It should be clear that the mob who attacked the Capitol intent on overthrowing the government by force and assassinating members of Congress and the Vice President were NOT REBUBLICANS.

Please do not call them Republicans. Call them what they are: criminals, traitors, racists, anti-Semites, and insurrectionists who hate America as much as ISIS. But do not call them Republicans.

The Republican party has a proud history. They have made up one half of a two- party system that used to know how to debate respectfully and compromise when it served the interest of the nation.

I believe that Republican Party still exists. It is comprised of people who bring a conservative perspective on the economy and government and the deficit and international affairs and state’s rights and respect for the constitution and country first ahead of party. Even when I have disagreed with them, I have respected them and invited good honest debate on issues vital to our country’s well-being.

The problem is that many Republicans fell for the lies of a dangerous con man who does not know how to tell the truth and has no allegiance to any ideal other than himself. A demagogue is one who grabs power by using fear and hatred and division. If that sounds like anyone in the news the last five years, that is no coincidence.

I want to say to my Republican friends welcome back to rationality. Welcome back to the party’s ideals and not to some egomaniac who has done more to divide this country than any other single person in our history. Welcome back to reasonable debate based on issues and respect for those with whom you disagree.

Moving toward unity is an important goal for the well-being of our nation. But that does not mean that the people responsible for this mess should not be held accountable for their words and deeds. It would be a shallow peace if not based on accountability and justice. It is also necessary to hold them accountable so that others who want to lie and bring disunity and even violence to our nation in the future will know that they will be held accountable as well.

Our democracy has been sorely tested. It has survived. Now we must learn the lessons of this disaster and do our best to never let it happen again. We must be careful to never elect anyone who is of bad character with no respect for morals or law and not respect for the truth.

I look forward to a strong and healthy Republican Party free from this cultic attraction to one ugly spirited man. When we are Americans first and Democrats or Republicans second, we will be able to bask again in the rule of law and mutual respect. That is truly where we live. To my Republican friends, welcome home.


The Reverend Dr. Richard Sweeney, Rick, is a retired Presbyterian pastor and author. Rick lives with his wife, Prudy, in Greensburg, PA.

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Rick Sweeney

The Reverend Dr. Richard Sweeney, Rick, is a retired Presbyterian pastor and author. Rick lives with his wife, Prudy, in Greensburg, PA.