Today’s Events at the Capitol

In a message to the Stanford GSB community, Dean Jon Levin reflects on the events of January 6.

January 06, 2021

Like all of you, I have been watching the stunning events in Washington, D.C. President-elect Joe Biden was correct to call it an unprecedented assault on American democracy. There is nothing defensible about a violent protest to block the peaceful transition of power, and today will be remembered as a low point in American history.

We have been reminded in recent weeks that our country has strong institutions. We have seen the court system adjudicate baseless election claims, and the readiness of many, if not all, members of Congress to certify the will of the electorate. But make no mistake, our institutions are being severely tested.

Today’s events remind us that the ongoing American experiment cannot be taken for granted. For it to persist, enough of us must stand up for the principles that guarantee freedoms for all Americans, including the rule of law and the transition of power after an election. Although the events at the Capitol might threaten our faith, let them serve instead to renew our commitment to those principles.

Jonathan Levin

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