Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.

Dear Senator Johnson:

I was a child when Senator Joseph McCarthy was conducting his red-hunting assault on the civil rights of American citizens. I am embarrassed that he represented Wisconsin then and have been proud of the many subsequent Senators from Wisconsin…until now.

By your refusal to tell the truth about the results of the November 3 Presidential election and to contradict President Trump’s repeated lies that the election was fraudulent, you are complicit in the resultant attack on Congress, the co-equal Article I branch of the Federal government, and the Capitol, Because you and the rest of the GOP did not publicly dispute the President’s campaign, beginning long before the election, that he could lose only through fraud, followers believed that lie.

You did not condemn his encouragement of violence by his followers and his frequent refusals to condemn violence throughout his term. He encouraged violence at vote counting locations in Michigan, Pennsylvania , Arizona, Georgia and our home state, Wisconsin. When that didn’t work, he harassed legislators and election officials in many states, seeking to overturn the election results, to such an extent that many of those officials were subjected to death threats.

I watched in horror as the angry mob smashed their way into the Capitol, defiling a place sacred to our nation. You were at risk that day, as was Vice President Pence and the rest of your colleagues in the Senate and the House. I would expect you to be angry and upset at the attack, the harm and trauma of January 6 following Trump’s “Save America Rally.” While you and your colleagues were in a secure location, members of the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police were seriously injured, resulting in death, as they tried to stem the invasion.

Furthermore, the President watched the chaos on television, did nothing to call the mob back, and delayed deployment of the National Guard to restore order.

I am embarrassed by your “representation” of the citizens of Wisconsin for the following reasons:

  1. Your refusal to tell the truth about the election results and to refute Trump’s lies about election fraud.
  2. Your vote twice against the constitutionality of a Senate trial of the former President for his actions on January 6.

I urge you to demonstrate courage, without fearing retribution from Mr. Trump and his followers, and vote to convict him of inciting insurrection. Hold him accountable for the attack on Congress, the co-equal branch of our government. If you do not vote to convict, I and the citizens of Wisconsin will hold you accountable. and demand your immediate resignation.

Mary Jo Tietge