Starting at 1:31 pm today my phone, like many of you, started dinging like crazy. I had been very busy working and was unaware that a sitting President of the United States had encouraged protesters to march up to Capitol Hill. I was unaware that these protesters entered the capitol unlawfully. And I was unaware that the America I have known for fifty-five years, would be immeasurable shaken.
I have had at least twenty people ask me to make a statement and I have been working on a statement all day between work, dinner, and family duties. What I have found is I cannot make one statement. There are simply too many angles, too many thoughts, too many emotions.
But let me say this; In no way, no form, no fashion do I condone, side with, or support the actions of the protesters, the white supremacists or President Trump in the actions of encouraging and/or participating in the taking of our Capitol.
Like many, I have read defense of and excuses for much of this. I am sorry, there is none. We are not Nicaragua. We are not Venezuela or Iran. One man does not get to change our governmental procedures. We are a nation of laws and institutions.
As a Republican, I stand with those laws and institutions, not with any one man.
Over the course of the next few days, I will have much more to say. I understand fully that this is at great personal risk to relationships as well as other peripheral issues. I am not one that thinks the Republicans, the Trumpers (yes, there is a difference) or the Democrats are singly to blame. In retrospect, this has been coming for a while. We all have our hands in this from the political agitators to the people who just want government to leave them alone, so they don’t vote.
It is my sincere hope that we can seize this moment and make a better America. Ronald Reagan once called America “the shining city upon a hill” in a nod to American exceptionalism. Our republic has had its institutions shaken to the core. Yet I believe, and I mean I truly believe, that we can take this, learn from this and become a better America.
Work will have to be done. I’ll lay out my vision for any who care to see how we got here and where we can go from here.
You have the right to ask, “Who does Chris think he is?” I understand. Let me just say I think I am an American. I was raised to love my country but question the leadership. I was raised to celebrate wins and accept losses as a chance to reflect and get better. That is who I think I am. And I ask you to join me in moving forward to build, not to destroy.