Four days later, I am still heartbroken for America, and while my tears of rage have dried I am no less angry with what happened to a place I once knew well.
Thirteen years ago I served as an intern in Senator Carl Levin’s DC offices. It was the honor of my life to spend a summer working, unpaid, for the people of the United States of America at the very heart of American democracy. I answered phones. I responded to constituent mail. I assisted in writing floor statements. I helped do legislative research. I attended hearings. I did whatever Senator Levin’s staff asked me to do, and I did it with great joy, pride in my heart, and the highest amount of reverence for the institution I worked in.
The last thing I was responsible for was giving tours of the Capitol for constituents who were visiting from Michigan. Every tour I gave felt like I was walking in a dream. Every step I took, every word I spoke about the hallowed halls in which I walked, every breath I breathed – all of it – filled me with such pride for having the noble honor to share this sacred house of American democracy with citizens who came to see where our nation’s legislators wrote the laws that bind this nation, a nation of laws – of, by, and for the people.
Needless to say, as I watched anarchists storm the Capitol, climb its edifice, and smash its windows – I was heartbroken.
Anyone that truly loves America, who values our democracy, who believes in the promise and the ideals that America was founded upon – life, liberty, equality, justice – anyone who believes in those things, who wants to pass along these sacred blessings of democracy to your children and to future generations – you should be heartbroken and outraged today as well.
Four days have now passed and the President still has not acknowledged or apologized for the roll he played in this insurrection nor even ordered that the flag that flies above the White House be lowered in honor of the Capitol Hill police officer who died in its defense.
Think about that for a second.
Think about that and tell me how, as an American, you cannot be outraged.
Maybe your pain and anger is not as acute as mine not having had the opportunity to walk those halls as regularly as I once did – the very same halls that these anarchists degraded with their very presence and destructed with their maniacal actions on Wednesday – but you should be upset and outraged as well because this is your country and that is your Capitol too.
There is a place for protest that is peaceful and protected by our Constitution and debate that is civil and an essential part of democracy, but what happened on a day that will live until eternity in infamy is anything but peaceful or essential.
May god bless the United States of America