The Assault on our Democracy

I have posted several Facebook postings concerning the events of January 6, 2021 and I wanted to share them here for those not on Facebook. They are presented here in chronological order as I posted them.


And now President Trump says: “No violence” The utter chutzpah of this man to spend four years trashing our most sacred institutions, and then refusing to concede the election and encouraging people to fight against the legitimate election results by spreading phony conspiracy theories and then trying to take the moral high road. This is all on him. It is an inevitable result of the obscenities of the past four years. It is the saddest day I have seen in this country in my entire life and who knows where it goes from here.


Thank you President elect Biden. This is what we needed to hear and how it needed to be said. Thank you for giving us another glimpse of the sanity, clear thinking and courage that you will bring to the office of the Presidency. May you have the strength to hold onto this vision for years to come.



In this week’s episode of my podcast, I discuss a phrase in this week’s Torah portion which has always fascinated me. Before Moses kills the Egyptian who is striking a Hebrew, the Torah says that “Moses looked here and there and saw that there was no eesh, no person.” This phrase can be understood in different ways leading to different lessons.

I recorded and uploaded this podcast last weekend. But, some of the points I raised should be considered in light of yesterday’s events. Among them is the idea reflected in Pirke Avot: “In a place where there are no mentsches, no human beings, strive to be a human being.” While the images and echoes of yesterday’s horrific attack on our country and the chaos of the past four years are still very much in our minds, we should also take time to recognize those who have stood up for justice, for compassion and for the true ideals upon which this nation has been built. There have been heroes who have spoken the truth and acted honorably during these chaotic times.

And, while being a president requires more than just compassion and vision, they are irreplaceable parts of what it means to be a true leader. In that spirit, President elect Biden showed once again yesterday how deeply he understands the need for turning down the volume, speaking quietly but firmly and always keeping the values of this nation paramount in what he says and does. None of us knows what the Biden/Harris administration will accomplish but we are about to enter a new day in this nation and I believe the president-elect will set the tone for a renewal of what our country should stand for. I pray for calm today and everyday and words and actions which can help the United States regain its place as a nation committed to the goal of justice and respect for all and a better and more secure world. You can hear my podcast at



It is definitely my inclination (and I think it is a good idea in general) to react to an event like yesterday’s with relief that it is over and to find a glimpse of hope for the future. But, then after that deep breath, it is essential to look more critically at some of the issues that we must confront in looking ahead.

First, I agree with all of those who say that while President Trump and some of his closest advisors and supporters are to blame for inciting the protestors yesterday, the ideas and the attitudes that were reflected in the protests began before this administration and will remain long after Jan 20. President Trump gave them legitimacy in a more blatant way than previous presidents did but he is not the first to use language and take actions which inspire hate filled individuals to feel empowered. Still, from the very beginning of his candidacy, his continued statements which fueled actions of this kind were clear and unmistakeable. But, those attitudes are still going to remain.

One of the best statements I heard yesterday was from a commentator quoting Winston Churchill: “Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry”. This administration will come to an end on Jan 20, if not sooner, but the ideologies of hatred and bigotry and radical nationalism will still be there and will have to be confronted. This movement is fueled by President Trump but it has enough fuel without him at the head.

Secondly, the reality which so many have raised and occurred to so many of us yesterday must be addressed clearly. Why were these individuals able to get access to the capitol building? Why did we see pictures of police and guards stepping aside or smiling with the protestors (even taking pictures with them). Why were there so few arrests? The contrast between the peaceful black lives matter protest in June outside the White House which was broken up with tear gas and this atrocity yesterday could not be more clear and speaks again to the issues of racial inequality and injustice in this country. How could a black lives matter flag be deemed offensive and “anti-American” while those carrying confederate flags were told by the president; “We love you”?

These issues will not go away now that the horror of yesterday has passed. I’m glad we can breathe a sigh of relief but once we do that, we have to confront these issues which are not going to disappear with the end of this administration.

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