The violent insurgency on January 6th at the United States Capitol goes against the values and morals of an overwhelming majority of American citizens from across the political spectrum. While all of us fully support the constitutional right of all Americans to peacefully protest things they believe to be unjust, we stand together in denouncing this act of violence against our democracy.
Yet we at Citizens Above Partisanship also believe it is crucial to acknowledge that those events were the inevitable result of years of divisive rhetoric, both subtle and overt, not only at the national level but also within our community here in Washington County. Words and deeds, whether in public or private, that may seem inconsequential at a particular moment in time become moving parts in the totality of circumstances that feed anti-democratic language and actions. And inaction, where action is necessary, is just as insidious. As a community – left, right, and center – we must do better.
Members of CAP know first-hand how difficult it can be to open your heart and mind to people whose beliefs are different, or even abhorrent to you. But it must be done, in Washington County as in Washington, DC. We are all Americans, and every day each of us makes a choice to be either part of the problem or part of the solution. We believe that there is more that unites us than divides us. More than ever, now is the time for citizens of all political affiliations to acknowledge and embrace our similarities with as much effort as we’ve acknowledged our differences.
The moments when coming together is most difficult and painful are the moments when it is most imperative that we do so. Democracy takes work, and this is that work. We call on our community to rise to the challenge this moment presents. We can do it if we do it together.
The CAP Executive Committee