Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause Preside
January 6th interrupted two centuries of the peaceful transfer of power. It was staged by a domestic enemy fueled by the lies fed by the former President, some Republican politicians, and their allies who tried to subvert a bedrock democratic principle: that voters decide elections.
The insurrection was a violent affront to free and fair elections and the orderly transition of power. We mark this date with solemnity and renew our resolve to strengthen our democracy. That is why many Americans are gathering at more than 300 vigils across the country to mark this somber anniversary. They gather because they still believe in the promise of a nation of, by, and for the people.
Regardless of the color of our skin, our background, or our political party, most of us still believe that anyone who betrays our nation, violates their oath of office, and endangers the lives of the innocent, has no business governing in our name. On January 6th, some Republicans officeholders turned their backs on America by inciting armed right-wing militants to attack our Capitol to overturn the election. And today, even Republican leaders in Congress who condemned the attacks on January 6th, and pleaded with the former President to call off the mob that day, are trying to whitewash what happened and block an investigation of the insurrection. Americans deserve the truth about the day and the planning behind it. The January 6th Select Committee’s bipartisan work is exceptionally important in this regard.
A year after the deadly attack, mounting evidence points to some elected leaders – beyond former President Trump and his inner circle – aiding in planning the events of January 6th. These same lawmakers, and many of their aiders and abettors, continue to parrot the lies from the former President about the 2020 election. They do it to fuel the anger and resentment of their supporters. The lies have led to continued death threats and violence against elected officials, election administrators, and private citizens from coast-to-coast.
The lies have also been harnessed by congressional Republicans to oppose any legislation that would protect every American’s freedom to vote. Across the country, legislators at the state and local level have leaned into these lies to silence our voices by passing laws to make it harder for Americans to vote and to have a say in how our country is governed and who gets represented. Many of these new laws reek of Jim Crow.
Without delay, the Senate must pass the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, and legislation to grant full representation in Congress to the residents of the District of Columbia. We have been warned. We must not delay if we are to ensure that every one of us is represented by a government of, by, and for the people, where the rights and freedoms of every one of us are protected. The clock is ticking and history is watching.