Democracy and freedom can never be taken for granted

January 8, 2021 10:00 AM
By Rochdale Liberal Democrats
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Like you, I watched domestic terrorists and insurrectionists storm the US Capitol earlier this week with a sense of horror and shock.

I watched with a sense of horror and shock

A symbol of democracy worldwide was shown to be fragile, vulnerable.

It is a stark reminder that will remain etched in our memories.

Donald Trump failed to fulfil his oath to protect the US Constitution, inciting his supporters to engage in violence and attack elected officials in Congress, backed up by Congressmen, Congresswomen and Senators afraid of being deselected in primaries and willing to undermine faith in democracy to save their own skins.

There is new hope with the inauguration of Joe Biden on the 20th

An attack on democracy anywhere is an attack on democracy everywhere.

All I could think was: if this could happen there, this could also easily happen here.

We often see the US as a bastion of stability. To see how easily that was threatened and attacked should remind us that democracy and freedom can never be taken for granted. The Liberal Democrats can and will lead the fight to protect and defend them every single day.

That is my duty as an MP, and it is all our duties as citizens.

News that members of Trump's cabinet may be discussing invoking the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution, making Pence Acting President until 20 January, reaffirms what we already know: Donald Trump is not and never has been fit to hold the office of President of the United States.

Frankly, the Tories should be ashamed of how they cosied up to Donald Trump and his administration. How they stood by as he flouted the international rules-based order. How they have mimicked his populist agenda.

While it comes too late to avoid the damage Trump has done in the US and beyond, there is new hope in the inauguration of Joe Biden on the 20th.

Liberal Democrats call on the Prime Minister to end Britain's long walk towards isolation and to seize this opportunity to re-enter the world stage as a strong ally in the fight to promote peace and end climate change and injustice.

Democrats must stand together against those who would seek to undermine and end our way of life, whether they are members of a violent mob or politicians in positions of responsibility.

As Senator Mitt Romney said on the Senate floor when Congress reconvened late last night:

"Today was heart-breaking.

And I was shaken to the core, as I thought about the people I met in China, and Russia, and Afghanistan and Iraq and other places who yearn for freedom, and who look to this building and these shores as a place of hope.

And I saw the images being broadcast around the world, and it breaks my heart."

I couldn't have put it better myself.