Northam: ‘We are in serious danger of losing our democracy’
A year ago, I was pulled out of my regular COVID briefing to take a phone call. It was House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking for help as an armed mob of insurrectionists swarmed the Capitol.
The threat that day came from people who intended to overthrow the results of a democratic election, instigated by a president who refused to accept his loss. I never thought I would see such scenes in America as we saw that day.
I sent the Virginia State Police, and later the Virginia National Guard, to protect our elected representatives and the seat of our democracy. We believed, and hoped, that the threat had passed.
But today, a year later, we know it has not.
Instead, it has spread. A defeated president continues to spread lies about his loss, while members of his party are sacrificing democratic principles in an effort to appease voters and retain power.
We are in serious danger of losing our democracy because of these lies. And the threat can no longer be contained by state police and National Guard soldiers. It can only be contained by a return to the truth and to democratic principles.
When elected leaders purposely reject facts and truth, and fan the flames of conspiracy, all in pursuit of power, they are taking dangerous steps. We have now seen where those steps can lead. I pray that we go no further down this road away from democracy.
Ralph Northam is the governor of Virginia.