OPINION

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Reflecting on democracy on the 1/6 anniversary

Letter to the Editor

Republican leaders want you to believe that if elections don't go your way, you have the right to violently overturn them.  This is often justified as being akin to the American Revolution.  But the founding fathers took up arms against Great Britain because the colonies did not yet enjoy the benefits of representation. Violence was the only option for them, but they established our democracy to avoid it in the future. They intended every election to be a peaceful revolution, an opportunity for voters to assess their leaders and change course if warranted.  

No one should call for revolution because their side lost an election. Republicans counter that violence is now necessary because our voting system is “rigged.” I don't know how to convince you that this is a lie if you haven't already accepted it. But please consider this: in our supposedly “rigged” system, Republicans currently hold half the seats in the Senate and nearly half the seats in the House. Republican candidates have won in about half the presidential races in modern history. In other countries, where electoral systems are truly rigged, one party and one man typically hold power for decades.  Can you spot the difference? 

Meanwhile, conservative Senators in the minority can block legislation to keep themselves in power. That sounds like a perversion of our democracy to me, just one example of the myriad ways Republicans game the system in their favor.

Nevertheless, a mob of extremist conservatives, goaded by a power-hungry Republican president, invaded our Capitol a year ago to disrupt the transition of power after a fairly-won election. In the months that followed, most Republicans at every level have expressed support for their insurrection, or remained quiet about it. Those standing for democracy, like Representative Liz Cheney, are vilified and ostracized by a party that, on every other issue, she absolutely typifies. It’s clear that for most Republicans, the trappings of power are more important than the issues they claim to stand for.  That’s anti-American to the core.

Please ask yourself what’s more important: your party’s win-loss ratio, or the long-term success of democracy. There's only one right answer. You can make a difference by demanding that your party defend the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Failure to do so will ensure that none of us will long enjoy the freedom and justice this nation is meant to provide.

Alex Andrasik

Penn Yan

EDITOR’S NOTE: Letter writers are responsible for making sure the information they submit is accurate and factual.