I watched in disgust as a mob of insurrectionists interfered in a lawful constitutional process in our nation’s capital. I found myself asking how we got here as a nation. It’s clear to me that we did not arrive at this overnight. Rather, the gradual erosion of long-held principles held by those in leadership positions have resulted in a failure of leadership.
One example of our failed leadership is found in the public statements Representative Walt Blackman -- an elected state official who continues to use his amplified social media presence that comes with public office to spread lies and conspiracy theories.
I can’t comment on Mr. Blackman’s motivations for making such statements. However, I can point out that on Jan. 2, Walt Blackman wrote on his Facebook page that “Biden did not win this election; It was stolen from President Trump.” This outright lie has been overwhelmingly proven false through multiple and independent national and state agency investigations, as well as processes which have played out within our judicial system.
By using his public position to amplify conspiracy theories and falsehoods, leaders like Mr. Blackman are complicit in the erosion of a healthy democracy. By giving legitimacy to falsehoods, our elected officials are responsible for decline in our nations discourse of ideas which are critical to sustaining our process of self-rule.
A healthy democracy is dependent on an informed, and educated electorate. How can such a democracy exist when public officials like Mr. Blackman, effectively flood the debate between ideas with nothing less than the truth which a majority of serious, professionals involved in governance have agreed upon? The answer is simple, it cannot.
I call on Mr. Blackman to publicly retract his statements and support our constitution by affirming that the processes which resulted in the election of our next president were legitimate. To do any less, is to lend support to those who seek to destroy a constitutional process based in fact, reason and an orderly transition of power.