Don't blame Trump
I am writing to express my horror and grief over the events of Jan. 6.
I do not blame President Trump. I blame the acrimony and division that places power over principle. No one is totally virtuous, but anyone who does not stand up to this movement has blood on his or her hands. Blood that has dirtied our flag. A stain the whole world sees.
There will be another Trump. The change must be in ourselves. What will we do to strengthen our bonds as neighbors and our commitment to each other as citizens?
Honor truth, seek justice, hold compassion.
The Kenosha County, Wis., district attorney, Michael Graveley, should be fired. His failure to bring charges in the shooting of Jacob Blake and press statement, that he "would have to disprove the clear expression of these officers that they had to fire a weapon to defend themselves," are utterly mindboggling.
With video showing a Black man walking away and getting into his car, his back to the officer's already drawn gun — how hard could it be to present arguments against the claim of self-defense. Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake at least six times in the back at point-blank range while holding onto his shirt. This officer didn't feel threatened; he was ticked off that this Black man didn't obey his order to stop.
Should Jacob Blake have halted? Of course.
Should Officer Sheskey have shot him in the back multiple times because he didn't? No, categorically.
Should District Attorney Michael Graveley have brought charges against this officer? Unequivocally, yes.
While playing cards after dinner with friends, we discussed the sad state of current presidential politics; we spontaneously broke into a "Jeopardy!"-like game when one player started singing "Georgia on My Mind."
Who sang it? The correct answer was Ray Charles. After singing a few stanzas, another player challenged with "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" —the "night they hung an innocent man."
Who sang it? Correct answer: Vicki Lawrence. (We also discussed the likewise innocence of two Georgia Republicans, Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who figuratively have been "strung up" by Donald Trump.)
Finally, a player offered up "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." We sang several stanzas but couldn't replicate great fiddle music. Correct answer? The Charlie Daniels Band.
Of course, the Devil was vanquished.
We all had a good-natured time, and agreed that the Devil who went down to Georgia would be overcome by the righteous and fair election for Georgian senators.
The question to ask Donald Trump is "Why focus on Georgia, when there are also other swing states that went Democratic?"
Answer: Only Georgia had a Republican decision-maker who might be intimidated or bullied to invalidate American votes.
But he wasn't.
Brad Raffensperger is an American hero for following law, truth and his conscience.
The lead story in The New York Times of Jan. 6 read: "Pence Is Said To Have Told Trump He Lacks Power to Change Election Result." Yet, President Trump continued to lean on the vice president to try to pressure him to abandon his constitutional duty and baselessly thwart the definitive announcement of the electoral vote winner.
However, after the Washington mob attacked the Capitol at the urging of Trump, the vice president had to go into hiding.
How does Pence avoid being part of the "sedition caucus" in an electoral vote coup attempt — and, yet, feign loyalty to Trump?
Trump may have a trick up his sleeve: the 25th Amendment. Under Section 3, he on his own, could send to the Senate and the House a declaration that he is temporarily “unable” to discharge the duties of his office. The vice president would immediately become acting president.
Pence could then preemptively pardon the president for inciting insurrection.
Before Jan. 20, Trump alone under the 25th — with no intervening authority — could transmit to Congress a declaration to the contrary; and resume office for a few days as president with full power.
However, if Trump did not act, the vice president would serve as acting president until Jan. 20.
William E. Jackson Jr.