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“It was a dagger at the throat of America.”

President Joe Biden

Democracy is a resilient but fragile concept. It exists because we uphold the United States Constitution. It establishes our Rule of Law; its physical reality upholds our belief in the peaceful transfer of power. Our democracy rises above political wrangling, above ethnicity, above any debates over conservative or liberal debates over taxes or size of government. We the people renew our belief in the Constitution every time we vote. We the people decide who represents us.

President Joe Biden. Photo courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

“We are a great nation. In life there is truth, and there are lies… let’s be clear about what is true and what is a lie. Here is the truth. The former president of the U. S. has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” said President Joe Biden this morning in a speech from Statuary Hall in the Capitol as the nation considered the significance of Jan. 6. “He values power over principal…his bruised ego matters more to him than principal.”

When a mob instigated by the former president stormed our country’s Capitol in an attempt to stop the process of certifying the electoral college votes cast in an election that has been called the most secure in American history, it was the final move of a desperate set of lies that began long before that frosty Washington D.C. morning.

Donald J. Trump, the former leader of what we used to call ‘the free world’, attempted to destroy our democracy; his actions reveal that it is he who doesn’t believe in America. His attempts to remain in power — and now to rewrite history — will go down in history as an attempt by a weak and greedy man … a man accurately described as “a defeated president.”

The speech this morning by President Joe Biden on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection that desecrated the citadel of our democracy, is already being called the best speech of his presidency. “It was a speech he had to give. It wasn’t a partisan speech — he never mentioned Trump’s name. He didn’t appeal for legislation,” said NBC’s Chuck Todd.

In it, Biden dismantled what he called “the three big lies”, reminding Americans that the 2020 election was legitimate, there was no voter fraud, and that Trump lost in popular votes and in the electoral college. “He lost … that’s what 93 Senators, his own attorney general, and his own vice president said. That’s what 81 million of you did as you voted your own way forward.”

“One thousand acts of courage saved our lives by moments, not by minutes,” said New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster about the attack on Congress and her narrow escape from the mob.  “We returned to the chamber that night and at 3:30 a.m. we certified the election…. let us carry out 1,000 acts of courage in our hearts to protect our democracy going forward.”

Many with long experience in reporting on and actively serving in our government at every level have pointed out that democracy is not, as commonly believed, a noun. It is not a static word. Democracy is a verb –it must be practiced to be protected. It is meant to be exercised. It is based on truth and it is lived by doing what is right.

View the full speech by President Joe Biden, and his introduction by Vice President Harris here: