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One Small Voice: Attempted coup should be punished

The plumber was digging around in the pipes…

And he saw something shine in the muck, and it turned out to be the soul of the last tenant.

He gave it to me and I said, “I wonder how one can return it?”

And he shrugged and said he found stuff like that all the time.

“You’d be amazed what people lose,” he said.

(Anonymous)

About 31 years ago, in the Wayland Union School District, a student, disgruntled about one of his high school teachers, embarked on a spree of harassment of that teacher, abetted by a couple of uncles.

The harassment was in the form of taunting and threatening phone calls, which the teacher reported to school authorities.

The issue went before the board of education for discipline.

As it happened, this student was an outstanding athlete whose future could be adversely impacted by such discipline because it would disallow him to finish the season.

Enough members of the board of education felt that the student should not be so harshly disciplined that his college prospects might be harmed.

But teachers believed that their safety and well-being hinged on this student being strongly dealt with.

There was significant public outcry, teacher pushback and internal board disagreement, along with widespread, negative publicity for the school district.

An imminent school board election and some recruitment efforts on the part of teachers resulted in my running and being elected to the board.

After my being sworn in, one of the very first things to come before the board was this student and his disciplinary action.

Once I understood the process and options open to the board, and after I had been fully apprised of the details of this series of incidents, I had no qualms about the correct course of action.

I voted with the majority of the board to suspend the student and deny him the remainder of his athletic season.

His harassment and perceived threats against his teacher clearly constituted a violation of the code of student conduct and the athletic code.  He had to be made, not an example of, but accountable for his actions.

The community, as a whole, was in favor of this board action.  The previous uproar dissipated, and the story passed into local history.

I was reminded of this experience as I was listening to the debates over what actions ought to take place concerning our president in light of the failed Jan. 6 coup at the U.S. Capitol.

Congress was in session to count and verify the ballots of the electoral college when President Donald Trump made his inflammatory speech inciting insurrection.

His video-recorded rhetoric immediately prior to the mob violence was clear as to Trump’s intent.  It was further bolstered by recent rants, one of which was heard in a recording of an hour-long telephone call made to the Georgia Secretary of State in which Trump prodded, cajoled, begged and even threatened Brad Raffensperger to alter election results to reflect a win by Donald Trump.

It didn’t’ take long after the riot for congressmen to demand Trump’s immediate resignation.

There were also some in Congress who urged the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump, while Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi encouraged filing another impeachment against the president.

While these options have been weighed, there have also been calls for more than a few senators and representatives to be expelled from their offices as well.

Then there are the hundreds of rioters who deserve to be indicted for their various crimes committed during the insurrection.

Donald Trump, an assortment of senators and representatives, and countless rioters have one thing in common. Every one of them must be held to account for their illegal, immoral, and illicit behavior.

There are no excuses for their cases not to be made in the proper chambers, courtrooms or courts martials, where the judicial systems can give each his day in court, preparing for whatever punishments are deemed appropriate for them.

I don’t endorse a wholesale verdict of guilty outside the legal system, even in the face of what appears to me to be incontrovertible, recorded evidence of complicity and guilt.

Let the House convene tomorrow and vote on articles of impeachment against Donald Trump once again.

Let the Senate hold a trial if necessary.

Let Congress decide whether to censure or expel some of its members.

And let the criminal justice system handle the particulars of the rioters’ assortment of crimes.

This isn’t just some disgruntled kid pissed off at a teacher who gave him a bad grade or otherwise annoyed him.

This is sedition.  This is a failed coup.

Hold the lot of them accountable.

13 Comments

  • Would this include the Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer? She was marching arm in arm with the very same brick throwing rioters, fire starters and looters. In addition, not wearing a mask and certainly not 6 feet apart…………You would like to see equal treatment?

    Cheers!!

    • Poor Mr.. Wilkens still showing the effects of drinking too much disinfectant and suffering from a Hydroxychloroquine hangover. Who knew that visceral hate of a female governor could induce such delusional thoughts and pretzel logic.

