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Tattered and torn, our democracy stands

Our Democracy stands, just as our flag was still there after rockets spread red glare and bombs were bursting in air.

As then, our democracy remains fragile. As then, its fragility is rooted in racism. When we come together as taught by Martin Luther King Jr. and as urged by President-elect Joe Biden, who has spent his life in service to our democracy, we can defend and protect our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We can triumph.

My generation’s most infamous day, Jan. 6, 2021, is marked, not by a foreign attack, but by a domestic attack motivated by lies and ill-founded conspiracy theories. And yet the checks and balances in place held against the lies that Republican leaders, including the sitting president, have implemented for their personal gain. We narrowly kept our republic, heeding Benjamin Franklin’s warning, through the pride of state election officers in their work and the rule of law.

But who knew that keeping the republic from oligarchist monarchists or the mob would end up being the same work? And it is work. It is not a spectator sport.

Our senators and representatives were not deterred and created the opportunity to return to business, sweeping aside the childish mess, and preparing for Joseph Biden’s transition to power as our new, duly elected president.

Democrats here in Jackson County know all too well the agony of losing an election. We have fought hard for our candidates and time and again have had to accept that more people voted for the opposing candidate here in our valley. As Democrats, we believe strongly in the democratic processes that govern our elections. It is difficult to acknowledge defeat and concede a race, but it is our duty.

We have different views about the roles and responsibilities of government. But we work to keep our republic by speaking out about our beliefs at town halls, calling our representatives and attending and commenting at hearings, and sometimes we gather on street corners to peacefully protest. We claim our right to petition our government for our grievances. But we also know that violence is not the way to settle our political differences. We are all a part of the same community, and we Jackson County Democrats again condemn the recent violence against the Republican headquarters.

Yet we also ask our local Republican leaders to speak out against the violence that has occurred in Salem and instead encourage a healthy debate on the issues to take place through the Democratic process in our own state capital.

Now is the time for us to come together and work together to take on the challenges facing our communities, our states and our nation. As an admired Republican president once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Tonia Moro is chair of the Jackson County Democrats.