The day after the 2004 presidential election, I went to school bitterly disappointed about the results. My teacher, who grew up in South Africa, told me to be grateful that there wouldn't be rioting in the streets because we lived in a country that believed in the peaceful transfer of power.

On Wednesday, we witnessed the failure of the peaceful transfer of power, a hallmark of democracy. The president of the United States and Republicans like Rep. Jim Hagedorn — who supported the president’s repeatedly disproven lies about election fraud — incited a seditious insurrection at our nation's capitol.

This was an attempted coup, yet, in Hagedorn’s statement about it he made a false equivalence between this violent assault on our democracy and people protesting the extrajudicial murders of Black and brown people at the hands of law enforcement.

He said that he condemns the behavior of the domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol, yet, he returned to the House chamber and voted to overturn the results of a fair and free election.

Hagedorn doesn’t get to condemn the direct consequences of the lies he continues to spread about election fraud. His actions are undemocratic and reprehensible and he and everyone else involved in this insurrection must face serious consequences for the harm they have inflicted on our democracy.

Krista Eichhorst

Mankato

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