On Wednesday, the U.S. president incited a mob to march on and loot the United States Capitol in order to subvert the Constitution. Inside the Capitol, Trump’s Republican cooperators, including Rep. Jim Hagedorn, were attempting to throw out the legitimate votes of millions of Americans in several states.

If parties will not accept defeat in a fair and free election, a representative democracy cannot survive. The Republican party no longer deserves to be considered a democratic political party. It is an authoritarian cult, in thrall to a lying demagogue. Holding on to power matters more than principles of conservatism, federalism or popular sovereignty.

The few Republicans who have stood up to the tyrant should form a new truly conservative center-right party, which supports democracy.

I denounce and condemn those who cooperated in undermining our election and attempted to overthrow our government. Shame on Hagedorn. Worse than the merely cynical and ambitious politicians (e.g. Sen. Josh Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz), Hagedorn is a true believer. He practiced the hatred and lies of Trumpism even before Trump.

His late generic statement opposing violence is insufficient. He won’t criticize or separate himself from Trump, even after the attempted insurrection.

Shame also, on our new state representative Susan Akland, of St. Peter.

One of her first actions was to speak at the “Storm the Capitol” rally in St. Paul, the same day our national Capitol was being ransacked.

These Republicans, particularly Hagedorn and 127 congressional Republicans, violated their oath to “support and defend the Constitution.”

They are unfit to serve and ought to resign in disgrace. If not, voters must never forget and defeat them at the earliest opportunity.

Joseph A. Kunkel III

North Mankato

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