SETAUKET, NY – The world watched in horror at the chaos that engulfed our Nation’s capital. As an American, an elected public servant and a mother, I was appalled to watch a mob of lawless thugs invade our Capitol. That the actions were part of a failed but deadly insurrection shook the very core of my being.
Was what we witnessed shocking, disgraceful, and heartbreaking? Absolutely. Was it completely surprising? No. Sadly not.
Now, more than ever, with the ability of social media to quickly and easily spread both truth and lies, words hold power, and leaders must be held accountable for those words. A mob was purposely assembled and incited to commit acts of violence by known falsehoods. Those spreading falsehoods—especially elected officials like our Congressman—must take responsibility for the consequences of their efforts.
The terrorists who stormed the Capitol must be brought to justice. This mob came from many places, including communities in Suffolk County. Regardless of where they are from or where they currently are, the offenses they committed are Federal Crimes, and they must be prosecuted.
As a proud Ward Melville graduate who was born in this community and educated to revere local men and women who helped George Washington fight for freedom from tyranny, the word Patriot has special meaning to me. In America, being a Patriot means believing in the peaceful transition of power, especially when your candidate loses. We don’t give our allegiance to a person but rather our country. I was moved by the courage of those leaders that adhered to their Oaths of Office, immediately following the failed insurrection, to fulfill their constitutional obligation to certify Joseph R. Biden as the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election.
Personally, I am exhausted and saddened by yesterday’s events. I want nothing more than to turn the page. Unfortunately, we cannot overlook the fact that until noon on January 20, the President of the United States is someone who set an assault on democracy in motion. A man, who cannot be entrusted with access to Twitter or Facebook, currently controls our nuclear arsenal.
It is clearly in the national interest for the Vice President and Cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment and end this insanity. This constitutional remedy would allow Vice President Pence—a man whose political views I personally find abhorrent—to honorably serve for the next 13 days until the will of the people can be honored with the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden as President of the United States and Kamala D. Harris as our Vice President.
I hope yesterday was a wake-up call to real Patriots across our country—men and women of all political beliefs—that we must take no more steps down the road of division and hate. It is time that we heal our nation. I hope the man who represents our home, Congressman Zeldin, will reverse course to do the right thing and be part of that effort -our children are watching and they will remember.