This week started with several local politicians announcing their candidacies for Richardson City Council or Richardson ISD Board of Trustees. It all felt so traditional, so inspiring, so...American. And then Wednesday happened. Suddenly, the America I love and remember seemed so long ago.
As the US Congress gathered to officially count the electoral votes and name Joseph R. Biden the winner of the presidential election, defeated President Trump incited his followers to reject the electoral defeat and instead to march to the US Capitol, where they stormed the building, and occupied the House and Senate chambers and many elected officials' offices throughout the Capitol. Afterwards, Trump empathized with the insurrectionists' hurt feeling over the "stolen" election and expressed his love for them. His behavior was shameful. Their insurrection was shameful. Anyone who doesn't give a full-throated condemnation of what our President has incited is also shameful.
That brings me back to our local politics.
Don't tell me that Richardson politics should be kept separate from what's happening in Washington, DC. American democracy hangs in the balance. Local democracy can't survive if our national democracy fails. So, first things first. Before I can turn my attention to zoning issues, property or school taxes, bond elections, or any of the usual school and city issues, I need to know what, if anything, all of these local candidates think about the attempted coup in Washington, DC. I want to ask them if they support the President in his attempt to overturn the election.
A person can't support democracy locally and what Trump is doing nationally. And I can't support anyone who can't state that clearly. So, to all the local candidates: do you condemn Trump fanning the flames of insurrection at the US Capitol? No dodgy, cagey, duplicitous answers allowed. Give me a straight answer. Then I might listen to the usual Richardson politics and your appeal for my vote.