“For American democracy — its wellspring, its tree of life—is the peaceful transition of presidential power from one president to another.
“Today’s deadly riots that engulfed the Capitol complex in Washington D.C., and the protests in St. Paul are the culmination of conspiracy theories, half-truths, and inflammatory rhetoric that fomented a movement of desecrationists who assaulted and delayed America’s peaceful transition of power.
“We concur with the judgment of Senator Mitt Romney that ‘[w]hat happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States. Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy.’
“In October, we called for ‘our political leaders, at the highest levels, to dial back the polarizing rhetoric and apparent support for agitators, some violent, as well as efforts to undermine the elections process, which is underway in the midst of a devastating and destabilizing global pandemic.’
“Relatedly, as a country, we must resolve to return to democratic norms in a bi-partisan fashion. As George Washington wrote to John Adams in 1798: ‘[H]ow incumbent it is upon every person, of every description, to contribute at all times to his country’s welfare, and especially in a moment like the present, when everything we hold dear and sacred is so seriously threatened…’
“This work must begin tonight with the certification of the election results without further delay.”