During board comment at the end of their meeting tonight, the Board of Selectmen condemned Wednesday’s storming and occupation of the United States Capitol.
“I don’t think we can leave the table tonight without reflecting on the horror of yesterday,” First Selectman Bob Lessler said. “I think it’s extremely sad and very unfortunate that the sitting president of the United States used language that would essentially cause people to attack the Capitol of the United States.”
All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to remain silent, he said, citing the words of Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel prize winner.
“It was a very sad day in the history of the United States and something all Americans who respect the rule of law, who respect the will of the voters, who respect the Constitution, should abhor,” Lessler said.
A mob of Trump-inspired loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, the internationally recognized symbol of democracy, to disrupt the final electoral count affirming the peaceful transition of power to President-Elect Joe Biden.
After being evacuated during the riot, lawmakers returned once the intruders were removed and worked late into the night, to complete the task. The invasion of the “People’s House” didn’t stop them from reconvening to complete the process and affirm Biden’s victory.
“I agree with Bob in saying the actions of yesterday were appalling,” Selectman Kristi Sogofsky said. “I don’t think anyone who saw it on their TV thought anything like that would ever occur.”
Sogofsky said it’s fortunate that there are systems in place to ensure that the people who stormed the Capitol — whose actions were “awful, surprising and disappointing” — would be dealt with in an appropriate way.
First Selectman Dave Bindelglass said he agreed with the “expressions of horror from people across the political spectrum,” and singled out former President George W. Bush. “He’s certainly not a person of similar political views to myself but I thought what he said was absolutely appropriate,” Bindelglass said.
“I would certainly agree with both of you that it was a horrible incident and hopefully one that will not be repeated in any of our lifetimes, and was perhaps a wakeup call,” Bindelglass said.
Bush was among a number of prominent Republicans who condemned the actions of the pro-Trump mob. Bush wrote in a prepared statement, “I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement.”
Without specifically naming Trump, he went on, “The violent assault on the Capitol — and disruption of a Constitutionally mandated meeting of Congress — was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”