- - Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Are the Democrats, under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden, Sen. Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the 195 members of Congress that have agreed to or signed onto the Articles of Impeachment against President Trump, getting ready to commit the same crime or misdemeanor they attribute to President Trump? That is inciting violence and insurrection.

For the most part, the people that showed up for the Jan. 6 rally to protest the election integrity and show support for Mr. Trump were peaceful average American citizens that love our constitutional republic. I know because I was at a Washington hotel where many were staying. Yes, it’s true things got out of control in short order and unfortunately some lost their lives, including a female military veteran and some of the dedicated Capitol Hill Police Department. But to move forward without knowing who incited the violence and caused the breach of the nation’s Capitol is irresponsible. 

We know extremists were present, and I suspect the anti-American agitators were there to foment chaos and anarchy. We also know the legitimate participants represent a large majority of the 74 million-plus voters that supported Mr. Trump and have real concerns over the integrity of the November election. These voters are approximately half of this nation’s voters that participated in the election. 

I watched Mr. Trump and the others on the stage and did not agree with much that was said. However, the president only asked people to march to the Capitol and let the members of Congress know where they stand on election integrity. Not once did he tell them to cause violence or ask them to storm the Capitol. So why put this nation through another impeachment debacle?

I see this being done out of spite, disdain, hatred, or an effort to discredit and humiliate the 45th president of the United States. This is in the backdrop of the Democrats and Republicans in the last election calling for unification, tolerance respect for different views, and a healing of all the vitriol caused by the current administration that has divided this nation.

If these words were spoken with sincerity and truth then Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler et. al. would not move to impeach and they would check their own rhetoric. When I hear Mr. Biden refer to these people as domestic terrorists or Congresswoman Karen Bass say this was a KKK rally, I assume because they were predominantly White it sounds like hate and racism being spewed to many. It does not sound like leaders wanting to heal a nation but more of a mob mentality wanting to fan the same flames of discontent that they accuse President Trump of to justify impeachment.

Ms. Bass must of had her blinders on and didn’t notice the makeup of the crowd. It was made up of Asians, Hispanics, Indians, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, atheists, the LGBT community, Whites and yes even some Blacks were present. It was a representation of America and again over 74 million voters that did not choose Joe Biden to be their next president.

I caution those that are hell-bent on removing the 45th president days before his term is up to reconsider the gasoline you’re about to throw on a house already divided. Without the facts as to who the bad rioters were, is this the best way to heal a nation and start a new presidency or will it cause more division and justify more violence? The choice is yours. Please choose wisely.

Sincerely and thankfully, a former member of Congress,

• Ted S. Yoho is a former Republican U.S. representative from Florida.

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