The Journal Gazette
Monday, January 18, 2021 1:00 am

Letters: Crisis in the Capitol and beyond

Trump cult reaches inevitable conclusion

When the Allied soldiers liberated Dachau, they discovered unspeakable horrors. Humans like ghosts – haunted, ragged, emaciated – and the dead lying everywhere, unburied. The Allies forced Germans from the town to dig the graves. They weren't soldiers. They didn't necessarily support Adolf Hitler. They didn't take up arms for the Nazi agenda.

But neither did they try to stop the atrocities happening next door. And because they did nothing, the Allies held them responsible. These Germans – who probably thought they were decent folks just trying to get by – were made to bury the dead.

The way the Allies felt about the Germans; that's how I feel about MAGA friends after Donald Trump's insurrection. They may not have assaulted the Capitol, but they supported the madman who incited it.

They repeated his lies, sent him money, participated in Trump trains, went to rallies and flew his flag. Trump saw your unwavering, unquestioning devotion and understood that democracy was for sale.

I hope that now they understand: MAGA was a con, and they were the mark.

America is poorer, sicker and more violent than it was four years ago. Trump's tax breaks helped the rich, not the middle class. His neglect of COVID-19, which is killing thousands of us every day, has crashed our economy, while other countries – better managed – are enjoying economic growth. Hate crime has skyrocketed, and we saw it at the insurrection on T-shirts that read “Camp Auschwitz” and “6MJWE” (six million Jews wasn't enough).

And Trump used the presidency to funnel millions of tax dollars into the Trump Organization. He is richer. We are broken.

I'm not asking them to bury the dead. My request is much simpler. Please, tell me that you're done with the cult and coming home. To America.

Cynthia Betts


Untrustworthy process demands investigation

Allegations of vote-counting fraud need to be publicly investigated. Calling vote fraud allegations “baseless” is itself baseless without proof that each allegation has been disproved.

I have never before seen labeling such as “false” or “conspiracy theory” take the place of journalistic investigation. As a Libertarian who voted for Jo Jorgensen, I believe this country will never approach peace without a balloting process we understand and trust.

Jeannette Jaquish

Fort Wayne

Troubled times herald a return to God

Even though I am not excited about the outcome of America's election, I am excited about the growth of the Christian church during this time. The church grows during times of oppression; people cry out to God in these times. If you doubt me, read the Holy Bible. When people were oppressed, they cried out to God for help; when life was going well and things were easy, they forgot about God.

Richard Burridge

Fort Wayne

'Holding my nose' over the president

I never voted for Donald Trump, not in 2016 or last year. But I'm still holding my nose.

Bob Ott


Redistricting reform should be new cause

As one of Rep. Jim Banks' and Sen. Mike Braun's constituents, I was dismayed by some of their recent actions.

First, Banks signed his name to the lawsuit initiated in Texas to set aside electoral votes for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in four states. Later, both indicated they wanted an audit completed in several states before certifying the electoral votes in those states. (Braun did remove his name from the list of those objecting shortly before the roll call process began on Jan. 6.)

Although dismayed by their actions, the more I thought about it, I realized Indiana could benefit from their convictions for fair elections. Both stated in writing and shared on national news programs their concern that elections be fair. They were undaunted by this seemingly futile attempt to challenge the results of the election.

Now that Biden has been officially declared our next president, it surely hasn't ended the concerns these men of principle have about holding fair elections. This means it's only logical for them to transfer their concern about the presidential election to all elections held in our state. Since this is a redistricting year, this means we can expect to soon hear their vocal opposition to gerrymandering and utmost support for the appointment of an independent commission to handle redistricting duties.

Banks and Braun want fair elections, so I can't see how they'd object to configuring districts so one political party doesn't have an advantage over the other. They can use their political influence to encourage their constituents to insist Indiana's General Assembly appoint an impartial commission to redraw districts based on the latest census data. I expect nothing less from them.

Terri Coolman

Fort Wayne

Truth should be plain for leaders to speak

I would ask Sens. Mike Braun and Todd Young and Rep. Jim Banks to make two public statements:

First: “Joe Biden is president-elect.”

