Bentz betrayed Oregon
U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz is culpable in participating in the seditious insurrection in Washington on Jan. 6 and should pay a price for his actions. He has thrown in with the so-called self-appointed “patriots” who trashed the Capitol, the people’s house. He has betrayed the citizens of Oregon by aligning himself with the despot President Donald Trump and not the U.S. Constitution to which he supposedly swore an oath. In effect, he is guilty of inciting a riot, just like Trump and the other congresspeople and senators like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, who tried to overturn a valid, fair and truthful election. Do we have to say it again that claims of election fraud have been repeatedly proven false.
Even members of his own party, including Speaker Mitch McConnell, have broken from Trump and recognized Joe Biden as the president-elect. It’s time for Mr. Bentz to step up and do the right thing: either call for Trump’s immediate removal or resign his position as congressman.
— Don Miller, Bend
Help hunt for lawbreakers
An open letter to Jim Adkins, Jefferson County sheriff; Shane Nelson, Deschutes County sheriff; and Mike Krantz, chief of the Bend Police Department: I am horrified and outraged by the violence and anarchy perpetrated upon the people of this great country during the insurrection of Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C.
Each and every rioter who invaded the Capitol on that infamous day should be identified, arrested and appropriately charged. There are many eyewitness reports claiming that law enforcement officers participated in this seditious activity. I am asking that each of our local law enforcement agencies investigate and hold accountable any officers who were involved. It would be wonderful news to learn that none participated; public confidence in these agencies would be greatly enhanced.
I fully support and defend all lawful expressions of our First Amendment rights related to freedom of speech, but the violent mob and the deadly events that unfolded were unlawful and should be confronted swiftly and decisively. Law and order applies to all Americans; no one is above the law.
— Janet Keen, Camp Sherman
Democracy needs truth
This morning I was about to write a letter criticizing The Bulletin for its editorial piece that basically condoned the unconscionable move by Rep. Cliff Bentz, after the domestic terrorist insurrection on our nation’s Capitol, to reject Pennsylvania’s electoral votes when I read today’s letters. The one by Mr. Thomson excoriating The Bulletin‘s for its front page which recognized, as did the entire world that watched his very words and actions, President Donald Trump’s “fanning the flames.”
That was not editorializing, that was the recognition of a clearly demonstrable fact. By the way, while many, including me and The Bulletin, were shocked regarding the totally unacceptable riots over the summer, and I for one, believe the liberal leadership in the cities were dead wrong in not reacting to the violence more strongly.
There can absolutely be no moral equivalency to the insurrection we saw last week. To me, to fail to acknowledge Trump’s encouraging the attack on Congress is a quintessential example of the extremely dangerous approach of rejection of facts as “fake news” or the now Trumpian practice of creating “alternative facts."
It began with the “birther” lies, followed by the “inaugural numbers” lies on Day 1, and has continued every day since. While there have been personality cults throughout history that blindly “drank the Kool-Aid,” it is the Trump supporters’ rejection of facts that is so very dangerous.
A democracy, after all, cannot survive without truth.
— William Carwile, Bend
Bentz should resign
The Jan. 9, Bulletin editorial asks the question, “Did Cliff Bentz fail Oregonians ?” The answer is yes.
In his Jan. 7 statement seeking to justify his decision to object to the electoral vote total in Pennsylvania, Bentz states that because many of his Oregon congressional district constituents spoke of “distrust in the elections” he felt compelled to object to the electoral votes from Pennsylvania. “Distrust of the elections” is a fundamental problem that goes to the core of our democratic process. This distrust is a result of circular lying.
The president claimed, in the months leading to Nov. 3, that the election was going to be “unfair” and “corrupt.”
After the election, despite all evidence to the contrary, the president continued to lie about the election process and the outcome. Some of the president’s supporters came to believe his lies.
Belief in these lies was then communicated to Bentz — a lawyer. Instead of exhibiting leadership, Bentz chose to support the lies by signaling his intent to object to the electoral votes.
Trump lies, supporters believe lies and communicate to Bentz, Bentz accepts lies as legitimate concerns thereby reinforces the belief in the lies. Bentz’s announcement of his decision to object to electoral votes supported and contributed to the momentum behind the traitorous mob. He is complicit in the tragic outcome on Jan. 7.
Congressman Bentz signaled he does not have the values and courage to represent the 2nd District in Congress. Congressman Bentz should immediately resign.
— Kermit Yensen, Bend
Honor your country
I am so upset with what happened on Thursday, Jan. 6 that our U.S. Capitol in D.C. Also those going to Salem and other cities being destructive, disrespectful and not honoring our American history — let alone putting others at risk.
My message to those who are unhappy with the results of the election, result of not getting your way, result of what you identify as your “constitutional rights.”
My rights are presently being violated by your behavior and threats. If you don’t like what our democracy is in America, then I would suggest you leave — find some country that fits your needs, your values, your morals and quit attacking the rest of us who love and respect what our country, the great USA has given us.
Please take some time and read history, follow your family tree of how you are actually here and what your forefathers and mothers went through to be here. It is a sad day when some attack the very essence of how our democracy that was created to give us the freedoms that we have. I don’t take that for granted.
I am so thankful that I have the opportunities that have been presented to me my entire life. I can vote. I have a job. I can care about others, and I have a family history of those who came here to the USA for a better life. If you do not like what is here, then leave, take your fight somewhere else.
— Mary Fleischmann, Bend
As many have already noted, white privilege was on full display Jan. 6 when a mob incited by President Trump stormed into the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
If they had been Black Lives Matter activists or Muslims, they surely would never have made it up the steps, let alone into the capitol. They would have been repulsed by the police and likely gunned down.
White supremacy was also on full display with many waving Confederate flags along with their Trump flags. The Confederate flag is the banner of the Ku Klux Klan, a symbol of both racist ideology and treason.
And, the racism of many elected members of Congress was also on full display as they voted to disenfranchise voters in Pennsylvania and Arizona, and sought to also disenfranchise voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia. President zeroed in on the electoral votes in these states because people of color in Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Phoenix played a major role in his defeat.
Trump repeated his racist lie about voter fraud over and over again. Cliff Bentz, newly-elected Representative from Oregon’s Second District, sided with Trump in one of his first votes in Congress—after white supremacists incited by Trump stormed the Capitol. Bentz can make all the unsupported and ludicrous legal arguments he wants, but the fact is he stood with a racist President who incited insurrection. In doing so he disgraced his office.
— Michael Funke, Bend
Honor your country
I am so upset with what happened on Thursday,January. 6th at our U.S. Capitol in D.C. Also those going to Salem and other cities being destructive , disrespectful and not honoring our American history... — let alone putting others at risk.
My message to those who are unhappy with the results of the election, result of not getting your way, result of what you identify as your “constitutional rights”..” My rights are presently arebeing violated by your behavior and threats. If you don’t like what our democracy is in America, then I would suggest you leave — find some country that fits your needs, your values, your morals and quit attacking the rest of us who love and respect what our country, the great USA has given us. Please take some time and read history, follow your family tree of how you are actually here and what your forefathers and mothers went through to be here.
It is a sad day when some attack the very essence of how our democracy thatwas created to give us the freedoms that we have. I don’t take that for granted. I am so thankful that I have the opportunities that have been presented to me my entire life. I can vote. I have a job. I can care about others, and I have a family history of those who came here to the USA for a better life. If you do not like what is here, then leave, take your fight somewhere else.
— Mary Fleischmann, Bend