ISSUE: U.S. Capitol stormed by anarchists

OUR VIEW: Spare us these final days of turmoil

Unbelievable scenes emerged from Washington, D.C., as the Capitol Building was stormed by people intent on blocking Congressional action to affirm the Electoral College’s vote acknowledging Joe Biden’s win in November’s general election.

A peaceful exchange of power has been a hallmark of American democracy for two centuries and a symbol of civilization and reason to the world. Now the world is witness to the symbols of anarchists, many in MAGA red caps, storming the halls of Congress.

This is not America. It’s certainly not a sign America has been made great again. The actions Wednesday were an embarrassment and an abomination.

Whether prompted and encouraged by President Donald Trump’s infamous tweets or speech delivered Wednesday morning or driven by unknown forces seeking to contribute to tensions dividing our nation, these actions are wrong and must be condemned by all right-thinking people who love this country.

Apologists making excuses for the disruption last Wednesday in Washington are dead wrong and deserve to be condemned for their views.

Just as this editorial board said at the height of last summer’s riots and vandalism traumatizing U.S. cities: Demonstrating peaceably is a constitutionally protected right. But when a raised fist strikes another, or when a raised voice incites violence and destruction, the noble cause becomes nefarious.

Investigations continue and arrests have and will be made. Resignations have been forthcoming from Cabinet members embarrassed by the situation, the D.C. police chief whose forces were ill prepared and easily overcome and the sergeants at arms responsible for order in the Senate and House chambers.

Another resignation is needed.

With only days before the Jan. 20 inauguration, the impeachment process is too unwieldy. It also seems unlikely that Vice President Mike Pence, although reportedly furious about being publicly ridiculed by Trump, will invoke the never-before-used fourth section of the 25th Amendment to declare the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

That leaves resignation as a sole option to address the magnitude of this national embarrassment. But the president has time and again indicated a high tolerance for embarrassment and a repeated unwillingness to take the high road.

Trump did take one tiny step by acknowledging Friday he will not attend the inauguration. At this point, his presence certainly would serve as a distraction and add to concern about renewed acts of insurrection.

Meanwhile, a massive 9-foot fence has been erected around the Capitol Building. The seat of power in America, the great home of debate and compromise which built a great world power known for its resolve and reason now resembles a prison.

And wherever we live we are prisoners to the divisive squabbles that continue. Blame and finger pointing dominate the national news.

True leadership continues to prove to be elusive.

The uplifting words of “America, the Beautiful” assure us “God shed His grace on thee.”

Grace is a key component missing in our nation today. God’s blessings surely are needed in abundance now.

This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

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