I’m sick and tired of the hate. President Trump is partially responsible, but not completely. There is hypocrisy on both sides.
President Trump hasn’t helped, but he has also been provoked. Many on the left never gave the Trump administration a chance, attacking the president with undeserved and dishonest epithets. This fed the frustration among his supporters, leading to the recent attack on the Capitol.
What happened on Wednesday, January 6 was disgusting, as were the Black Lives Matter riots last May and the Antifa violence in cities like Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. The people who raided the Capitol should be found, arrested, and punished. The same holds true for those who rioted last summer.
A note on the Capitol Police: They are one of the most professional law enforcement organizations I have ever seen. I was on Capitol Hill during the Kavanaugh disruptions. The Capitol Police were firm and effective. In this case, they were simply overwhelmed. There were insufficient numbers to stop what happened. Fourteen officers were injured. That is unacceptable.
No, I did not like the 2020 election results. I have questions about the fairness of the election and the integrity of the system, especially mail-in voting. But the election is over, and we need to move forward. That is what our Constitution requires. If you want the electoral system reformed, mail-in votes and ballot harvesting are the right places to start; but it needs to be done peacefully.
It is difficult. Certainly, it is more difficult than being a keyboard warrior spreading hate. Get involved, but do it peacefully and without the hateful rhetoric.
Since the election, I have endeavored to not post about President-elect Joe Biden on social media. Yet, I have seen constant drivel about him and President Trump. This just ratchets up the hate. It is not changing minds. It is just angering people.
The mainstream media are not helping either. If anything, news outlets are relying on sensationalism and political agendas to inflame both sides. Conservative media are a mirror image of liberal media, and only contribute to the outrage. Fake news emanates from both sides—not one, but both.
Let’s be clear: President Trump is not without blame. Do I think he wanted a group of idiots to storm the Capitol? Of course not. But he did feed the frustration. I voted for him twice, but I am less than satisfied with his post-election antics. Once the electors voted on December 14, the 2020 election was over.
If President Trump genuinely believes—as I do— that there were abuses in electoral process, there is a simple way to find out. Obtain the voting lists from key states and compare them with death information and changes of address. There are commercial databases that provide information on both.
Nor is President-elect Biden without blame. His impassioned rant after the recent violence was a partisan attack on the sitting president. It is also difficult to forget the insults that he levied at President Trump during the first debate. If Biden wants to unify the country, as he claims, then the first step is to reach out to his opponents—not with words, but with actions.
The hypocrisy is most upsetting. President Trump’s challenge to the electoral count was foolish, but it was legal. Some called it treasonous, but it was considered appropriate when the Democrats challenged in 1969, 2001, and 2005. People need to be consistent. Riots are wrong, but they cannot be “mostly peaceful protests” on one side and “insurrections” on the other. Both are wrong and both should be condemned.
Members of Congress, represent your district—the entire district. Senators, represent your state—the entire state. Do not become part of the problem. Do not demonize your colleagues in the other party. Do not hold bogus hearings to embarrass the other side. And, for God’s sake, do not tear up the State of the Union address on national television.
I heartily condemn the Capitol rioters. I condemn all rioters. I also condemn the haters, even friends and colleagues, who spread the hate on social media.
Do I have confidence in President-elect Biden? No, but I will give him a chance. I will not join the “resistance.” I will not take to the streets with a “Not My President” sign. If I am not satisfied with his performance, I will criticize him, but I will not resort to the personal attacks that have defined the last four years.
We, as a nation, must move on. Get it together, people. This needs to stop now.
John B. Wells is a retired Navy commander and a former member of his local Republican Party Executive Committee. For the last 10 years, he has advocated for veterans’ benefits on Capitol Hill.