Despite four months having passed since the events of January 6th, we continue to hear new and riveting accounts about that tragic day. The rally turned insurrection was fueled by false and unsubstantiated claims designed to undermine the electorate’s faith in our democracy and overturn the will of the people. If you have not read recent interviews with U.S. Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone, or Senator Joe Manchin, regarding their perspectives on the January 6th insurrection – you should.
Officer Fanone was dragged into the crowd where he was beaten, tased, and smashed with flag poles. As he lay prone on the ground, shouts emerged – “Kill him with his own gun!” A short time later, another officer was able to pull Fanone away from the mob, saving his life. The events of January 6th resulted in Fanone suffering a heart attack and being hospitalized. While reflecting on the insurrection at the Capitol, Officer Fanone stated, “It’s very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened.”
Senator Joe Manchin (WV), summarized his experience by saying, “January 6 changed me. I never thought in my life, I’d never read in history books to where our form of government had been attacked, at our seat of government, which is Washington, D.C., at our Capitol, by our own people.”
From the beginning of my campaign for the House of Delegates 33rd District seat, I have held that good judgment, reasoning skills, and an ability to discern fact from fiction are key attributes that every elected official should possess. Regrettably, my opponent, Dave LaRock, struggles with each of these qualities. From hosting a “Stop-The-Steal” rally, to actively attempting to set-aside Virginia’s 2020 election results, to promoting and participating in the rally turned insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, to publicly casting doubt on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, Mr. LaRock views the world through a lens distorted by fear and cynicism while simultaneously promoting his own virtue and patriotism. Why? Because he believes that the guise of patriotism will protect his political career.
The cold, hard reality is that nothing my opponent did on or in the days leading up to January 6th embodied even a modicum of patriotism. Just ask a real patriot like Officer Fanone. This year, we can send a definitive message that while “we the people” may disagree — sometimes passionately — we don’t like being lied to. Four months have passed since our Capitol was attacked because of people like Dave LaRock perpetuating a shameful lie aimed at dividing our communities.
Four months from now, Virginians will begin casting their votes to shape the future of our Commonwealth. Lest we forget, this election cycle provides us all with an opportunity to jettison those who attempted to undermine our democracy.
Paul Siker is a resident of Waterford. He is running as a Democrat for the 33rd District House of Delegates seat in the Nov. 2 election.