The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:00 am

Letters to the editor: Insurrection

Nation's promise remains unfulfilled

It is way past time to stop supporting the lunacy of this administration and Donald Trump's seditious rants. All of his enablers, from senators, representatives and state legislators, right down to people who repost right-wing conspiracies and lies, have played a hand in the disgusting mob violence, terrorist acts, insurrection, theft, destruction of property, injury and death that we saw at the Capitol on Jan. 6 under Confederate flags and American flags desecrated with Trump images.

Those insurgents should be prosecuted. Those enablers should be ashamed and remorseful. Trump's buddy, Vladimir Putin, must be laughing uncontrollably as he sees Trump promoting the tearing away of the very fabric of our democracy – free and fair elections.

We have participated in numerous marches in Washington, D.C., for peace, against war, for human rights, and even against this president, sometimes sharing the route with tens of thousands of other demonstrators.

We have nearly been trampled by a column of linebacker-type uniformed police officers cutting through a peaceful march. We have seen friends arrested while peacefully kneeling in prayer in the public space in front of the White House. But in all of those years, and all of those marches, we never witnessed or heard of anything like the disgusting behavior of those hundreds of rampaging rioters at the Capitol building.

The dismantling of the Trump administration, like the cutting of a noxious invasive weed, cannot come soon enough. However, the roots of this problem go much deeper and need to be confronted on a personal level, yes, even within ourselves.

Take a look within; what do you see? What is your, and our, responsibility in helping this country live up to the yet unfulfilled promise of the Constitution?


Fort Wayne

Judgment awaits riot participants

If two or more persons in any state or territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down or destroy by force the government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force seize, take or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

James E. Stump

Fort Wayne

Pence represents our last defense

Words fail to express the depth of desperate concern about the fate of our leaders in Washington. On Jan. 6, we witnessed an angry mob haul up the gallows to the Capitol, break down the doors, hunt down the vice president's office with handcuffs, knives and guns. They were calling for his blood. They only stopped when one of their own was shot and killed. The criminals said on camera, “We'll be back, and we're bringing more guns.”

This heinous terrorist attack was instigated by the president. This is not murky conspiracy theory. This was all broadcast live for all to see.

On Saturday, Mike Pence announced he hadn't ruled out invoking the 25th Amendment, but would wait to see whether Donald Trump becomes more unstable. It's amazing, unbelievable that our vice president would come this close to being murdered by the president's henchmen, only to shrug it off.

To put it in a different context, Pence's is a classic reaction in an abusive relationship. Many abuse victims believe they are in control and believe their abuser's behavior can't get any worse. That is always proven wrong. We don't need more evidence to know this is true about Trump.

I wanted to contact Pence, to beg him to take the situation seriously. But Pence is now strangely unavailable. His email address is gone. His office calls are forwarded to Trump's office.

Pence and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. I don't like him. But I don't want any more people dying because of Trump, including him. Pence might be the last chance we have of preventing Trump from physically destroying an entire branch of government, and with it, hope for a year less apocalyptic than the last one.

Tennille Merkle

Fort Wayne

Banks must resign House, Navy posts

I fully concur with the editorial of Jan. 9 (“Ignoble foursome”) that calls out the four congressional representatives who, while standing in the smoke of the failed coup, voted to object to the Electoral College votes sent to legislators from the states that elected the next president.

Their actions are the exclamation point on the allegiance to a man, not our Constitution.

Two of the four are particularly troubling to me:

1) Greg Pence, brother of the vice president, who was the subject of the Trump mob's chant to “Hang Mike Pence,” voted in support of the man who incited the mob against his brother.

2) Jim Banks, our 3rd District representative. His actions are not surprising as he has embraced all things Trump and vowed to lead his Conservative Activist Group to maintain the Trump agenda.

That is OK to some for Banks to carry forward the misinformation Trump has used to control the weak and desperate. But Banks took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of these United States. He not only took that oath as a congressman but also as an active officer in the U.S. Navy.

If he is not trustworthy to uphold his oath as a political officeholder, some will overlook that. But as an active officer in the U.S. military, how can men and women in his command respect him as a person or officer?

As a veteran, I ask Banks to please resign his Navy commission and his congressional seat.

Kenneth P. Baker

Columbia City

'We the People' is every one of us

To those who justify the violence that occurred on Jan. 6 as a logical response of “We the People,” I ask: Who is the We you are referring to?

I am part of that We, and I don't believe the election was stolen or that the world is run by a ring of globalist pedophiles. I can only presume that the 81 million people who voted for Joe Biden don't believe these things either, nor do the vast majority of Donald Trump voters.

Do you know who else is included in We the People? People of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, liberals, Jews, Muslims. Can you honestly say that this fight is for them?

The reality is you represent a small minority of devout followers of a charismatic leader who, sadly, chose to mislead you for his personal gain.

No, your actions are not on behalf of We the People; this has everything to do with whom you have decided are your people.

Mike Stone

Fort Wayne

Banks a failure three times over

An apocryphal statement sometimes attributed to Joseph Stalin is that “If you don't like the election results, get a new people.” This is exactly what our Trump-fawning 3rd District Rep. Jim Banks tried to do in Congress on Jan. 6 – “get a new people” by supporting the administration's efforts to overturn the votes cast by the people of Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Banks sought to replace the voters of these states with a people more to his liking, a people comprised solely of white evangelical Christian nationalists. Banks is not at all interested in election integrity; he wants a people more akin to 1860, where Donald Trump can be the “second president of the Confederacy,” or 1960, where Trump can channel the bigotry and racism of George Wallace.

In the pages of this newspaper, Banks has repeatedly indicated that he represents only Trump supporters in Indiana's 3rd congressional District and that his job is to keep “Trumpism” alive in both northeast Indiana and in Congress.

Banks has failed on three counts: as a leader (he is not willing to tell the people of northeast Indiana the truth – the election was not stolen); as a representative (he represents only “his” kind of voters in the 3rd District); and as a person (he has betrayed his oath to “support and defend” the Constitution of the United States as both a representative and as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy).

By actively participating in Trump's autogolpe of using extraconstitutional means to remain in office, Banks has committed sedition by seeking to overturn a valid election and should resign immediately.

Emory Earl Toops

Fort Wayne

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