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LETTER: Mass of protesters enabled Capitol rioters
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LETTER: Mass of protesters enabled Capitol rioters

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Pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol in bid to overturn election (copy)

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

In movies of the Old West when a large group of misinformed townsfolk gathered behind a small band of evildoers, bent on a lynching, the sheriff was outnumbered and unable to stop it.

Had it been just the 1 percent that faced the sheriff, he could have prevailed.

Afterward, the good townsfolk tried to console one another, saying, “We didn’t have the facts,” when we in the movie audience knew they did.

They just chose to ignore them.

We’ve all seen that movie, yet on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, three busloads of good Culpeper-area people and other Virginians chose to be part of it.

Without the 99 percent of individuals standing behind the rioters, the Capitol Police would never have been overwhelmed at the U.S. Capitol, and this national disgrace would never have happened.

Rich Kaiser


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Abraham Lincoln took his first oath of office when the Union was breaking apart and his second during a bloody Civil War to hold it together. Franklin Roosevelt took his oath during the Great Depression and another during a world war. Eight other presidents took the oath under sudden circumstances when their predecessors died in office; Gerald Ford took his following our only presidential resignation.

It’s hard to remember now, but when Ralph Northam was elected governor in 2017, he was widely considered to be someone who probably wouldn’t make much of a mark. His predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, fancied himself a larger-than-life character who liked to do dramatic things — like trying to restore the rights of every convicted felon with one stroke of the pen (something the Virginia Supreme Court soon told him he couldn’t do). Northam, a mild-mannered former legislator, was considered an incrementalist.

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