Insurrection shocks U.S.
Until Americans value truth, we live in a broken country
What you saw yesterday — U.S. citizens committing insurrection and disrupting the lawful government of the United States of America doing its Constitutional duty — was the result of lies.
Americans whipped up by a dishonest president and dishonest media stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to try and stop the pro forma act of the U.S. Senate confirming what we all knew as early as Nov. 7, that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the next president and vice president of the U.S., and that they won the election in the most secure election in U.S. history, according to U.S. intelligence services.
To not believe that is to have zero faith in the institutions of our government, the good Americans who staff it, the experts who study these things, and each other. Down that road lies ruin.
You’ve probably read the warnings for weeks, months, even years — we can’t continue to have a functioning democratic republic if we don’t value truth, if we don’t work from a common set of facts to continue this experiment in self-government. While that may have seemed like rhetoric at the time, it became very real around 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.
In the end, the president finally promised an orderly transition of power, despite his calls early Wednesday that rallied his supporters — the insurrectionists — to storm the capital and after years of lying to the American people about … well, just about everything.
In the end, conservative media outlet Fox News and many of its pundits finally admitted the lunacy of the attempted coup, even if far-right media continue to refer to the insurrectionists as “patriots.”
In the end, Congress finally finished their duty of confirming the Electoral College votes and naming Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.
But the damage has been done, not just in yesterday’s tragedy that left four people dead and the rest of us psychologically scarred, but in our distrust of each other.
And we were shocked again how differently we view the world based on the media, whether produced by journalists or entertainers or algorithms, we consume.
Former President George W. Bush said he and former first lady Laura Bush were “sickened” by the raid on the capitol.
World leaders called it “disgraceful” and “distressing.”
This tweet from Jason Kline, the principal at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, helped put the stunning news into perspective.
We’re all sorry. Whether in our 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s or older, we all have to apologize for not doing what was needed to make sure our people were safe, educated and free to pursue their dreams. We leave to you a broken country. We’re sorry.
Now we can all work together to enshrine “Truth,” Quill and Scroll’s cornerstone value, as the light that guides everyone, in every endeavor.
Clearinghouse for stories about the coup attempt
Quill and Scroll would love to hear from you and feature your news stories, photos, opinions, personal memoirs and local-angle pieces about the Jan. 6 failed coup attempt on our democratic republic.
If you publish something that you’re proud of — whether it speaks for you alone or for millions like you, or whether it’s for a yearbook or a news publication in print or online — we’d love to put it on our website and in this blog so that it can be shared with a larger audience.
Just complete this short form, which requires that you provide a link to your original story or to a folder that contains your published work. We’ll review it and place the best in this blog for the next several weeks.
A message for the team
Quill and Scroll members and prospective members, this is your 9/11.
For your parents and those of us in newsrooms or classrooms on Sept. 11, 2001, we knew that day ushered in a new world for all of us, one that would require greater understanding of the world around us and even some personal sacrifice in order to do that effectively and with empathy.
The same can be said of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 for your great-grandparents’ generation. Or the entire Vietnam era and Watergate for your grandparents. Those events should have changed us for the better. We should have come out of those better as people and as a nation.
You will refer back to Jan. 6, 2021 as a watershed moment in your lives, in the lives of all U.S. residents and citizens, even citizens of the world, as the day our democracy teetered on the brink.
Q&S member Chris Andino (Iowa City HS, 1998) works as a foreign service officer for the U.S. State Department. Chris wrote these words on Facebook to his team in the State Department as a means of expressing just how important we are to each other and to our country, wherever we may live:
We are all in the same boat, watching this on the news. If you need someone to talk to about this, I’m here. If you’re concerned about what we do next, I’m here and we’ll talk about it.
My father came to the United States because the opportunities she afforded, opportunities based on our political system and on the rule of law. I chose to serve the United States because I believe in the urgency of that promise. Today is a hard day, a critical day. But we who work for the United States must take comfort in knowing that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
As we’ve done for the past year, we’ll rely on each other to get through the unknown together and protect the bilateral relationship that we’ve worked so hard to advance.
The oath that we’ve taken is to support and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Rarely has that been more urgent than this moment. It’s a noble calling, and one that is hard, one that will require personal hardship and sacrifice, but one that will put you on the right side of history and honor if you stick with it right.