Extremists, officials supporting them must be held accountable

| January 10, 2021 1:00 AM

I hate the word unprecedented. Not only is it overused, but it is also inaccurate.

Pandemics are not unprecedented; 1918 anyone? The coup attempt on the capital seemed unimaginable, but violence orchestrated by a politician and right-winged media is not new.

Ten years ago, Sara Palin beat the drums of hate against a perky Congress woman named Gabby Gifford. She published a graphic with a riffle scope framing Gifford’s head. Then a gunman put a bullet in Gifford’s head and killed six others. What happened to Palin? Nothing. Palin, a hunter from Alaska, said she didn’t know what a riffle scope was.  

Palin and her employer Fox News should have been held accountable. If they had Wednesday would not have happened. Donald Trump orchestrated a coup against America. He has lied about this election since before it took place. He sued to overturn the results, which was his right, but when over 60 lawsuits were thrown out, he asked the military to intervene. They refused. He asked Republican governors, legislators, and secretaries of state to overturn each of their state's results. They refused. So, he brought violent extremists to Washington to attack the capital.

This isn’t freedom of speech, this is treason. Donald Trump and those on social media and in the media knowingly perpetrated this lie about a “stolen election.” They need to go to jail. Let us hold the powerful to the same standard we hold Black Lives Matter protesters. Now that would be unprecedented.

MARY HALEY

Sandpoint