      The people who attempted to invade the Nation’s Capital in an effort to overturn free election of President are terrorists. Governor Whitmer with her Director of Public Health advice is making decisions she deems valid for the overall safety of MI residents.

      Folks like John Wilkens will equivocate darn near anything to justify GOP talking points until they take their last breath. They live in a far right fantasy land where the only valid elections that are those where their “conservative” candidates win.

      Unfortunately for “conservatives” and Republicans, State Senator Mike Shirkey and former Congresswoman, former MI Secretary of State and current Macomb County Public Works Commissioner have turned down GOP overtures to run for governor in 2022. That’s why current RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel is now being floated as the GOP gubernatorial candidate. Who else? John James who has proven he could lose a statewide election twice?

      Here are some hard facts Mr.Wilkens. Governonor Whitmer beat MI sitting AG Bill Schuette by 400,000 votes, a 9.5% margin in 2018. Since COVID-19 Pandemic Governor Whitmer has consistently had better instate favorability numbers than President Trump. President elect Biden beat incumbent President Trump in Nov 2020 by 154,000 votes and Gov Whitmer wasn’t shy about endorsing former VP Biden for the nomination.

      Given the events on January 6 2021, the MI GOP is in much more danger of losing that critical 10-15% middle than MI Democrats for 2022 and 2024. The GOP has 147 elected Federal Legislators who don’t want to accept the results of elections.

      In MI predicted MI Co-Chair of the MI GOP is Meshawn Maddock. Wife of State Rep Mike Maddock and the person who organized 2 busloads of protestors to go to the Stop the Steal gathering at the Elipse prior to the assault on The Nation’s Capital. That’s a public face of MI GOP “conservatives”

      • 154 thousand votes huh. Brings to mind the old saying, figures lie and liars figure. Seems mighty fitting about now I’d say.

    • You know as well as anyone else that they aren’t interested in equal treatment. While I fully support prosecuting the perpetrators, I no longer hold out any hope that the left has any interest in true justice, fairness, or equality. As the saying goes, If they didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.
      I guess if we are supposed to go after people for what others do in their name, I look forward to Sanders being jailed for attempted murder, little gretch and Cuomo convicted of mass murder, and Biden shot for treason.

  • Mr. Wilkens, good observation. They have been trying for 5 plus years to get rid of the best president in my lifetime. This really bugs them when they can’t get their way.

    • Mr. Couchman,
      April 2016 was not the earliest call for President Trump to be impeached but one of them. People/groups preached impeachment even before the election in 2016, that is how.

      • Still can’t impeach an unelected President.

        NE Allegan County “conservatives” who comment in this online publication love embracing victimhood. Always picked on, always a victim of discrimination which is odd since Allegan County hasn’t elected anyone but Republicans for state and Federal districted legislative office in decades.

        • “Still can’t impeach an unelected President”

          Capt. Obvious,

          Please inform your liberal friends of this policy. I understand their ignorance and lack of education. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why they wanted to start the impeachment process before he was sworn in……..

          Cheers!!

    • I’m adding in the attacks on him as candidate Trump. What will the media talk about after he leaves? Crickets?
      Now we are left with dementia Joe and his crime family and Commie Kamala … good luck with that.
      America, get ready to suffer!

  • I think somebody from Arizona needs to update the batteries in her hearing aids. The ones that allow her to hear the liberal B.S. that has been spewed for the last 4 years and especially the last 6 or7 months. Why is it tolerated when major cities are burning and thepeople responsible are being egged on by certain high ranking members of the democratic party (at least in their minds) all is good. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally fed up with the crap from ALL involved and feel it must end now! This is why I strongly feel that Federal term limits are needed NOW. Some would say that it would be a shame to loose all that “experiance”. If that’s what you would call what we have been forced to endure recently I say GOOD RIDDANCE!!! Anybody agree? If so how do we get the embedded out and truly make AMERICA great again.

  • Can’t impeach a candidate. That’s something that’s taught in high school government class.

    It’s odd that self-identified “conservatives” commenters of NE Allegan County embrace victimhood at every turn since the GOP candidates who label themselves as “conservatives” haven’t lost a districted state or Federal election for decades.

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