Yesterday, I watched with shock, sorrow, and outrage as a mob attacked the nation’s Capitol, attempting to block certification of November’s election results. This lawless assault on the democratic process quickly and rightfully attracted widespread condemnation.
Late last night and early this morning, Congress came together to affirm the electoral count that officially certifies Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. American democracy has withstood an unprecedented challenge to its founding principles.
Nevertheless, yesterday’s events and those of the 2020 election are a reminder that the values we cherish must never be taken for granted. Such vigilance must apply not just to the electoral process, but to the principles important to us as individuals and as a College committed to being a community in which all members feel valued, political and other differences are treated with respect, and education helps prepare students for lives of meaning, purpose, and active citizenship.
It is too soon to predict the long-term consequences of yesterday’s events. My hope is that yesterday marks an inflection point, a high-water mark for the politics of division and resentment, and that Americans from across the political spectrum can begin to come together to address the many challenges ahead.
This spring, we will have many opportunities to discuss what happened, where the country should go, and how it should get there. I look forward to welcoming you to campus soon and to participating in those conversations. In the meantime, please stay safe.