County Executive Statement on the Assault on the Capitol

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Westchester County Executive George Latimer

WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2020. Official Statement of Westchester County Executive George Latimer on the events in Washington yesterday 5:30 PM. January 7, 2020:

“We’ve all watched television this afternoon with some sense of horror about the attack at the Capitol that has happened when a large group of individuals stormed the Senate and House of Representatives. They marched inside into the chambers and disrupted the work of both houses as they seek to complete the electoral process of the Electoral College.

I had to remind myself, and all of us, that this is a nation of law – not of men. We set rules and standards for a reason – and we pride ourselves as nation on following those rules because it gives equal opportunity for all and an equal sense of responsibility we have to each other as fellow residents and citizens.

“In the history of this nation, no matter how much conflict we have had – and there is conflict built in every day in the halls of government –  we never go from disagreements as fellow Americans to inciting violence or expecting that a mob can control a legislative body in order to impose its will outside of its legislative structures.

“We have the right to free speech and the right to free assembly but you don’t have the right to impose you will, which you perceive to be the truth, upon all the rest of Americans because you feel so strongly about it. We all feel strongly about the things we believe in but we don’t go beyond that in the world of violence to impose that.

“We have a situation that represents today what is culmination of a number of years where we have broken down the proper barriers that protect us as a democracy. We have existed for over 250 years as a democracy, but no democracy has existed indefinitely. Totalitarianism always knocks. It’s always easier to rule completely if one man rules the whole nation, without a need for messy debate.

“You have that in Russia, China, North Korea, Iran – and we don’t want the here in the United States of America. It is time for our fellow Americans to understand that the election process has played out and has given us a new President and a new Congress.

In two years time, if individuals are dissatisfied with Congress, they get a chance to change the House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate – in 4 years they can change the President and the Congress again. And they have that opportunity at the state and local level all throughout. That’s the American system.

Mob-ocracy is not the American system. I know that today people who are Democrats and Republicans will join voices to decry what happened in today in Washington. Let this be a reminder we have a civic responsibility to not only vote but to uphold the basics of our democratic society. Or else, as Ben Franklin said ‘it’s democracy only if we can keep it.’”

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