In the opening line of “The Raven,” the poet Edgar Allen Poe mournfully wrote, “once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary.” Here we are at the dreary midnight of Donald Trump’s only term—a fractured and weary country. Ponder this. Staggering death tolls. Unemployment. Business closings. Racial injustice. Race-baiting. Diminished standing on the world stage. Mental fatigue.

And then Wednesday. In America’s warped version of the storming of the Bastille, we sat stunned while we watched a seditious assault on our democracy by American citizens spurred on by an American president. Two pillars that support our constitutional, democratic system—the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power—were brazenly and violently attacked by insurrectionists whom the commander-in-chief publicly declared he “loved.” This spectacle was a national disgrace.

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