Archived Opinion

People must be held accountable

People must be held accountable

To the Editor:

Let’s look at the definitions.

Sedition: “conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state.”

Terrorism: “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”

The Trump “rally” was clearly sedition, and the subsequent riot was clearly terrorism. Those who spoke at the rally are clearly guilty of sedition.

The entire rally was based on the lie that the election was stolen from Trump. No one has presented any evidence that there was voter fraud of any magnitude during the 2020 election. If there had been enough fraud to change the outcome of the election there would be evidence of that. There is none. 

The objective of the sedition and subsequent terrorism was clearly intended to steal the election from Biden and Harris. This is irrefutable if you listened to the speeches and watched the videos of the terrorist riot. The intent of the sedition and terrorism was to overturn the votes of the majority of voters.

This was no protest. The objective was to disrupt the functioning of the government and clear indications are that there was the intent by at least some to harm or kill elected officials. The noose erected to hang Vice Pesident Pence was not just symbolic. Additionally, the bombs and arms brought to the capitol by the rioters were for terrorism not peaceful protests. The events of January 6 are clearly sedition and terrorism. These people are no patriots of the USA.

Now let’s look at Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” That is a bit long, but it boils down to the fact that anyone who has taken an oath to the Constitution and supports insurrection is to be removed from office.

All of the elected officials who took part in or supported the sedition in challenging the certification of the election should be removed from office. The results were clear and definitive. There was no ambiguity that Biden won. The most notable insurrectionists are Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. But in supporting the sedition the seven representatives from North Carolina who voted to overturn the elections of other states on the basis of Trump’s lies should also be removed from office.

In the case of Madison Cawthorn, he should not only be removed from office, but prosecuted for sedition because he addressed the rioters at the rally. He and all those who spoke to incite the subsequent riot should be charged and tried in court. Sedition is a crime as defined by federal law. The rally on January 6 was not just fun and games — it was intended to result in the disruption of the US government with the distinct probability of harming elected officials. This cannot be tolerated in a country governed by the rule of law.

At a minimum, the Republican Party in North Carolina and elsewhere need to condemn the behaviors of those who instigated and those who took part in the terrorist activities of January 6. Failure to do so refutes the contention that Republicans stand for law and order. Republicans who supported Trump’s lies about the election support anarchy — they are not patriots. 

Indeed, there is time for healing and coming together. That time was at Thanksgiving when the results of the election were clear and obvious. The time now is for accountability. Behaviors have consequences. Once those responsible for sedition and the terrorism of Jan. 6 are held accountable, there will be another time for healing and coming together.

Norman Hoffman


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