Let’s ensure a better history together

What happened the 6th of Jan, 2021, will go down in history, an invasion of the seat of our democracy, an attempted coup! This will enter the history books and will not be erase.

In disbelief and horror, we watched, violence and irrationality take over. This belief in lies and the absence of the belief in facts will be discussed in the years to come. Yes, it happened, we saw it.

But as to what will happen now, will depend on us.

We, the people, can still have a role in what history will record. We can save our democracy, which has been an example to the world! We must come "together, both sides" and talk; we must understand the "other side."

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Why was it so easy to accept falsehoods among knowledgeable people? Was it TV reporting these falsehoods? Was it our inability to talk to one another? Why, when the facts are so plain and provable, do the untruths win out to the point that thousands of people would take such a risk as to storm the White House?

What we do now will be recorded in the history books. It will write as to how we reacted to this violent attempt to destroy our democratic election process.

I believe that it has to start first in our communities, in city groups, in churches and libraries, or social movements; that it should not be political. It should be welcoming to all so we can listen to the thoughts of others as to the differences, complaints of each person. And it must be done in respect and concern for those present.

We need to care for each other. It needs to start locally! We need to remember, we all want the same thing, even those who threatened our country's democracy, invading the White House. It will be more difficult because of the seriousness of the spread of COVID, but ways can be found to follow the safety rules.

We want all of our children to have equal education, equal health care, secure jobs with fair salaries. We want justice for all. As long as one part of our society, for whatever reason, is not treated equally; as long as there are racial, sexual or cultural disparities, we are open to the same dissatisfaction which resulted in what we saw on the 6th of January, 2021, one of the saddest days in our history. The time has come!

Barb de Souza

River Falls

We must reject extremism here at home

I’m old enough to remember the political climate before and after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Similar to today, the country was coming off a very close – and very controversial – presidential election in 2000.

The country was clearly divided along political lines.

The attacks of 9/11 brought this country together. Democrats and Republicans were agreeing on things, passing legislation, and for at least a year or two, it seemed like tensions were cooling.

Eventually, the walls went back up, folks retreated to their partisan corners and, two decades later, here we are … as divided as we’ve been since the Civil War.

The attack on the United States Capitol could have been that moment where the national fever of partisanship finally broke. It should have been that moment.

We should all be able to agree that an insurrection, one that desecrates the symbol of our democracy, is a line that simply cannot be crossed. That the deaths of five people, including a brave law enforcement officer, would be a price we’d be unwilling to pay. That this attack on our country by radical, domestic terrorists would finally, mercifully, bring us together.

But, it seems, we cannot even agree on that.

Instead of attempting to turn down the temperature on their extreme rhetoric, the St. Croix County Republican Party – in conjunction with the extremist group “Activated Patriots” -- has, as the welcome screen on its website, the message, “Si vis pacem, para bellum,” a Latin phrase which means, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” The words are written in a font that makes it look like it was smeared in blood. Three paragraphs down, it says, “We need to start local by eliminating leftist tyrants from all local and County positions.”

This kind of hate must be roundly rejected by everyone in this community, no matter which side of the aisle you reside on. What must happen for us to come together? To find common ground? I shudder to think.

Dan Myers

Somerset

Dan Myers is chair of the St. Croix County Democrats.

SSS GOP: Remove irresponsible militant language

The language on the St. Croix County Republican Party website (stcroixrepublican.org) is irresponsibly militant. One can draw a direct line from that kind of warlike speech – on what appears to be the official county website of the Republican Party! – and the terrorism that took place on Jan. 6 in our national seat of government.

Does the content on that website truly represent the best ideas the Republican Party organization of our county has for our nation? One finds nothing there about tax policy, health care, infrastructure maintenance, education, or any other single issue (with the possible exception of guns) that one would relate to any productive debate about the public good or our county’s or nation’s self-government.

READ MORE: St. Croix County GOP website goes dark following backlash over ‘prepare for war’ message

One does find a lot of divisive, martial language. “The digital battlefield.” Really? “If you want peace, prepare for war.” Astounding.

Surely, the recent events at the Capitol illustrate that language like this on the internet – language usually reserved for the battlefield and words that dehumanize Americans with opposing points of view – lead to real violence in the real world. The writers should be ashamed of representing the Grand Old Party that way, and I can’t imagine how they think writing like that is good for our country.

Jon Hester

Hudson

Take all precautions

Because I don't trust Trump and his pardoned Blackwater military friends, who now owe him a favor, my hope is that the Biden/Harris swearing-in will be administered in a secret location. A formal celebration or ceremony can be scheduled later in a secured environment.

The announcement that The Inciter-in-Chief will not attend the Biden/Harris inauguration is a go-ahead signal to the Proud Boys, or whomever, to do their dirty work. There are too many elevated locations adjacent to the planned inauguration site that can be used as positions for enemy personnel to even be considered for this event.

Trump’s personal insurgent army will surely attempt to disrupt the ceremony and they don't care if people are injured or killed.

Roger Schlemmer

Hudson

Tiffany shows poor decision making

Tom Tiffany is our elected representative for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District. The fact that he along with Scott Fitzgerald objected to certifying the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden after the insurrection at the United States Capitol on Wed, Jan. 6, 2021, is incomprehensible. As a constituent I profoundly disagree with his view on this issue.