Second: “There was no steal.”

Only that. No equivocation, no additional statements about wanting to investigate the election. All the equivocation does is to leave doubt that there still might have been a steal. There was none. It was a fair election.

Donald D. Doxsee

Fort Wayne


To show leadership, Banks must face truth

Rep. Jim Banks said on the local news recently that his actions of recent weeks ( trying to discredit the election and throw out a number of states' votes with no evidence of wrongdoing) is because he represents a conservative group of people.

The conservatives I have known over the past 75 years can handle truth. They love our country and democracy.

In a democracy there are elections run, counted, investigated, reported and certified by each state, which then add them to all the other states.

Banks knows this election was as free and fair as any and maybe more free and fair than some, but he seems to think conservatives want to win no matter what cheap trick is used to discredit the election and make Donald Trump president forever (a dictator), throwing away our democracy.

Is that what conservatives are now? I hope not because we need the old conservatives back to have a balanced government.

We do not need what we saw on Jan. 6 at the Capitol. When Banks' words and actions discredit our election, what did he think would happen? Words matter; truth matters.

It is past time for Banks to say Joe Biden will be president and I will work with him to make things better. It is time to govern, to really do the work of the people. To govern, you start with truth.

Naomi Vonesh

Fort Wayne

Only election theft was courtesy of Trump

Roger Stone's political action committee launched a “Stop the steal” website in 2016 to raise money for Donald Trump's election campaign. Stone asked for $10,000 donations, saying that if the election between Hillary Clinton and Trump was close, “they will steal it.”

With Trump's victory in 2016, Stone's conspiracy theory died down.

In the 2020 election, Trump was voted out of office – soundly. He lost in the most secure election in U.S. history. People celebrated the defeat by dancing and singing in the streets with joy and relief that the nightmare of the past four years was ending.

The conspiracy theorists, led by Trump himself, resurrected the “Stop the steal” slogan. This time it was to raise money to fill the pockets of Trump and to agitate and encourage his followers to unlawful acts.

The only stealing done was by Trump.

He stole America's democratic standing in the world by downplaying common sense, truth, diplomacy and decency. He stole from his supporters in the form of their money, but many do not even realize the con. He stole from the Republican Party with his constant lies and deception.

Unfortunately, Trump was enabled by our own Rep. Jim Banks and Sen. Mike Braun with their ignoring the blatant lies and agreeing with the conspiracy theories that have proven to have no facts. Banks' and Braun's continued support has undermined the fabric of American democracy. They are enablers who have played into the inability of Trump supporters to decipher truth from fiction.



City deserves better than Arp conspiracies

After reading the Political Notebook of Jan. 10, I'd like to say to Jason Arp: Give us a break.

The accusations of stealing the election have been disproven more than 60 times in courts of law, where the lawyers would not and could not offer proof.

I'd like to remind everyone of the Politico article of July 31, 2020 by Charlie Savage. Savage exposed Arp and the basis of his push to declare July 16 “Gen. Anthony Wayne Day” upon “facts” he heard while watching a fictional TV show that never claimed to be based on reality.

It appears Arp's relationship with truth is questionable.

I don't know what government he belongs to but the government of the country I love doesn't do everything for me or anyone else I know. The government he speaks of is one he has made up and keeps trying to pass off as reality.

We deserve better than the conspiracy theories Arp peddles, the conspiracy theories that fed an attempted coup of the government of the United States.

Jerri Martin

Fort Wayne

Evidence of election theft is in short supply

To restore confidence in our election process, I am calling on Rep. Jim Banks to publicly state that Joe Biden has been legally elected president. If, in good faith, he can't do that, then we must assume that Banks has in his possession credible evidence of illegal activity that he has been withholding from his constituents, law enforcement and the courts.

Joe Kokosa

Fort Wayne

A dose of reality in lyrical form

City Councilman Jason Arp should try singing this next time he's marching around the Courthouse in the next four years:

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the left;

We are trampling out Republicans and leaving them bereft;

And we shed no tears for those of you who've seen your party cleft;

Our Joe is moving in!”

Jerry Schmeling

Fort Wayne

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