OU College Republicans Chairman Joseph Howard criticized the breach of the U.S. Capitol by a mob supporting President Donald Trump in a Thursday evening statement.
“What we saw yesterday was a travesty, a dark day for American democracy. The violent, riotous storming of the Capitol is nothing less than an attempt at insurrection against our democratic republic and constitutional system,” Howard wrote. “We live in a nation of laws, where we resolve our differences in courts and through our vote. The mob violence from yesterday was not only un-American and un-patriotic, it was also un-conservative.”
In the statement, Howard wrote the riot was directly caused by leaders who have used social media to perpetuate disinformation to their supporters.
“We must not forget that these rioters were fueled by politicians and media personalities spreading misinformation and fear for political gain. No voter fraud that would have turned the election away from President-elect Biden occurred,” Howard wrote. “The Trump campaign and those around it have repeatedly failed to prove evidence of fraud in court, and multiple official reviews have similarly disproven allegations of fraud. Trump-appointed judges and many Republicans have ruled out such allegations as well.”
The riot, Howard continued, was the result of several years of escalating, divisive rhetoric employed by the United States’ political leaders.
“Any political and media personalities who argue to the contrary are lying to American voters. This isn’t leadership, it’s cowardice. Such cowardly, self-serving actions and words contributed to and incited the violence that occurred on January 6th,” Howard wrote. “Shame on them. It is our duty as Americans to reject the irresponsible rage-inciting rhetoric, fear-mongering, and tribalism that these public officials have been spreading. These divisive actions are not new and have been elevating the temperature of our politics for years, jeopardizing the fabric of our union and soul of the nation. The result has been fear-induced violence. We must demand better of our leaders.”
Howard wrote the United States’ democratic processes would outlast the incident, however.
“Our Founding (Fathers) are rolling in their graves at what has transpired. However, democracy will not be deterred,” Howard wrote. “Our constitutional republic shall continue. It must continue, for the eyes of the world are upon us.”