Rep Jim Lilly
Rep. Lilly: Lessons to learn from Capitol riot
RELEASE|January 9, 2021

By state Rep. Jim Lilly

When I was a high school student here in Holland, I had an amazing opportunity to move to Washington, D.C. for a portion of my Junior year and work as a Page in the U.S. House of Representatives. I witnessed firsthand a number of historic and momentous events.

The experience changed my life and certainly impacted my decision to run for public office five years ago.

The recent events in the Capitol in Washington, D.C. were truly a disgrace to our nation.  The very benches on which I used to sit on the House floor as a Page were used to barricade the doors of the chamber from an angry mob – people fueled by conspiracy theories and misinformation, willfully desecrating our nation’s Capitol.

Those protestors who took part in vandalism, disrupted the democratic process, and jeopardized the lives of our law enforcement should be punished to the full extent of the law.  But we as a nation must also learn a lesson from this moment.

Truth must drive our actions, not Twitter.  Facts must guide our critical decision-making, not Facebook.

Nearly six weeks ago I penned an op-ed in which I pointed out that while there are bipartisan opportunities for improving our elections process, the outcome of this election is determined.  I’m pleased to see the President finally came to that conclusion as well. By conceding the election to President-Elect Biden, our nation can move forward.

We still have a great deal we can learn from those we disagree with — if we take the time to listen.  I hope everyone who reads this will do so. Our nation will be better off if we do.

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