Readers Write: Capitol protesters are not patriots

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An open letter to the mob that assaulted the U.S. Capitol, and to those who applauded their actions:

As (presumably) American citizens, you have the unequivocal right to your own opinions about who should be chosen as president and vice president to lead our country, as well as members of the Congress, governors and other down-ballot positions.  Furthermore, you are entitled to try to persuade others of the validity of those opinions as well as the merits of your preferred candidates.

What you are absolutely NOT entitled to do, however, is to attempt to impose your choices on others by force, intimidation, threats or brutal exhibitionism.  The very premise of democracy is that the majority of the voting public determines the outcome of elections–  whether or not you are happy about the outcomes– and that the performance of the winners, i.e., the integrity they bring to their office and the degree to which they fulfill their campaign commitments, should determine whether or not they deserve re-election.

What took place in Washington last Wednesday is the very antithesis of democracy.  No matter how intensely you disapprove of the opposition’s policies and/or the ability of the adversarial party to implement them, the only acceptable way for you to effect change would be either to  persuade them of the merit of your own alternative ideas or to gain by legitimate means — not by physical attacks on persons or premises — the election of your preferred candidate.

What occurred in Washington, D.C., last week was no indication of your supposed patriotism.  On the contrary, it was a shameful betrayal of the very basic principles on which our country was founded and comes closer to treason than to patriotism.

Robert I. Adler                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Port Washington

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