Opinion: ‘Yes, today was heartbreaking, but why hasn’t your heart been breaking already?’

Clark County Today Editor Ken Vance offers his thoughts on today’s events in Washington DC

I think most of us agree that today is a sad day in the United States. Like many of you, I’ve watched much of the coverage of the protests in Washington DC. Members of the national media and elected officials have competed with each other throughout the day to offer the strongest of descriptions — criticizing, condemning and casting blame.

“America is so much better than what we’ve seen today,’’ President-elect Joe Biden said in a brief televised statement. “Enough is enough is enough.’’

“The behavior that we are witnessing is shameful, unpatriotic and above all it is unlawful,’’ said Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

“Today’s events were not representation of peaceful protests. Today, what we witnessed was unlawful, riotess behavior,’’ said Washington DC Police Chief Robert J. Contee III.

I have shared with you in recent months that I have struggled mightily with my participation in the conversation that has been taking place in America over recent years, particularly in the past seven or eight months. Far too many of us spew our personal opinions with hatred and violence and intolerance for others. I’ve often chosen not to speak, because seemingly nobody listens anymore. And, if they do, they only listen long enough to obtain information they will use to tell you why you’re wrong and they’re right on whatever the issue is you’re discussing.

I want to be very clear. I do not support violence or lawlessness in any form by anyone. I heard one television news analyst say that 90 percent of the protesters in Washington DC today were well-meaning, law-abiding citizens. Like in most situations, it’s the fringe few who take matters to those extreme levels. 

I’m saddened by what is happening today. It is wrong. Protestors who break the law should be prosecuted. I’m not excusing it or justifying it. But, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It’s been brewing for months and it’s the result of actions and inaction of others that has been tolerated or ignored for far too long. Today’s events were even forecasted.

The Americans who traveled to Washington DC today, obviously, have had enough. I feel their pain, because I’ve had enough as well. I’ve had enough of the violence and lawlessness that has taken place since the 2016 election by those unhappy about the election of Donald Trump as president. I’m sick and tired of the violence and atrocities that have taken place in the name of social justice. I’m disgusted by the performance of the national media, who are so obviously biased and prejudicial that I’ve essentially tuned them out, sans days like today. 

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking what we’ve witnessed today,’’ said one speaker on television today. 

Yes, today was heartbreaking. But, why hasn’t your heart been breaking already? When criminals were burning down Portland and Seattle, why wasn’t your heart breaking on those days? Where was your condemnation for those acts of violence; where was your call for the National Guard to stop that violence?

Conservatives like myself are sick and tired of being ignored and, frankly, being treated despicably. We’re sick and tired of the false narratives that liberals are able to perpetuate because the national media shares their ideology and amplifies their voice and mutes the voice of people like me. We’re sick of being blamed for things we’ve had nothing to do with. We’re sick of being labeled with disgusting terms and descriptions. And, we’re sick and tired of the government, little by little, taking away our rights and freedoms.

The 2020 election

I’m not a conspiracy theorist. But, how can anyone deny there were problems, at least in some areas of the country, with the 2020 election? Those issues should be examined and they haven’t been. And, that too led to what happened today in our nation’s capital.

Rep. Vicki Kraft

“It’s extremely unfortunate that things have gotten to this point,’’ Rep. Vicki Kraft wrote in an email to me today. “Most people do not ever want to see violence occur, me included. I wonder if any of this would’ve happened if the U.S. Supreme Court or any of the other courts along the way would’ve been willing to hear the cases brought before them questioning the outcome of the election. 

“Many people feel like too many lawmakers are not taking these election concerns seriously and they’re just being dismissed with almost no consideration,’’ Kraft said. “That’s why so many people have turned out in Washington D.C. and around the nation today to make their voice heard on this issue.’’

Earlier in the day, Kraft had issued this statement:

“As the Electoral College vote count process takes place now in Washington D.C., I want to be very clear where I stand on the Nov. 3, 2020 elections and outcome. I believe there are enough valid questions about the integrity of the election process, how ballots were tallied and reported, that as a lawmaker you would have to question and reject the results and the electoral votes being counted today. The entire validity of our election process is in question and at stake — not just for this election, but in the future as well.

“For those who would say, well if President Trump had won you wouldn’t have any problem with this election, here’s the reality. In 2008 and 2012 when Obama won, I was not happy about it and did not vote for him. But I also didn’t have the concerns I have today about the election process itself. So I didn’t question it or push back on it, and most of the U.S people didn’t either. This 2020 election however, there are many challenges out there which have been raised. The integrity of our election process is key and that is what is in question now. Based on that I don’t see how lawmakers can move ahead in good conscience with this electoral college vote count and process today.’’

Trump speaks to his supporters

President Trump spoke wise words today, urging his supporters not to sink to the tactics that others have used to hold our country hostage for far too long.

“We have to have peace; We have to have law and order,’’ Trump said in a video statement today. “We can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace.

“I know how you feel but go home and go home in peace,’’ Trump said.