Local reaction to storming of Capitol


For The Athol Daily News
Published: 1/8/2021 7:12:30 PM
Modified: 1/8/2021 7:12:15 PM

ATHOL — Following the storming of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Wednesday by supporters of President Donald Trump, local politicos weighed in on the event and its aftermath.

Athol Town Manager Shaun Suhoski said: “Even as a small-town public servant in a non-partisan (and unelected) role, I am saddened to see that the peaceful transfer of power — a keystone of the U.S. Constitution — has been so blatantly disregarded by our purported leader.

“We are a nation currently divided along political lines, but, to whip up the emotions of a band of insurgents to thwart the counting of the Electoral College votes should be an affront to all Americans that cherish the ability to freely choose the leaders of our democratic republic,” Suhoski continued.

“It seems that our political parties have been hacked by extremists — some in red hats, others in tin-foil hats. I believe that most people — whether Republican or Democrat or unenrolled — share the desire for an option that represents the great majority of people and families that fall within the middle of the political spectrum. Hopefully, our leaders in Washington will work together and find a balance that puts the country before any individual.”

Athol Democratic Town Committee Chair and School Committee member Mitch Grosky said, “I was appalled and horrified by what we witnessed (Wednesday).

“This was the very definition of domestic terrorism,” Grosky said. “This was a disgrace. This was Donald Trump and the Republicans who have enabled and coddled him all these years, even as he has committed the most despicable and the most unconstitutional acts in American history.

“Imagine how this looked to the rest of the world.”

Grosky went on to dispute the motive behind the insurrection — that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Trump.

“Remember that there have been innumerable investigations by Attorney General Barr and others, all concluding that there was no significant fraud,” he explained. “Mitch McConnell said there was no fraud at any level whatsoever that could have affected the result of the election.”

Grosky also noted that 62 cases brought by Trump and attorneys representing his campaign have been thrown out of court, including two unanimous decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, where three Trump employees sit on the bench.

“I absolutely and unequivocally hold the president directly responsible,” Grosky continued. “In fact, I am incredulous that there are still people who insist the president was not really responsible for the violence at the Capitol (Wednesday). They still say — despite the facts — that he did not incite violence. President Trump deliberately incited the crowd, inflamed them, egged them on.”

Grosky went on to say he has concerns about what actions the president may take in the short time he has left in office.

“First of all, President Trump is still the Commander in Chief of our armed forces,” Grosky said. “I am concerned that he may try to provoke an incident and declare martial law. I am also concerned he may try to provoke or exacerbate an incident from a foreign country which may lead to war.”

Still, Grosky hopes steps can be taken to return the country to a civil political discourse, to reduce the level of vitriol between Americans of differing political views.

“I think we need to re-learn how to talk to one another and to listen to one another,” he explained. We need to bring people of differing ideas together to communicate with one another.

“Our conversations and even debates need to be guided by respect, civility, courtesy, and perhaps most of all, reason or logic.”

Greg Vine can be reached at gvineadn@gmail.com

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