Additionally in the representative's newsletter The Tiffany Telegram, he is equating last Wednesday’s violence with the unrest last summer in Minneapolis and Kenosha. He is referring to the civil unrest after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.

The protests last summer were by and large peaceful demonstrations regarding the police killing of one black man and the police shooting of another black man in the back. George Floyd’s death galvanized the world due to peoples’ understanding that a Black man (while subdued by police) died before our eyes. Blake was shot in the back seven times by a police officer and is currently paralyzed from this incident.

Last Wednesday’s violence at our United States Capitol was incited by the president of the United States and could have brought great harm to our congressional leaders during the Electoral College certification process. Obviously two very different situations that should not be equated.

I would have hoped Tiffany would have realized that and act accordingly.

Rosalie Walker

River Falls

Easing grad requirements isn’t the solution

With the world in such chaos, I sat down to read what I refer to as the “Local-Yocal” newspaper. Typically, it’s a welcome change to watching the news. When the world needs normalization so badly, imagine my surprise to see an article titled, “River Falls to consider reducing credits needed to graduate from high school”.

RELATED: River Falls School Board OKs fewer credits needed to graduate

My first reaction was WHAT?! Why are we continuing the negative thinking we as baby boomers started over 30-plus years ago when our kids were growing up? Anyone playing a sport had to have a winning season. Therefore, all teams were given a medal or trophy. It didn’t matter if your team went 0-12, we didn’t want anyone to feel bad or think they were on a losing team; because we’re all winners, right? While some parents embraced this concept, many thought it was unrealistic of what life would truly be for their kids someday.

Now to consider reducing credits so it’s easier to graduate from high school?

With kids not learning in a classroom environment today, their long-term abilities are already being challenged. Let’s seize this opportunity to get creative, to determine ways to allow them to be successful. Whether their challenge is a home situation, a medical consideration or being “forced” to learn remotely, these things need to be solved. What can schools, parents, single people and retirees do to help these kids?

Is the best answer to dummy-down educational requirements? I can’t believe it is and I think most parents would agree.

Let’s come up with realistic options to help these challenged kids because it’s not their fault. Everyone wants to feel better about oneself, but it’s harder for some to achieve it without a little extra help or more structure. Let’s come up with a mentoring program and/or educational assistance with volunteers who are willing to help these kids master their skills. Many thanks for your consideration.

Kathy Tucci

Hudson

Our stupidity continues

I have said for years that most Americans are stupid. Every day proves me right.

Before Thanksgiving, Dr. Fauci, the CDC and other health experts said, “Stay at home, don’t travel, and avoid gatherings.” Millions traveled to gatherings and COVID cases spiked.

Before Christmas, the same experts said, “Stay at home, don’t travel, and avoid gatherings.” Millions traveled. Look for a big COVID spike this month.

Stupidity can’t be cured. Americans will keep this virus going until summer of 2021. Albert Einstein said, “Two things may be infinite, the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

Marvin L. Nelson

River Falls

We witnessed where false conspiracies lead

To begin with the obvious: The siege on our Capitol was brought on in a direct and well-orchestrated fashion by a rogue president. Whipped into a frenzy fed by lies about the November elections and years of misinformation from the White House and far-right conspiracy-mongers, the mob was ordered to storm the halls of Congress and they obeyed.

This might never have happened if the GOP hadn’t spent four years grooming and coddling the paramilitary hate and conspiracy groups that Donald Trump has called “very fine people.” This must end, and we can hope the Biden administration will recognize domestic terrorism for what it is. Political violence must never be allowed to become a “normal” feature of our civic life.

READ MORE: Local woman taken off flight; GOP website criticized: After U.S. Capitol riot comes a reckoning at home

At the same time it must be acknowledged that neither major political parties has done nearly enough to address the severe economic inequality in America. That inequality fosters racial and class resentments that too easily turn us against our neighbors instead of seeking common cause to create a fairer system. Our major parties’ coziness with Wall Street and big money must end.

I don’t mean to suggest a false equivalence. While Democrats have done their share of kowtowing to powerful moneyed interests, the GOP has been far more cynical and duplicitous in doing the same while actively stoking the rage of the economically disadvantaged for political gain.

On Jan. 6 we witnessed where that road leads. GOP efforts to manipulate economic anger horribly backfired, and Republicans like our Sen. Ron Johnson, who has dishonorably taken a major role in promulgating conspiracy paranoia about the elections, cowered under their desks along with their Democratic colleagues.

Meanwhile organized rioters, some of them, hoped to take elected representatives hostage and publicly execute them. Misled by Trump into believing Mike Pence could overturn the election results, the rioters turned on the vice president. Gallows were erected on the Capitol grounds and cries of “Hang Mike Pence” captured on recordings.

Appallingly, after this seditious attack on our fundamental democratic institutions, many GOP officials continue to support efforts to overturn our free and fair November election. Republican Rep.Peter Meijer of Michigan has said that many have stood with Trump’s deluded claims out of fear for their families’ safety. All the more reason our thug president should be removed immediately.

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls