The attack on the United States Capitol and on our very government was horrific, but it did not “just happen.” This insurrection has been building for years with the full approval of the supporters and enablers of Donald Trump. This man has not only abused his power and his oath of office — he has abused every person and every institution that has tried to rein him in. He has manipulated his followers with lies that have remained unchallenged and stunningly echoed by people who knowingly lied along with him for their own political gain.

Think of the way that an abuser works. It starts with words. Then it’s a shove. Then it’s a slap and a punch. Then it’s a stranglehold with a violence of power. Then it’s a knife and finally a shot. Someone who has no boundaries is not suddenly going to find a boundary when they’ve already been escalating out of control. Trump has been fully unleashed. No attempt to restrain him is left. He must be removed from office. Invoke the 25th Amendment.

Marlene Barnes

Santa Fe

Abandoning ship

As the Trump-tanic sinks into the swamp of disgrace, a mad scramble for lifeboats ensues.

Steve Saylor

Santa Fe

No time to waste

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez and Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján: The courage and determination of Georgia voters to deny the Senate two of its most voluble Trumpian sycophants and to stop Senate leadership of that reptilian predator, Mitch McConnell, have given America the incredibly improbable opportunity to retreat from the precipices of death and fascism and to redeem itself to the world.

The 117th Congress and the Biden administration together have two years, and most probably no more, to perform what for this government’s history over the past five decades will be truly miraculous. The top three priorities, in order of importance, are: the pandemic, the prosecution of Trump (most especially for treason and mass murder) and climate change. The first is self-evident, in order for hundreds of thousands of Americans to survive another year. The second is crucial for the nation to move forward, and only the second will begin to deny American fascism its legitimacy and its momentum and perhaps save the nation for another two years. The third is necessary, not to save the nation or the planet from climate catastrophe, because it’s too late now to do that, but to mitigate the severity of catastrophe and to reunite with the world in the good fight for survival against all odds.

A great burden such as you could not imagine now rests on your shoulders, through the goodness of voters in the state of Georgia. Use this precious time wisely, courageously and fully.

David Tubbs

White Rock

Not ready to make nice

There is a call by some to unify the nation. They say a grassroots effort is needed by you and me, not a grass-top effort from our elected officials. Unfortunately, the values of Trump Republicans are anathema to me. Many who voted for him understood his amoral character prior to casting their vote. I have severed relations with them. Am I expected to make nice with these citizens? My core values prevent me from this. Unless and until they admit their support of him was a mistake, I cannot open a dialogue. They should approach us, we who have a moral compass, and ask our forgiveness.

Those who maintain a relationship of political silence with Trumpsters, even in their family (I can’t; she’s my sister and he’s my brother) are teaching them nothing about the error of their ways. For me, their continued association with Trump supporters makes them complicit in the near takedown of our democracy. Stand up, Americans, rather than just stand by.

Lorna Dyer

Santa Fe

History made

I am saddened and dismayed that two months after our national election, we are still dealing with Republicans’ inability to accept that the gameshow host lost the election. In 2016, the popular vote designated a different winner than the Electoral College. This isn’t the first time in my life this has happened. And each time, we accepted the vote, maybe didn’t like or agree with it, but we accepted it because that is how our democracy works. The Electoral College sets the winner.

Now, we have a group of Republicans who say that isn’t how it’s done anymore. They want to declare “fraud” although, after numerous recounts in numerous states and numerous count challenges, including to the Supreme Court, the results remain the same. And the Electoral College ballots remain the same. Shame on all those trying to undermine our democratic process. They have shown the world that the United States operates no differently than a developing country with a dictator. Their names will go down in history as seditious traitors to our democracy.

And shame on Yvette Herrell for contributing to this circus. What a great dishonor she has brought to our state, and right after swearing to uphold the Constitution.

Karen St Clair

Santa Fe

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