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Give credit to leaders who stepped up in an hour of danger

The Examiner

Lois Brewster, Independence

To the editor:

I wonder how many of my fellow citizens realize the magnitude of the narrow escape our nation experienced on Jan. 6, 2021. I believe we can thank two men for their shouldering of major roles in that escape.

Over the past four years, Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell have seemingly provided unflagging support for President Trump. They appeared to ignore actions of the president that were erratic or childish: He often fired his own appointees for opposing him. In public and in social media, persons whom he labeled as good or even "wonderful" were, a short time later, termed bad or terrible. Verifiable falsehoods became "truths."

I sat in front of my television Wednesday morning as the orderly meeting of the Congress began to fulfill their duty of confirming the results of the recent election. President Trump had made it clear that he expected his vice president to somehow nullify the election results, despite unanimous affirmations of those results by state officials and the courts.

I listened with special interest to the opening speeches by Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell. They both stated their role that day as outlined by the Constitution, and their intentions to follow the rule of law exactly. I watched the Congress adjourn temporarily to allow the separate Houses of Congress to consider objections raised by some.

Then I sat transfixed as the president praised a multitude of his followers for coming, and he asked them to march, with him, on the Capitol. They determinedly followed his direction while he remained in the White House. I watched in unbelief as that huge mob tore down the barriers and entered and vandalized the Capitol Building. When the mob was finally dispersed, the Congress returned to finish the task at hand.

Have we thought of what the next step would have been if the mob had succeeded? Would nationwide anarchy have given rise to a Russian-style dictatorship? Would another civil war have erupted? Would we have had to live through the kind of disaster the Venezuelans have experienced in the wake of contending leadership? Are we free of threat yet?

There is no denying that President Trump had the audacity to confront other world leaders to achieve changes that a large segment of our population believed were needed. But did those "successes" render him deserving to abuse the power and office of presidency? His actions often damaged the trust of our allies. Strong as we are, we cannot survive alone on this planet. Our "greatness" as a nation requires the cooperation of like-purposed allied nations.

For me, I have immense gratitude for Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell. They honored the requirements of their roles as outlined in the Constitution, both in their support of the presidency and in their honoring the voice of the majority vote of the people. They deserve major credit for leading us back from the brink of disaster.