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Our country, right and wrong

A Virginia State Police officer looks out through riot-damaged doors of the US Capitol in Washington on Jan. 7.
A Virginia State Police officer looks out through riot-damaged doors of the US Capitol in Washington on Jan. 7.Jason Andrew/NYT

An open letter to the GOP

I was born into a Republican family and raised Republican. I hope that, after Wednesday’s debacle, you are examining the past and future of your party. Look at the pictures of the mob descending on the halls of Congress and ask yourself whether, regardless of your own feelings and actions, you want your party to rely on or even tolerate them — truth deniers, conspiracy theorists, QAnon believers, racists, bigots, and hatemongers — for your position in the world and in history.

Your party and, most of all, your president will go down in history for the damage they have done to the great institutions of the United States of America, sowing discord, falsehoods, and hatred to advance . . . what? Your own power? Your own prejudices? Your own fears?


The Roman Empire fell because its Senate did not do its job, its duty to the people. Will we take the same path? Will we fail because Republicans have enabled a bully, a narcissist, a sociopath just to get a judge on the Supreme Court, or just because they have never truly believed that every American deserves a decent education, clean water, clean air, and a chance for proper medical care, or a vote?

Where did you learn this, and how, in the 21st century, with the arc of history and the words of God before you, can you possibly allow the once-noble Republican Party to continue on this road? Act now to redeem your party, or start a new one. And remove this monster from office now.

Susan Hand


The writer is an independent voter.

Congress, end this abusive relationship once and for all

For the last four years, Americans have been in an abusive relationship with the president. We have been lied to, gaslighted, and, on Wednesday, physically attacked. As in so many cases of domestic violence, whether the victim will press charges against the abuser is in question.


Congress needs to press charges against this abuser, preferably with an impeachment that will stop him from running for reelection in 2024. If the president is allowed to simply fade away, he will be back — and the American people once more will be on the losing end of a deplorable relationship.

Candi Crowe


Too late for Trump’s enablers to distance themselves now

I laugh at those at all levels of society, from Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to those people we know in our everyday lives, who could be called cafeteria fascists, buying Donald Trump’s hate speech and lies but then trying to pass on the rampaging and looting. Sadly, one buys the entire package, and the stain of four years of complicity will not wash off.

Norm Blanchard


Meanwhile, the stock market swelled

Let it be recorded that on Jan. 6, 2021, the United States was the subject of an attempted insurrection during which four people died and many others were hurt; another nearly 4,000 Americans died from COVID-19 and there were more than 260,000 new infections; and the Dow Jones industrial average thought there was sufficient cause to add another 437 points to its morbid obesity. There are those who ask what’s wrong with this country; I ask what’s right with it?

Michael E. White


Give Trump credit for one thing: turning of the electoral tide

Thank you, Mr. Trump.

Georgia could not have done this without you.

Make no mistake, the Senate runoff election was a referendum on you. You alienated enough Georgians with your incessant whining, your uncompromising nonsense, your unparalleled egocentricity to turn victory into defeat for your party. Two Republican incumbents fell from relative grace between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 5. And you were the orchestrator of their demise.


So you have, in the final analysis, served a useful purpose. You have returned the levers of power to those you abhor (although right now it seems you abhor virtually everyone). You have made your party in your image, and the nation has responded.

Much has been made of the sound that was made the next day in Washington, and the damage that was done. And there will be much to do to repair it all. But there is one party that can thank you for your service. Sleep well knowing the Democrats congratulate you for being their driving force to victory in the 2020 election.

Well done.

Robert S. Nussbaum

Great Barrington

Where is the James Jeffords of 2021 — a Republican who will bolt from the party?

In May 2001, Senator James Jeffords of Vermont announced that he was leaving the Republican Party to become an independent who would caucus with the Democrats. He did so in order to assure that moderate voices, especially in domestic affairs, would be heard and to signal that the political party that he had served for nearly 30 years in Washington had lost its moorings. His act broke the 50-50 split in the Senate and gave a majority to the Democrats.

Twenty years later, the Republican Party has rejected the idea of moorings altogether. It has become a party dominated by a man untethered to reality, a-sea on an ocean of fantasy, bereft of decency, and fearful of its so-called leader.


America needs someone with James Jeffords’ courage today. Who will that person be? Perhaps Susan Collins of Maine or Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Someone who understands that a party dominated by Donald Trump and the likes of Ted Cruz is not a party that belongs on the bridge of the ship of state.

After the shameful behavior of Trump and the mob that stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, there must be at least one Republican senator who, asserting his or her independence and patriotism, will walk away from the party of Trump.

Jim Walsh


Correction: An earlier version of this letter incorrectly listed Bob Casey of Pennsylvania as a Republican senator. Casey is a Democrat.