Live capture of the early Thursday election certification vote at the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

Some reporting courtesy of the Outer Banks Voice

The nation watched, mostly in horror, Wednesday afternoon as a mob burst into the U.S. Capitol while Congressional representatives were certifying Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election results.

How the mob was able to get into the capitol so easily is up for investigation, but all Americans should be horrified at this–call it what it was–insurrection.

This attack was well-organized.

For the last four years, the public has had to listen to our 45th president’s continued railing, not only about his own election (he’s a sore winner as well as a sore loser) but also his demonizing of anyone who disagreed with him on anything.

For the last four years, the public has had to tolerate a president who attacks anyone, mostly by tweeting, Republican or Democrat who disagrees with him. His loyal vice-president is the latest to face his wrath.

Many of his top advisors, including cabinet secretaries present and past, have turned against him and a mass exodus of staff is underway albeit a bit late.

Election controversy

And since early November, this president has continued accusations of a “rigged” election in which more than 81 million voters voted for Biden and 74 million for him.   Despite his claims of widespread election “irregularities” or “fraud,” neither he nor his lawyers have put forth any hard evidence of this in numerous courts of law, which has been duly noted by both Democratic- and Republican-nominated judges, including the Supreme Court.

North Carolina and other states where Trump won followed many of the same voting procedures that were put in place—legally–due to the pandemic.

All 50 states certified their election results—even the states Trump won and the so-called “swing” states in which he demanded recounts that did not change the outcome.

There have been a few futile and symbolic attempts to challenge the Electoral College in the past, and, yes, we are allowed to dissent in this country but Wednesday’s election certification was not the time.

Encouraged by Trump, Wednesday’s mob was able to storm the U.S. Capitol, bash windows, rifle desks and more as Congresspersons, including the craven Republicans who still kowtow to Trump, were hastily sheltered for several hours while law enforcement scoured the building for bombs. Even after all this havoc, an astonishing number of Republicans sought to overturn the election results.

Lives lost Wednesday

Why, after the shocking event that resulted in five deaths including a Capitol Hill policeman, Brian D. Sicknick, who put his life on the line to save others, did some Republican legislators continue to object to certifying the Electoral College votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania?

Republican Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler, who had just lost a close race the day before, announced that she would no longer oppose the approval. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), whose bizarre up-and-down relationship with the president, reversed course and now supported approving Biden.

But Sen. Josh Hawley (R- Missouri), who helped foment the attack, vowed to continue with his challenge and then voted to overturn the election results. We hope he is somehow made accountable for this insurgency.

We’re happy that the legislators did not allow this vicious attack to deter them from fulfilling their duties when they reconvened hours later and eventually approved the Electoral College votes.

Fortunately, about half of the Republicans who had previously said they would object to the count reversed themselves after the attack.

Said California Rep. Adam Schiff on his Facebook page: “…138 members of the House (a large majority of the Republican Caucus and their leadership) as well as eight Republican Senators, voted to reject the votes of millions of Pennsylvanians. Astonishingly, Republican members claimed that the ballots were fraudulent even though they had been elected on the very same ballots.”

North Carolina’s delegation

Some of North Carolina’s Washington delegation were among these dissenters.

North Carolina’s two U.S. Senators, Republicans Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, both voted against the two objections, choosing to support the election results.

In the House votes on the two objections, there was more of a party-line split, with a majority of Republicans voting to oppose the election results.

Gregory Murphy, (R-Pitt County) the Third District Congressman, who represents the Outer Banks, split his vote, siding with Republicans who opposed the Pennsylvania certification and voting against the objection to the Arizona results.

The five Democratic members of the state’s 13-member U.S. House delegation voted against both objections. They were George Butterfield Jr. (District 1); Deborah Ross (District 2); David Price (District 4); Kathy Manning (District 6); and Alma Adams (District 12). 

They were joined by the one Republican member of the state’s U.S. House contingent who opposed both objections — Patrick McHenry (District 10)

When it came to the Arizona results, two Republican House Members from North Carolina voted against the objection. They were Murphy (District 3) and Virginia Foxx (District 5).

