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Mob’s acts must be rebuked

The appalling display of a frenzied mob storming the U.S. Capitol, overwhelming security, breaking into the building, the legislative chambers and some offices, and keeping Congress from completing its constitutional duty should be condemned by all Americans.

Those who took such actions Wednesday are far different from the thousands of the legitimate protesters in the nation’s capital to show their lawful support for President Donald Trump, who objected to the election results but who didn’t take part in unlawful activities.

There is a large gap between constitutionally protected freedom of speech and petitioning one’s grievances and those who failed to obey lawful long-established security measures.

Storming through barriers and breaking into the Capitol cross a red line that all Americans should respect despite one’s political beliefs.

Trump’s late and timid tweets during the siege on the Capitol were also disappointing. Americans should expect any president to put his or her personal interests aside to deescalate inflamed emotions for the good of the nation.

We understand some Americans question the legitimacy of the results of the Nov. 3 election — just as others tried for years to de-legitimize and undermine Trump’s 2016 election victory.

But our disputes should not devolve into criminal activity. Mob mentality should never prevail.

The United States and Americans are better than that. We have to be.

Regrettably, we fear that emotions will continue to overwhelm a sense of right and wrong. The nation has become increasingly divided, fueled in part by the excessive rhetoric from both sides of the political aisle.

This shameful display should encourage both sides to avoid comments that could inspire hatred and unlawful activity. Both sides should remember their words and actions don’t exist in a vacuum; they have a cumulative effect on the thinking and actions of others.

As Americans, we can have disagreements — even heated ones — about policy, legislation and ideas. But it’s imperative these disagreements remain lawful and reasonably respectful. That’s who Americans have been for centuries, and it’s who we should strive to be going forward.

Let us take a deep breath and recognize Wednesday’s actions by some malcontents are not who we are and something we, as Americans, should never let happen again.

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