Staunton VA City Council: Affirm Biden's Election and Denounce Trump Insurrection

Staunton VA City Council: Affirm Biden's Election and Denounce Trump Insurrection

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Erik Curren started this petition to Staunton VA City Council

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” So said founding father John Adams.

Can we prove him wrong?

Many Americans take our democratic republic for granted. But history shows that democracy is fragile. The default condition of humankind is not democracy but is actually autocracy, traced across thousands of years of rule by kings, emperors, popes, caliphs, shoguns, maharajas, and generalissimos.

Each member of Staunton City Council has taken an oath to the Constitution of the United States, which carries a grave responsibility to protect our democracy.

Democracies depend on valid elections. But Donald Trump has cast baseless doubt on the valid presidential election of fall 2020 and Republican leaders have supported Trump's campaign of disinformation.

For months in advance, Donald Trump said that if he lost, the election would be invalid. When he did lose to Joe Biden in November, Trump started a cynical propaganda campaign with the Trumpian name “Stop the Steal” to overturn the election results and keep himself in office for four more years.

Many leaders of his party, including our own member of Congress, supported Trump’s baseless accusations of election fraud. This dangerous game led to the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, including known members of domestic terrorist groups, attempting a coup on January 6.

“Stop the Steal” was always a lie. There was no steal to stop. State election officials and courts across the country affirmed that Biden’s win was free and fair. Trump’s own election commissioners said that “the November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.”

At first, “Stop the Steal” seemed to many observers like harmless politicking, merely a way to rile up Trump’s base and boost party fundraising.

But then came last Wednesday, January 6, 2021, a date that will live in infamy.

A Capitol police officer and others killed. A gallows erected by a mob demanding to hang Vice President Mike Pence. Just think about that -- They wanted to hang the vice president. Attackers with plastic handcuffs trying to kidnap or kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats. The People’s House defiled – broken windows, furniture hauled off, Nazi regalia and a Confederate flag flaunted in the sacred temple of the American republic.

This despicable attack has struck fear into the hearts of Americans from coast to coast. In Staunton, the danger of more violence in Washington, DC, in capitals of all 50 states, and even locally, is the top issue on our citizens’ minds right now, whether they voted Democratic, Republican, or independent.

We want reassurance from our local elected officials. We hope that none of you participated in Trump’s rally in Washington on January 6. We also hope that none of you spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally held at Staunton Mall last fall. The actions of elected officials set a powerful example for our citizens.

Fortunately, America is a country of second chances. However you stood versus "Stop the Steal," there’s still time to get on the right side of history. We call on Staunton City Council to issue a statement to reassure our citizens that you stand against violent insurrection incited by a would-be modern-day dictator and that you stand for America’s 244-year-old democracy:

  1. Affirm that the November election was free, fair, and secure and that Joe Biden was rightfully elected as the next president of the United States.
  2. Denounce the attack on the U.S. Capitol of January 6 and call for Donald J. Trump to be held accountable for inciting violent insurrection.
  3. Commit to protect Staunton citizens in the future from unlawful activity of violent domestic terrorist groups in our area.

As Abraham Lincoln said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution.”
 

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