Sherri Yeager: Take a stand for truth, country and democracy


An open letter to elected Republican officials, local, state and federal:

I am a resident of McMinnville, a retired 25-year professor of U.S. history and politics. I am writing to urge each elected Republican official on every level of government to denounce what Yale History Professor Timothy Snyder calls “the Big Lie” Trump continues to tell his followers — a lie he fabricated long before votes were cast in November, in a desperate attempt to remain in power.

The Big Lie is that Trump actually won the election, because of massive election fraud. All Americans informed by factual evidence know this is a lie.

The election officials of every single state, regardless of party affiliation, have certified their states’ election results. They have confirmed that the November 2020 election was, perhaps, the fairest election of all time. Even in the midst of a deadly pandemic, record numbers of American citizens cast votes.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the Electoral College by a margin of 306 to 232. They garnered more than 51% of the popular vote, besting Trump/Pence by more than 7 million votes.

The truth: This was a fair election. Trump lost, Biden won. So Biden will take office Jan. 20.

In all the years I studied, wrote about and taught U.S. history, I never imagined I would see the day where an American president willfully lied about the results of an election and will of the people, then sought openly and publicly to overturn them. And all this simply because the only result his narcissism could accept was a win for himself.

Trump is and always has been so drunk on power and privilege that he would do anything, absolutely anything, to stay in office.

But I never imagined I would sit in my living room and watch in real time as this American president spent two hours inciting his cult-like white-nationalist supporters to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Capitol, to “get wild,” to engage in “combat,” to do everything necessary to stop what should have been the mere ceremonial counting of the electoral votes certifying Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election. I never imagined I would watch a violent, hateful, thousands-strong mob of domestic terrorists storm the steps, doors and windows of the Capitol, beat and abuse woefully outnumbered Capitol police, then violently trash and vandalize the People’s House.

Wearing and flashing symbols of anti-semitism, racism, white supremacy and the treasonous Confederacy, and shouting racist epithets, chants and threats of hanging Mike Pence and shooting Nancy Pelosi, they began hunting down members of Congress. They viciously murdered a Capitol policeman and almost crushed another who was screaming in agony for help.

What was Trump doing during this rampage of terror, hate and bloodshed? According to Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, he was wandering around the White House wondering why others weren’t as excited by what they were viewing as he was. He put out a video praising the “patriots,” told the insurrectionists he loved them, and uttered a slight and insincere mention of “peace.”

What we witnessed on Jan. 6 was straight out of the fascist playbook. What first came to mind for me was Kristallnacht — that horrible night in Germany when Nazi thugs shattered the windows and destroyed the properties of Jews, giving them a sinister preview of the genocidal nightmare to come.

We must ensure the lie-inspired atrocities of Jan. 6 are not a prelude to tyranny.

I am writing to ask that you publicly denounce Trump’s Big Lie, that you tell your Trump-loving supporters unequivocally that the 2020 election was fair, and that you offer congratulations and best wishes to the next president of the United States, Joe Biden. I also ask that you stress how important it is for citizens and public officials to form their opinions and base their policy positions on factual evidence and science.

We may disagree about how to effect change and the specifics of policies, but we will not survive as a democracy if a critical mass of the Republican electorate embraces an alternative reality rooted in conspiracy theories and fabricated “facts.” And we will not survive in Yamhill County if Republican legislators and commissioners incite their supporters with disinformation and remain silent when those supporters threaten public servants like Gov. Brown with violence.

If you honor the oath you took as an elected official, if you cherish our democratic republic, you must stand up for truth. You must stand up for democracy. You must defend your country over your political party, as it has been hijacked by a delusional authoritarian madman.

McMinnville retiree Sherri Yeager taught U.S. history and politics at Linfield University for many years.



Who said "get wild" and "combat"? Both were given in the context of the speech on Jan. 6th. Neither appear in the transcript (1st link). I do see a similar tweet from Trump on Dec 20 with ".. will be wild." (2nd link).



The "trial by combat" comment was Giuliani. He definitely was reckless with his language.


Don Dix

Trump lied to the public. Yep, all the time. Coincidentally, presidents have been lying to the public frequently and often.

FDR -- "I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." Then WWII.

Eisenhower -- claimed the US was not spying on the Soviets, until Gary Powers' U2 plane was shot down.

JFK -- lied about the Bay of Pigs invasion (Cuba) even while it was happening.

Lyndon Johnson -- falsely claimed 2 US ship were attacked in the Gulf of
Tonkin (Vietnam). Half a million troops and 58,000 deaths were the result.

Nixon -- nuff said!

Reagan -- 'America did not trade weapons for hostages' (Iran-Contra scandal) -- yep!

GHW Bush -- "Read my lips, no new taxes". Really?

Clinton -- "I did not have sexual relations with that woman". Right!

GW Bush -- falsely claimed Iraq had WMD -- thus war -- and no WMDs. Hmmmm.

Obama - Obama repeatedly and unequivocally claimed that if you already had health insurance then nothing would change for you. And you could keep your doctor as well. Not at all true.

Biden -- "The reason why I had such a fight with 20 candidates for the nomination was I support private insurance," he said. "Not one single person with private insurance would lose their insurance under my plan, nor did they under Obamacare. They did not lose their insurance unless they chose they wanted to go to something else." 6 million cancelled plans says otherwise.

A president lying to the public? Say it isn't so!


Some 30,000 documented flat-out falsehoods in four years, Don? That works out to about 20 PER DAY!

Yes, every president told a handful a term. No other president told a bucketful a day, even the 282 he spent golfing on his own courses, dragging along an entourage that helped line his own pockets.

Other presidents all lied occasionally. Trump told the truth occasionally, though very rarely.



Ms. Yeager - What a cogent informative summation of the ordeal we have just endured - and must continue to cope with. Thank you! I make a sincere effort to engage with my Republican friends with the hope they will come to recognize that their loyalty been viciously manipulated. No one likes to be cheated but it would help mend some bitter rifts if they could distinguish the truth about who it was that cheated them.

Mr. Dix – your apologist “whataboutism” is not persuasive. There are lies and then there is malicious calculated delusional deceit. Looks like you have a problem discerning the difference?

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