STAFF EDITORIAL: We must stay united during this attack on our democracy


EP Presnell

The US Capitol building on a fall night in 2019. Photo by EP Presnell.

RedEye Staff

Today was supposed to be a day of great importance. A day that represents the candor and beauty of American democracy. A day that was dedicated to showing that the leaders in power accept the people’s will, regardless of their political position. That, however, has been upended. Instead, we sit watching the United States Capitol being sieged by domestic terrorists incited by a President who refuses to accept the people’s will. 

The United States of America was founded with the belief that the will of the people will be heard, that no permanent ruler should have absolute power, that people deserve to have a say in government. This president no longer subscribes to this doctrine we Americans hold as sacred. He does not believe in a peaceful transition of power or believe it is a thing of beauty and something that our democracy has done for the past 245 years and should continue to do so as long as our country stands. What is being seen today is a president attempting to stay in power, to hijack a process so that he may feed his power-hungry ego. 

How could we fall so far as a nation? Screaming at each other, disagreeing over what is the real truth, to resort to storming the beacon of democracy that we all share as Americans. It has been obvious that four long years of division, four years of precedents are broken, four years of white supremacy being stoked, and four years of disrespect towards any human decency has shown the president has decided not to be the leader of a republic, but the leader of a dictatorship. 

However, no matter how hard the president tries to entice his supporters to overturn an election, our resolve to preserve one of the greatest Republics in the world will continue. The Electoral votes will be confirmed by Congress, our next president will be sworn in and the great American experiment will continue. 

The president has abused his power far beyond what is acceptable. After what has happened, how his supporters have determined their allegiance is with the president rather than the nation he is supposed to serve, the only option is to impeach the president and prevent him from ever serving in a position of any power. The damage he has done to this democracy is almost irreversible and will permeate America forever. We can only prevent him from doing more damage, despite having just 14 days left in office. 

As teenagers, we are constantly worried about what the country we love will look like when we are able to vote, when we are able to make our voices heard. We will inherit this nation and feel the lasting impacts of the actions of this president and the GOP. We refuse to let an egotistical, political bully ruin this nation for us. America is a nation of morality, diversity, freedom to make your voice heard and freedom to elect representatives that make change. We will work to fix a system that has given rise to white supremacy while putting down people of color. We are a generation of change that is determined to make the United States truly just for all.

What has occurred today is an act of terrorism created by the unlawful followers of a president who has created a country united by fear and hatred. His lies have created a monster that has grown too strong for us to take down. Even after the American people made their voices heard on Nov. 3, he continues to deny the possibility that Americans no longer wish to live like this. 

In 14 days, President-elect Joe Biden will become our 46th president and begin a new four years that will, hopefully, be filled with change for the better. But he will not get rid of the white supremacists that have gained strength these last four years. This will not get rid of the hatred and prejudice that underlies our country every day. The president’s supporters will likely continue to claim fraud when there is no evidence of such and claim their power was taken from them. Conspiracy theory groups such as QAnon will continue to persuade the naive and divide the country on what is true or not. 

But there is hope. 

Although today has been a dark moment in time, there is hope that this madness will end. We as a nation have the determination to keep going and show an absolute rejection of this dangerous ideology and the man who is determined to tear our country apart. We need to remember that despite our differences, whether you are a Democrat or Republican, no matter your background, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, we are all Americans first. We must learn to respect one another as such and learn to see past our differences, rather, embrace them and celebrate the diversity of this country. Let’s move forward as a country to a future built on facts, diversity and change for the better.