I sit watching the coverage of the sedition of some of our fellow citizens, who choose to storm the U.S. Capitol building because ultimately their candidate did not win. This conduct is the pinnacle of a deep resentment of mistrust that brews throughout the population today. Distrust of institutions, distrust of elected officials, distrust of our neighbors and distrust of the law are eroding all parts of our country, state and community. I don't agree with the entire platform of either major political party, and folks I voted for in 2020 did not win. However, can we find a way for us to come to the table and now finally discuss the issues that impact us all? Can we find a way to sit and have civil discourse? Are we that far down the path of enraged passions that we can't use the stronger parts of our beings, which is to think first before acting?
Dan Ryan, Ramsey
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Never again do I want to hear that I should try to understand the Donald Trump voter.
Kathleen Karges, Minneapolis
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Watching thousands of pro-Trump rioters (not protesters) storm the U.S. Capitol will go down as one of the darkest days in America's history. We are witnessing nothing less than sedition and a treasonous attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election. Trump has played the role of inciter-in-chief, whipping his supporters into frenzy based on the big lie that this election was stolen from him.
Dozens of courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, found Trump's claims of fraud to be totally without merit. Instead of accepting these judicial decisions, the self-described "law and order" president and his supporters now resort to anarchy and violence to get their way. Remember these acts of lawlessness and treason as well as the Republican politicians who have brought our country to this dangerous crossroads. They must all be held accountable.
Steve Francisco, Eagan
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I received a text from my son Patrick, an Iraq war veteran, as we watched on TV as the U.S. Capitol was stormed. His text read, "The irony of people carrying the 'Don't Tread on Me' flag trying to stop a legal, certified, democratic election undermines the very thing the men who carried that flag into battle fought and died for … as well as those who have carried on the struggle since then."
The culmination of this horrific scene lies at the feet of those who refused to stand up for democracy in our state as well as our nation. Emmer, Stauber, Hagedorn — when will you wake up and honor your oath? What will it take?
Jan Martland, St. Paul
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If anyone wanted an answer to the question raised by Republican lawmakers of Trump — "What would it hurt to humor him for a little while?" — you got your answer on Wednesday.
David Miller, Mendota Heights
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Before Wednesday, the discussion was more along the lines of when a protester becomes a rioter. Sadly, and very suddenly, the conversation has changed to when a rioter becomes a terrorist, or perhaps an anarchist.
We may never know how close we came to having our Congress held hostage, or even worse. I hope the truth comes out and the perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Dale Jernberg, Minneapolis
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This is exactly what Trump wanted when he was elected in 2016. For four years, we have seen people figuratively fighting for him through Twitter, supporting his decisions at every move, retweeting him and praising everything he says. But we are now seeing what Trump wanted, and that is people literally fighting for him. Trump has had four unobstructed years at convincing people he is the one who can save this country. He used religion, conspiracies and loyal elected officials to plague the minds of people and make them believe he was sent by a high power to save them and the country.
Trump only wanted this for himself, but used the face of "saving the country" to get what he wanted. These people are fighting to save America because Trump is America. He won.
Jack Parker, Minneapolis
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I worked for a con man for four years in the 1970s, and I can emphasize with Trump supporters. It's much easier to be conned than to convince yourself that you've been conned. The con man is so sincere and believable because he actually thinks that what he says is the truth. The truth is that very smart people get conned, partly because they think they are too smart to be conned.
Carl Berdie, Minneapolis
The ELECTORAL OBJECTIONS
Could Republicans investigate without resorting to old habits?
I've got no problem with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's idea of appointing an election commission — if and only if it truly is a nonpartisan creation like the old Simpson-Bowles deficit commission under President Barack Obama. And if it also investigates all of the false charges of fraud by Trump and his minions.
With the rapid explosion of both no-excuse mail-in voting and fears of foriegn interference, I think a broad look at voting procedures and security is an excellent idea. And it could help to restore some faith in a modernized voting system.
But if Republicans use this commission as a means of further suppressing certain voters and further rolling back parts is the Voting Rights Act, then Cruz's idea is a nonstarter.
Dennis J. Sutliff, Minneapolis
The GEORGIA RESULTS
Thank goodness for runoff. Where did that come from again?
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Had the white supremacists in the Georgia legislature not succeeded in implementing an unusual runoff rule years ago, David Perdue would still be a U.S. senator and Mitch McConnell would still be majority leader ("Warnock, Ossoff win in Georgia, handing Dems Senate control," StarTribune.com, Jan. 6).
John Orbison, Minneapolis
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Thank you to Stacey Abrams and President Donald J. Trump for helping to shift the majority in the U.S. Senate, hopefully restoring normalcy to the legislative process and judicial confirmations. I only wish U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was here to see it.
Ember Reichgott Junge, Minneapolis
MEANWHILE, IN MINNESOTA …
When a law or restriction is in place, it must be enforced
There seems to be a lot of high-profile lawlessness going on ("Pandemic scofflaws test state's authority," Jan. 6). We have a president who solicits election officials to subvert the results of state elections, which is a felony; Minnesota bar owners who refuse to comply with executive orders; and now police, sheriffs and city officials who refuse to enforce these lawful orders. As unpleasant as these laws may be, the failure to enforce them effectively nullifies the social contract that we agreed to follow when our ancestors formed the federal and state governments.
I'm sure that the bar owners defying Gov. Tim Walz's directives feel that they are making a noble statement of personal freedom in the face of tyranny. Perhaps they might feel differently if the local sheriff decided not to respond to an armed robbery because he felt that the redistribution of resources is justified by the poverty of the perpetrator (the Robin Hood effect). Deciding the rules is the job of the Legislature. Enforcing the rules is the job of police and county sheriffs. Do your job.