The great hall featured with smooth marble pillars and red drapes was magnificent. Under the dome roof a large chandelier was hanging onto were large marble statues looking down at me. It was later that I learned there were 36 statues in the room who were figures who represent the U.S. including Samuel Adams.
The Statuary Hall of the Congress I visited as a correspondent in Washington, D.C. had a special aura with it. The unselected lawmaker who was showing around the Congress seems to be filled with pride at the hall. It may have been the pride that he was showing the heart of the democracy of the U.S.
It was shocking to see the hall be occupied with supporters of President Donald Trump. It felt as if something important was trampled on. Someone put blood on the statue of 12th President Zachary Taylor, which was haunting. The incident ended with five deaths. It was the result created by the allegations on ballot-rigging, provocative instigation and conspiracy theories suggested by Trump and the dramatic response of his supporters.
President Trump should take the lion’s share of the criticism. But politicians who incited him instead of stopping him should be held accountable. Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley were among them just to name a few. They announced that they would refuse to accept the final victory of President-elect Joe Biden at the joint session of the congress. They also recruited some 10 more Republican senators.
Radical supporters are everywhere. Their arguments are often ungrounded and overly subjective. They are easily instigated and quite forgetful. They do not represent all other supporters who voted based on the policy or values. Most of all, the leadership they support may be ousted from power all of a sudden.
Responsible politicians should not kneel to the authority and turn a blind eye to their principle. They need to inform citizens of the truth, show the big picture to them and persuade them to the right direction rather than taking advantage of distorted beliefs.
“The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth,” said Republican Sen. Mitt Romney in a meeting resumed six hours after the incident. “That is the burden, and the duty, of leadership.” He received an applause from other senators after saying this. It was a memorable moment that I wanted to recommend politicians in Korea to watch.