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FROSTMAN COLUMN: Capitol breach was wrong, as is silencing conservative speech

FROSTMAN COLUMN: Capitol breach was wrong, as is silencing conservative speech

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In these most volatile times, capturing a moment in time is a daunting task. As I have shared before, these words are always penned—clicked nowadays—several days in advance of publication. As a result, on occasion a circumstance such as last week will occur where those words don’t have the opportunity to reflect the most recent sets of events. This week may bring a similar challenge with the firestorm of activities in Washington D.C. and across the nation.

I abhor what happened inside our Capitol building on Wednesday, Jan. 6, and I hope that is clear enough for all to read. Do not condone it in any way, shape, or form. Thousands gathered in peace, with a few nut-job agitators stoking discord. No Fred Flintstone-like wannabe by wearing what looked like a “Loyal Order of Water Buffalo” hat represents my views, values, and the opinions of the overwhelming majority of President Donald Trump’s 75 million supporters. He was there for a photo op, and got his 15 minutes. Many of the happenings of that day seem surreal.

I do wonder how folks got into what should be among the most secure buildings on the planet with relative ease. Certainly not an excuse for even entering the building as they did, but how does someone get into Nancy Pelosi’s office and grab a laptop? I can’t even get a return call from Mark Pocan or Tammy Baldwin. They won’t abide a conversation with someone with whom they may disagree.

We see the systemic purging of conservative websites, Facebook pages, and thousands of Twitter users suddenly cut off, essentially amounting to censorship. Everyday folks not using incendiary or inciting tones, often just simply conservatives being banned from social media. The left is seeking to silence any voices not fitting their narrative. They’ll even go after editorial commentators who have never used any hateful or incendiary language. They won’t tolerate opposing views that have a right to be heard.

I thought a bit of respite was needed from the chaos in Washington, and sought out a degree of political normalcy, visiting our State Capitol on Monday to attend a Senate Committee hearing on the latest version of a COVID relief package. I chose not to testify, as the proposed legislation had undergone a couple of changes, but it felt good to be in the Capitol building, however distanced and in an overflow room watching the proceedings.

Committee hearings are often arduously long, drawn out, and very dry with statistics and stories, with an occasional more raucous exchange. Some have lost sight within those hearing rooms competing ideas are hashed out and refined into proposals, as a necessary step in making change.

It was with great dismay that upon exiting the Capitol building, I saw a number of workmen braving the January chill and biting wind to raise plywood and framing over the windows of our beloved Capitol building’s ground floor. It seemed all the process and procedure playing out inside the building would all be for naught should a day soon in the offing descend into violent madness.

It is my sincere hope and plea supporters of President Trump go to work and about their tasks as they normally do next week, including on Jan. 20. Multiple news sources, including ABC’s Aaron Katersky, shared an FBI bulletin that “Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January.” I’ve been to a few large rallies over the past several years and many small gatherings, and they have all been peaceful and patriotic.

I’ve also been to gatherings that included folks from across the political spectrum. One of note was Nov. 7, the weekend after the election in Madison. There was sort of an unseen morphing of one group into the other along a sidewalk in front of the Capitol. A few tense words on occasion, but overwhelmingly collegial. I thought it compelling. America as it should be. Two opposite ends of the political spectrum, but just sort of standing alongside as though it were some friendly sports rivalry.

My voice and other conservative voices won’t be silenced. We will continue in the effort for freedom of speech, freedom of religious practices, insuring the protection of First and Second Amendment rights and others. As we approach the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. let us remember his example of peaceful stances, and be in prayer for our nation.

Scott Frostman lives in Baraboo, and has roots throughout Wisconsin. He currently serves as the chairman of the Republican Party of Sauk County. Opinions herein are exclusively his own and not those of the Republican parties of Wisconsin or Sauk County. He believes anyone can make a difference and can be reached at scfrostman@gmail.com.

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