The leaders of the Highland County Democrat and Republican parties weighed-in on Wednesday’s events in the nation’s capital, with Democratic Party Chair Dinah Phillips telling The Times-Gazette that the actions that unfolded in Washington, D.C. shouldn’t have happened at all.
“It was very unfortunate that it could happen in a country like the United States,” Phillips said. “Hopefully, it will be avoidable in the future, since I don’t think that’s a good representation of the kind of people that we are in this country.”
On Wednesday, protesters demonstrated in Washington, D.C., both in support of President Donald Trump and to protest allegations of voter fraud and illegal voting in the recent presidential election.
According to the U.S. Park Police, Wednesday’s rally at The Ellipse was estimated at nearly 30,000 people.
Highland County Republican Chair Paulette Donley echoed her local political counterpart, expressing dismay at what happened, and stressing that the GOP didn’t condone or support the actions of those responsible for what she called “the lawlessness at our nation’s capital.”
“The country has suffered deeply from their actions,” she said. “In some parts of the country, the lawlessness has gone on since early last year. We pray the violence stops and that our leaders work together for a smooth transition and that democracy prevails.”
Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha said he was disappointed in a peaceful demonstration that turned into an “ugly protest.”
“We, the American people, can do better than that,” he said. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, tensions are high, but I know we can do better.”
Highland County commissioners Jeff Duncan, Terry Britton and David Daniels issued a joint statement Thursday, saying that while peaceful protest had always been a foundation for the country, “the events that unfolded yesterday in our nation’s capital were unfortunate. The events Wednesday certainly cannot be considered peaceful and should be condemned. It is our hope that we can all move past these unfortunate events.”
Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) condemned the violence at the nation’s Capitol Building, stating in a new release that, “We witnessed an assault on democracy and an attempt to interrupt our constitutional process,” adding that “this should never, ever happen in the United States of America.”
While denouncing Tuesday’s protests, Wenstrup wrote that he still had what he called “grave constitutional concerns” regarding the Nov. 3 election, saying that he believed there to be constitutional concerns and actual violations regarding election administration.
“Many Americans across the political spectrum have concerns about its fairness and accuracy,” the release said. “Unfairness on the part of the media and big tech only exacerbated these concerns, which have been arising over the last two decades.”
He said he was also concerned about state officials making changes to election laws without the consent of the legislature, noting that “this concern has arisen in states won by each candidate.”
“The discrepancies in these states must be resolved, and the constitutional questions must be answered,” Wenstrup said. “Two constitutional issues are hitting each other — the non-constitutionality of non-legislative changes to the election, and the constitutionality of states choosing their own electors and certifying them.”
In addition to her political duties, Phillips is also a member of the Highland County Board of Elections. She said she wanted to assure every voter their local ballot was safe and secure, with checks and balances in place to insure that every vote cast was legitimate and signatures were verified.
“We’re a God-fearing nation,” she said. “Hopefully, we can reflect on what happened Wednesday and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin elaborated on what Phillips said, noting that the events in Washington “can be confusing and scary for any American.”
“In times like these, we need to be grounded in our faith that God is in control, not man,” he said. “We do not know the future of our nation, state, or local municipality, but I feel it is essential to fully embrace one of the most valuable tools any human possesses, and that is prayer.”
Wilkin said he had no first-hand knowledge of those responsible, and couldn’t comment on their motives or who was responsible.
“I can comment upon my feelings, and I believe Psalm 118:8 describes them best — ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.’”
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.