Our nation marked the anniversary of the January 6 insurgency this month, a milestone observed with a deep partisan divide. For Democrats it was a day of solemn reflection on the insurrection stoked by a defeated former president’s false claims of a stolen election. The ‘Big Lie,’ as his claim is now known, resulted in five people dead and more than 140 police officers injured and America looking like a third world country. Lawmakers ran for their lives in terror or sheltered in place with Capitol police protecting them.

This month’s vigil should have been the pivot point, intended to show the solidarity of our lawmakers; insurrectionists won’t be tolerated in our democracy. Rep. Liz Cheney and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, were the only Republicans in attendance at the vigil. The Republican party sent a loud and clear message to the insurrectionists— we have no objections to your attacking our democracy and attempting to overthrow an election. I am deeply disappointed in a few members of the Republican party, lawmakers I thought loved this democracy and would defend it. I would have voted for any one of them in 2024 but they lacked the courage to stand with Liz Cheney, her father and the Democrats to send a message to all insurrectionists. So sad!

Some analysts and prognosticators say the “improvised coup” of Jan. 6th may have failed, but with such groundwork laid, there will be other attempts. They believe there won’t be a civil war because the insurrectionists haven’t an army. They feel the insurgents will pattern their uprising after the insurgency in Ireland some years back with assassination and bombings used to force change. Some election officials of both parties are already facing death threats. Are we on a slippery slope?

At this point I see no knight in shining armor on the 2024 presidential election horizon from either party that has the integrity, intelligence and innovativeness to reset the course of our faltering democracy. On second thought there is one Republican that might fill that bill, a lawmaker who has the courage to stand by their convictions and puts America before party. She stood shoulder to shoulder with her father the night of January 6th last. Could she make America great again?

—Tom Janicki,