Those Republicans supporting the Arizona objection were Dan Bishop (District 9) Ted Budd (District 13), Madison Cawthorn (District 11), Richard Hudson (District 8) and David Rouzer (District 7). 

On the Pennsylvania question, all the N.C. Republican House Members other than McHenry voted to support the objection.

To us, it is astonishing that after the attack, the election results were not upheld by ALL Congressional representatives.

This would have been the perfect moment to take a big step to help reunite this country after all of the turmoil over the last five years. For better or worse, those who supported the objections will have that decision for the rest of their political futures.

So, we admonish voters to continue to vet the values, words and actions of their representatives.

The Ocracoke Observer may be a small newspaper on a small island on the edge of the country, but we need to say something about this horrific day in our nation’s history.

Democracy is not easy. It takes work and citizen participation.

The Nov. 3 election had an unprecedented voter turnout, whether by mail or in person, and that by itself is heartening.

When one walks the beaches of Ocracoke, as you watch the waves you will see the direction of the tide, coming and going. Tide tables predict when the tides turn. It is time for the nation’s cultural tide to turn. We have a lot of work ahead. Social media on the internet has countless sites pushing outrageous conspiracy theories, misinformation and stoking people’s worst fears for their political agenda. If you see posts that appear to be outlandish and not true, they probably are.

We hope the perpetrators, even those who were not direct participants, of Wednesday’s event are duly prosecuted and that the nation can use this horrific event for all of us to work together for the people and not just political interests.

The Washington Mall and the U.S. Capitol. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

8 COMMENTS

  1. Connie and Peter, Ocracoke needs to applaud both of you for your courage, endless hard work, honesty and decency. This forthright, necessary repudiation of what happened Wednesday in Washington allows Ocracoke to make plain that beyond its beauty it is a place that belongs to the best of America.

  2. From giving us educational information about the happenings on Ocracoke to excellent op ed articles about the turmoil in our country, thank you Connie and Peter, for all your work, care and professionalism. It is greatly appreciated.

  3. Connie & Peter-Thanks for a great article on Wednesday’s tragic events and for naming those NC politicians who voted to object to Biden’s certification (as well as those who didn’t). Let’s hope voters remember these idiots in the next election.

  4. I was a daily reader of the Observer until now. I’m a common sense guy who does his own research and fact checking. You may even be right on most of the points in this article, but I don’t appreciate making your stand on this platform. I was reading daily b/c I’m not a member of any social media and so far I enjoyed you staying out of attempted brainwashing. Congratulations, you lost me, I’ll delete the link to your site in a second, just as I did the “O Current” a long time ago for the same reason.

  5. When I was teaching university, getting students to cite valid resources to back up their arguments ended up being the most important and time-consuming work I performed. Peer review by experts in fields is vital to the most truthful understanding possible. I had to convince students that just because you saw something on the internet did not make it a true statement. Wikipedia did not count as a viable resource because information there could be altered by anyone. In the absence of truth there is chaos. And if any sense of unity is to be achieved, we must all be willing to listen with understanding and to accept rational and obvious truths, even if they make us rethink our beliefs.

    For example, not only did Greg Murphy lie to his constituents about election fraud, but I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears when he lied to the people of Ocracoke, shortly after being sworn in, that President Trump signed a declaration of FEMA assistance for families and individuals in the wake of Dorian. If it hadn’t been for the state contributing such assistance, we’d not be nearly as far along in our recovery as we are, and the severe wealth disparity on the island would be so much more evident than it is, kind of like going to a Caribbean island, where once you step off a cruise ship and wander past the first few decadent tourist-geared streets with their glitzy facades, you see the true poverty of inhabitants, who are most often generational inhabitants. Ironically, most coastal natives are content with the idea that less is more, until those with greed come in and use up so much of the resources that the simple things, like food and shelter, become a desperate struggle.

  6. Excellent article. Thank you for having the courage to write it. It’s amazing how some people would go to any length to keep an authoritarian regime going. I agree, I hope that all perpetrators, directly or indirectly involved will be prosecuted.
    Interestingly enough the only person disagreeing didn’t actually have the courage to give his or her full name…
    Anyway, after coming to Ocracoke for twenty five years my wife and I finally took the plunge and bought a house on the island. We will, at last, become part of this extraordinary community.

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