Daresay - Deb Meissner

Seditious president unworthy of respect

As an American by birth Deb is sickened by events in her homeland

Anyone who knows me understands I am rarely at a loss for words. It’s not in my nature to be quiet for long. I can be, but I tend to live life “out loud.”

I can count on my hands the number of times I have truly been rendered silent. January 6 was one of those occasions.

Let me backtrack.

I have been a Canadian for over 30 years by choice, but I was born and raised in the United States. I had come to think that I had the best of both worlds.

Over the past five years, I found that thought slipping. I found what was going on in the United States, with Donald Trump and politics, was at first mildly embarrassing, at times uncomfortable and certainly unprecedented.

Trump’s tone, his style, his increasing disregard for the truth, began to erode my respect for him and the office that he holds.

From when I was young, we were taught in school, at home, in general, you respect the Office of the President and the person who holds it. You don’t have to like him or her, but you respect the Office. So, I held my tongue. A couple of years went by, and I was biting my tongue.

This past two years I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with the USA and the man in charge of it, so I wouldn’t bite my tongue off.

I kept thinking “surely people will have had enough” of the ugliness, the prejudice, the offensive, acrimonious, constant barrage of words being spewed from the highest office in the land and stand up against this lack of truth and decency.

No, instead it spiraled out of control, unchecked, until on the 6th, the heart of democracy imploded.

I watched in disbelief as the American President committed sedition and told the followers he’d been calling patriots to come to Washington D.C. for weeks, to “march on the Capitol and fight.”

They did what the president told them to do, and people died.

They are not patriots; they are domestic terrorists.

The riot and desecration of the Capitol Building left me shaken to the core and speechless.

I thought of the people on 9/11 who were on United flight 93, who knew the United States was under attack by terrorists and they fought to retake control of the aircraft from the hijackers, until it flew into the ground in Pennsylvania. They were patriots.

The riot and senseless bloodshed in the Capitol was never going to change a thing. The business at hand that day in the House and Senate, was mostly ceremonial in nature.

Mike Pence, as vice president, was never within his powers, according to the Constitution, to do anything other than what he did, preside over the certification of the Electoral College votes.

So where does this leave us, I repeatedly ask myself.

I have to find answers, to the best of my ability, to why 74 million people could vote for a man like Donald Trump. Because of his behaviour and those in the political sphere around him that condone or tolerate him, I have lost all patience and respect for the man and the office. Trump and his allies have made the Presidency a spectacle and America a laughingstock.

It’s not like the world hasn’t seen before what happens when an unstable leader and society breaks down. World War II is a sickening reminder of that.

Can it happen here, people are asking. It already is, I think.

Democracy takes work. It comes with rights, but democracy comes with serious responsibilities. Democracy by one of its definitions is “government by the people, especially: rule of the majority.”

We live by the decisions we as a people make, including the leaders we elect. We need to all participate in that process, and then abide by the people’s choice.

If you don’t like it, work to make a difference and change, but do it lawfully and respectfully. We can’t all win, but we can agree to work within a process with respect and dignity, and to a better end.

When we break down and attack each other, we all lose, democracy loses and becomes a very slippery slope.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Smithers Local Health Area reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 Jan. 3 - 9. (BC CDC graphic)
Weekly new cases of COVID-19 rise to 25 in Smithers LHA Jan. 3 – 9

Northern Health reported 49 new daily cases for 497 active, 44 hospitalized, 13 in critical care

The first of two massive turbines headed from Prince Rupert for the Site C Dam near Fort St. John on Jan 10. (Photo: Supplied by Tasha McKenzie)
Massive turbines begin trek across Northwestern B.C.

Hydro-Electric turbines headed from Prince Rupert to Site C Dam week of Jan. 10 to 14

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read