Stefanik is afraid of you.

Bill Doran

Broadalbin

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