From The Anchor Desk: Even in Chaos, Democracy Stands

The sign of a strong nation is the ability to rise, even in the ashes of turmoil, and remain steadfast in the pursuit of what is just. Wednesday was an opportunity for this nation to do such, and so it did.

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Kevin Burkett

The United States Capitol building, home to the chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

By Cameron Levasseur, PRESQUE ISLE HIGH SCHOOL

Upon the pedestal of American democracy stands a cluster of buildings that act as the physical embodiment of the united ideals of these 50 states. Those structures: the White House, the Supreme Court and the Capitol building, have stood unmarred in body as the symbolic and literal vessels of change upon which this country’s statutory principles are founded.

Wednesday, that sanctity was compromised.

For the first time since 1814, the walls of the United States Capitol were breached by an oppositionary force. Only this time, it was not a foreign adversary, rather, an insurrectionist horde spurred on by the chief resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, our president, Donald J. Trump.

We, as a nation, have stood for nearly 250 years on the fundamental doctrine set forth by our forefathers, who categorically put in motion the wheels of a thriving democracy on the back of fair and free elections. A legacy that, without a shadow of a doubt, has remained concrete to this very day.

This attempted coup was a perversion of values on such a scale this country has never seen.

Liberal, Conservative or Independent, the peaceful transition of power from one elected official to another, especially in the office of the Commander in Chief, is an unshakable piece of the constitutional puzzle. To challenge that is to challenge the ideological identity of our land. A belief in the transition and a respect for the outcome is the core value of any political party.

When you willingly choose to undermine democracy itself in such a manner, you are neither a member of any party in creed or even inherently American, period.

Such a calamitous event will live in infamy for many years to come, but in the darkness, there is a light, as was touched on by Social Studies department head Zachary Powers in a statement issued on behalf of the department as a whole:

“Never in my lifetime did I think that I would witness such events within the borders of the United States.  The events of Wednesday afternoon and evening are nothing short of a travesty and leave me with a great sense of sadness.  However, I personally hold onto one great point of light in all of this darkness:

The events of today do not show how weak our democracy has become, but in fact how strong it is.  The House and Senate have reconvened to finish the process of a transition of power that resulted from the lawful elections of last November.  We will move forward as a nation and as a society because the institutions and principles that guide us are only strengthened by such challenges.”

There is a famous quote that reads “It is in the turmoil of chaos that we discover what, if anything, we are.” I would argue that we discovered a whole lot about who we are as a nation this past Wednesday. One that will not back down to the seditious and violent acts of a few. One that puts the will of the people above all. One in which democracy will always prevail.

This story was originally published on The Anchor on January 7, 2021.