Democracy must rule

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Shameful, shameful, shameful. That’s how I feel about the rioting and destruction that took place in Washington on Jan. 6.

It left me with a feeling of deep sadness and equal madness. It was indeed a dark day for democracy.

The summons from President Donald Trump called for a rally of support for him and against certifying the election for Joe Biden who won the recent presidential election. The rally turned ugly and into a riot of destruction after Trump’s speech incited protestors to walk to the Capitol and not show signs of weakness.

No doubt, a number of people there had no intention of starting any kind of violence. However, it was evident that some were intent on causing trouble. One man, a senior citizen, who spoke to a reporter cited his reason for imposing rioting in a violent way: “The Supreme Court won’t do anything.” At least five people have died as the result.

Our capitol was last attacked in 1814 by the British. Thank goodness some of the people who were involved have been arrested with lots more to come. A hangman’s noose outside the capitol was believed to have been made for Speaker of the House Nancy Polosi and Vice President Mike Pence. Protesters were chanting their names over and over.

However, the commotion did stop the certification of the election for a time. But lawmakers did reconvene and complete the process.

Tennessee’s two senators, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, who had intended to vote against the certification did change their minds and condemned the violence. Eighth District Congressman David Kustoff did vote against the certification of Pennsylvania’s vote, but for Arizona’s certification. He called the destruction and chaos at the capitol as un-American and an assault on our democracy.

On Monday morning House Democrats formally introduced one article of impeachment against the president charging him with “incitement of insurrection.” The document cites the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states that any person who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States be barred from holding office.

 Never once in his speech last Wednesday did he mention to his supporters “a peaceful demonstration.” Instead, his rants and raves played out into more anger that ended in destruction at the Capitol.

If Trump is indeed impeached for the second time, he will no longer be able to hold a federal office.

This sort of reminds me of the time Tennessee legislators had to deal with Democrat Governor Ray Blanton. Of course, Trump’s situation is different. However, both cases deal with democracy.

On Jan. 15, 1979, near the end of his term, Blanton issued pardons to 52 state prisoners, including 20 convicted murderers. Because it was believed, he had planned more pardons, Lt. Gov. and Senate Speaker John S. Wilder and State House Speaker Ned McWherter (both democrats) found a way in the constitution to swear in newly elected Republican  Governor Lamar Alexander three days early (who has just finished his political career as a U.S. Senator). Wilder referred to Blanton’s ouster as “impeachment Tennessee style.”

This was the right thing to do in Blanton’s case and impeachment is the correct thing to do in Trump’s situation. There comes a time when democracy must rule for WE THE PEOPLE!

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