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Guest column, Andrew Clyde: Republicans must move forward from ‘horrendous’ events of Jan. 6, unite against radical agenda
Andrew Clyde.jpg
Andrew Clyde

In the late ’70s, the Republican Party was at a crossroads. The question the pundits were asking is if the party would continue to follow the likes of Barry Goldwater or would they change course in a more liberal direction. 

In the midst of the back and forth, Ronald Reagan adopted the “The Eleventh Commandment:” Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. Liz Cheney broke “The Eleventh Commandment.” 

Impugning Donald Trump’s character, she voted to impeach the sitting president of the United States after Democrats violated their own House rules, abandoned all allusion of procedural process and failed to bring charges before the Judiciary Committee. 

Democrats passed that bill two days after introduction without any due process or jurisprudence. Cheney knows this; she is a lawyer. I have nothing personal against her, I simply did not believe she was providing the leadership we, as a party, need at this time. 

The Republican conference chair’s keystone responsibility is to bring the party together, and the vast majority of the conference was singularly focused on the horizon, not the past. 

We were focused on doing as much as we could to stop a radical agenda that has created the worst humanitarian crisis at our border in the history of our country, is stifling our economy and weakening the stability of global relations. But Cheney kept looking back. Over and over again, taking every opportunity to relitigate her vote. We need to move forward if we are to save our republic.

The events of Jan. 6 were horrendous. A Capitol police officer called my office yesterday and asked my staff if they wanted him to show me his bodycam footage. 

I would be happy to sit down with that officer and recount his bravery in the line of duty. But I would not have to in order to understand that day’s events. I was there. I was one of the very last members to leave the floor on Jan. 6 and helped the Capitol Police barricade the doors. 

I was on the House floor when Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was killed. I will never forget hearing the shot. 

Since my fourth day in office, when these events occurred, I have stated that violence is never an acceptable form of protest. 

As a senior military officer and small business owner, code of conduct and responsibility are paramount to me, and the events of Jan. 6 do not follow those tenets. As our House Oversight Committee did its work yesterday to review the events of the Capitol breach and subsequent riot in areas both within and outside the Capitol, I remarked that if anyone had seen a specific video showing individuals in an orderly fashion respectfully walking through Statuary Hall staying between the stanchions and ropes, from that video, you would think it looked like a regular day of tourists visiting the building.

The Swamp pounced. And while one of Georgia’s highest-ranking Republican state officials joined the Democrats and beltway fake news media to take his fellow Republican’s comments out of context from a serious oversight hearing intended to accurately portray the events of Jan. 6, I was meeting with petroleum suppliers to discuss how we are going to solve the real problems of hardworking Georgians. 

The reality is, sir, that the will of the people is to have free, fair and trustworthy elections, and when you chose to abandon the gavel and those you represent, you showed your willingness to give up the fight and abdicated your duty to them.

Difficult decisions were made in the Republican conference, and today we must march forward unified. Reagan tells the story of the “commandment” in his autobiography, “An American Life.” He named the book that because there is an explicitly American way of life, and right now we are losing it. 

Republicans should be in lockstep showing the country that democratic socialist ideas do not work, and not only do they not work, but they throw our country into chaos and make the world more dangerous. 

The people of the 9th District of Georgia sent me to Congress because they desire to live an American life. And that is a life in which the governed are defended by a social contract with the government called the Constitution.  I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution both as a Navy officer and now as a civilian representative. And I intend to continue doing just that.

U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde represents the 9th District, which includes Hall County and much of North Georgia.