Those are the words written by former President Jimmy Carter. It’s in a guest essay in today’s New York Times.
It’s my first day back at work since vacation. It’s also the one year anniversary since the attack at the U.S. Capital.
I still can’t believe it happened. I can’t believe a year later we still don’t have answers as to what exactly caused it. Just who was responsible? I’m not sure we will ever really know.
What I do know is that I feel like it could happen again. I agree with President Carter. I fear for our democracy.
Jimmy Carter has spent his post presidency making certain elections in other countries are free and legitimate. Now, he has to worry about elections in his own country.
Look, I get it. Maybe you don’t like how the 2020 election turned out. That said, there is no evidence to believe that it was fixed. It’s been investigated. It’s been answered.
President Carter says that for American democracy to endure, we must “demand that our leaders and candidates uphold the ideals of freedom and adhere to high standards of conduct.”
He also says that violence has no place in politics. Carter also says that disinformation on social media must be addressed.
President Carter ends his essay with this: “Our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening abyss. Without immediate action, we are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy. Americans must set aside differences and work together before it is too late.”
I wish he was wrong. I think he’s not. We are as fragile as I think we ever have been.
President Biden will address the country today.
According to CNN, he will “lay out the significance of what happened at the Capitol and the singular responsibility President Trump has for the chaos and carnage we saw.”
He is also expected to say: “And so at this moment we must decide what kind of nation we are going to be. Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as the norm? Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people? Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of truth but in the shadow of lies? We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation. The way forward is to recognize the truth and live by it.”
I’m guessing this will be the most significant speech of Joe Biden’s career. It’s his chance to try and bring the country together. It’s a tall order. I hope he’s up to it.