Mitch McConnell wrote an op-ed about the insurrection and impeachment trial in the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 16, 2021, and stated that “American citizens tried to use terrorism to stop a democratic proceeding they disliked…There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility. His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s largest megaphone.” McConnell said further that “(Trump’s) behavior during and after the chaos was unconscionable, from attacking Vice President Pence during the riot to praising the criminals after it ended.” After the impeachment vote, McConnell took the floor and called Trump’s inaction a “disgraceful dereliction of duty.” As McConnell admitted, the election fraud claim was a lie. The Attorney General, heads of all intelligence agencies, rulings in more than 60 court cases, and the secretaries of all 50 states agree that the election was the most safe and secure in modern history and that President Biden won the most votes in election history.
The question now is whether the judgment of our elected representatives is so flawed that they believed and perpetrated this dangerous Trump lie in the face of uncontroverted evidence to the contrary. If so, any such representative does not deserve to serve in any local, state, or federal offices. Such belief reveals a fundamental character flaw in that they are either unable or unwilling to discern the truth from a lie.
I congratulate the true conservative Republicans and the Democrats who saw through the Trump lie from the beginning and stood strong. Together they represent the majority of Americans. That should give us all solace. But we must go a step further. While we know that Delegate LaRock has exhibited this detrimental character flaw by not only supporting, encouraging [and attending Trump’s rally on Jan. 6], we still need to know whether any other elected representatives took part in any way. Did Delegate Wiley support, encourage or attend? His aide went to the [attended Trump’s rally on Jan. 6]. Did Wiley believe or encourage the election fraud lie? As a resident of Frederick County, I have a right to know.
Further, I have grave concerns about the judgment of the local Republican Party. At the meeting on Saturday, February 20, 2021, held by Back Creek Supervisor Shawn Graber, with Brandon Monk, Frederick County School Board member, and Bill Wiley, 29th District Representative, as additional speakers, masks were not required, and more than 50% of the attendees did not wear a mask during the 2½-hour meeting. While some of the attendees drank coffee and ate fruit, 90% of the time there was no reason not to protect the health of all in attendance by simply wearing a mask. It is such actions that again cause concern about the judgment of the Republican candidates. Individual freedoms do not overtake the health and safety of others. We need to elect representatives who are responsible and respect the truth. Again, Mr. Wiley, I have a right to know if you can stand up for what all medical experts have said is the right thing to do to protect your constituents. Your actions Saturday raise grave doubts.
Delmara Bayliss is a resident of Frederick County.