To the Editor: Other than the loss of family and friends, Jan. 6, 2021 was one of the two saddest days of my life. The first was 11/22/1963, when as a 9-year-old, I saw President John F. Kennedy killed by an assassin.

Then, as Christians around the world celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany, we all witnessed an angry mob violently storm our nation's Capitol, many waving Confederate flags. In a July 2017 letter, I wrote that the election of such a repugnant, vile person as Donald Trump to our highest office "is a stain on America's soul. He is a stark reminder of our nation's original sin, racism, and its endurance to the present day. It saddens me beyond words that someone like Mr. Trump was able to garner the support of over 60 million Americans, even though they knew all of (his) shortcomings. And, what breaks my heart is that this stain is indelible and our standing in the world has been permanently diminished. America can no longer call itself the world's moral leader, we can no longer claim to be a nation of values and we can never go back to a time when a messenger like Donald Trump was unable to muster the support of enough Americans to become its president."

Yet even then, I never imagined that Mr. Trump would sink so low as to deny his election loss and incite those who believe his lies to march on and breach our seat of government. The danger to our country has never been Donald Trump; it has always been his millions of followers. This "base" has cowed nearly every GOP lawmaker into making a terrible choice—support a menace or lose their seats. Jan. 6 was the culmination of the selfish decision these GOP lawmakers made when they put their own jobs ahead of our country's safety.

It is past time for our leaders to reach their own epiphanies and never again pander to the extremist Trump faction in America, even if it means defeat at the ballot box. They must reject followers of QAnon, Breitbart, Newsmax, Fox, the Alt-Right, white nationalists and those who spread malicious, false conspiracy theories, and call them out for what they are--anti-American.

JOSEPH CANNISI

Retired 28-year DOT Employee


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