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To: Incoming Speaker and members of US House Majority leadership
Add your name! Hold members of Congress who incite violence accountable.
Dear Incoming Speaker and members of US House Majority leadership,
As we approach January 6, 2023 — the two-year anniversary of the insurrection — we write to you to express our growing distress over the indisputable escalation of political violence in this country. As American veterans and law enforcement officers from all stripes, we share a deep love for our nation and a firm belief that our elected leaders have a duty to improve the lives of all people. We implore you to use your new positions as members of House Leadership to honor our dedication and service to this country by denouncing political violence and holding members of your conference accountable to their oath of office.
We ask you to respond to this letter and assure the hundreds of undersigned veterans and law enforcement officers that you will:
1. Issue a public and unwavering statement condemning political violence in all of its forms; and
2. Promise to hold members of your conference accountable for endorsing violence or espousing violent rhetoric toward those who disagree with them politically.
Elected officials should never amplify language or take actions that put the lives of their constituents, their peers, and public servants at risk. However, over the last several years, incoming members of your conference have called for former Speaker Pelosi's execution for treason, shared antisemitic messages on Holocaust Rememberence Day, and called it a “normal tourist visit” when violent insurrectionists attacked the Capitol — just to name a few examples.
This dangerous rhetoric has consequences. In recent months, it fueled an armed attack on an FBI office in Ohio, an assassination attempt on the former Speaker of the House and her family, bullets fired at a school board members' lawn signs, and death threats that led a gay mayor in Oklahoma to quit his job. It is the same rhetoric that emboldened the January 6th rioters who nearly killed Capitol Police officers using a “Blue Lives Matter'' flag pole and tasers, and officers who served that day continue to suffer the impact of violent rhetoric and threats on a daily basis.
Two years later, tens of millions of Americans now believe force is justified to restore Donald Trump to the presidency and politically-motivated attacks are on the rise. These beliefs are being reflected by the votes and stated positions of elected members in your conference: including 147 members of Congress who voted against the results of 2020's free and fair election, all but 35 House Republicans who voted against the January 6th Commission, and 21 Republican members who voted against Capitol Police officers receiving a presidential medal of freedom.
Earlier this week, members of the House of Representatives took their oath of office. As veterans and law enforcement officers, we have each taken an oath to defend this country against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Each person who has signed this letter has served our country in defense of democracy, freedom, and justice for all. Even years after we take off the uniform, that oath still carries weight, and we feel that it is our duty as Americans to continue to uphold it and defend our democracy. That is why it is so outrageous to see elected officials allow the oath and the constitution to be denigrated by those who are only interested in grabbing power.
You represent people from across the country and have pledged to serve them no matter their skin color, religious beliefs, political affiliation, economic status, sex, or gender. Whether or not we agree politically, those of us signing this letter look like the Americans you represent.
Leader McCarthy and House leadership, you said you couldn't “control” the “fringe members” of your party on January 6th, 2021. These members are no longer merely a fringe — they have taken the reins of the Republican House conference, and will have unprecedented influence in the 118th Congress. You have a duty to reject the dangerous rhetoric and action that has led, and will continue to lead, to political violence here at home. The communities we represent are demanding action and leadership. Our futures, and our children's futures, depend on it.
Why is this important?
Republican attempts to silence our voices haven't gone unnoticed. But to stop them, we need to step up now. Elected officials should never amplify language or take actions that put the lives of their constituents, their peers, or public servants at risk.