LETTER: Hold elected conspiracy theorists accountable

Cody Santiago
Marietta
Republican incumbent candidates Scott Perry, left, and Lloyd Smucker greet each other during an appearance by Vice President Mike Pence who rallied at the Lancaster Airport in Lititz Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Bill Kalina photo

There are many descriptions from a variety of perspectives that can aptly describe what happened Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol. For many of us, it was predictable. We knew something could happen. Those looking to inflict hateful and violent acts in an attempt to overturn election results were incited by the president himself, who held a rally just yards from the Capitol moments before this insurrection.

Though it may seem bold that congressmen and congresswomen who planned to protest a legitimate election would rescind their objections after the attack, it was anything but bold. These elected officials knew for weeks that they were fanning the flames of baseless conspiracy theories. Yet they continued.

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Political leaders such as Scott Perry, Lloyd Smucker, Dawn Keefer, Doug Mastriano, Mike Jones and many, many others around the country looked their voters square in the face and alleged, without evidence, that this election had been stolen. Their baseless conspiracies fueled the passions of those who destroyed our sacred grounds on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Though we can offer forgiveness, those who objected to this election and supported the actions of those who rushed the Capitol must be held accountable.

This is not a way to govern. It is not a sign of democracy or even free speech. It’s a poor display of how true Americans should act. It never should have happened in the first place. The actions of those on Wednesday, Jan. 6, rests with those who led this crusade toward our demise.