Jan. 6, 2021 marked a day in American history that no one imagined happening: a modern-day civil war riot. The attack on the U.S. Capitol has left many people angry, worried and confused …
The virulent attack by the president of the U.S. and his congressional enablers, especially Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, on our recent election and election process represents more than just an attack on the keystone of our democracy: It is an attack on some of the best of our people—the thousands upon thousands of Americans who, in the precincts and wards, cities and towns, villages and counties, rural, urban and suburban, all over this country, carry out the often thankless task of running free and fair elections.
These dedicated individuals, many of whom are volunteers, check voter registration lists, distribute and oversee collection ballots, monitor the physical security of the ballot boxes and machines and count ballots, all with a profound sense of the critical importance of the process. Unlike the president and his enablers, these workers, and the thousands who stood in line for hours to exercise the right to vote, revere our Constitution and the central role free and fair elections play in assuring the future of this country we call the United States of America. These patriotic citizens do not seek recognition; they consider it their civic duty to assist in ensuring that each federal, state or local election adds to the promise of government of, by and for the people.
The claims of President Donald Trump, Hawley and Cruz and too many of their colleagues—privileged people placed in positions by the very process they attack—are contemptible accusations against the unsung, noble and honorable citizens who believe deeply in and carry out the nuts and bolts of our democratic system. The arrogance of these people to falsely criticize the individuals who conduct our election process is deeply erosive of the fabric of American society. Yes, the president has left office, but that is not enough. After considering expulsion from the Senate, Hawley and Cruz, and in the House, Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Steve Scalise and others fomenting insurrection by seeking to overturn our election must be censured in the strongest possible terms for their unfounded and egregious attack, not just on our democracy but on the thousands of American citizens, our neighbors, who carry out our election system. Those seditionists who have belittled and endangered them must be held accountable and brought to justice.
So who are the patriots? The patriots are the citizens of this wonderful country who do the hard work day in and day out that enables our beloved country to be the beacon of light for the world. Let us all join in supporting them and showing our appreciation for their work by doing our part.
Charles F. Desmond is CEO of Inversant, the largest parent-centered children’s saving account initiative in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is past chair of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and a NEBHE senior fellow. Thomas C. Jorling, former commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and former director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College among other key posts. Both serve on the advisory board of NEBHE sponsor Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP.