I recently took a look at Rep. Ann Wagner’s website to see what she thought of President Trump’s incendiary words at his rally Jan. 6, the words that prompted his supporters to attack the Capitol. She stated quite clearly that Trump should be held accountable for his role in the violence that took place. In fact she said, “I support censuring the President for his rhetoric to ensure that his behavior is not deemed acceptable to future leaders.”
Was she perhaps talking about rhetoric like this? “The Democrats are trying to destroy the integrity of our elections –- and if we don’t stand up to them today, they’re going to do even more damage.” Or about such ludicrously false claims as the idea that “radical leftists have corrupted this Presidential election” and are coming for the rest of us next?
Those are irresponsible words alright. And who said them? Ann Wagner. In a letter that arrived in my mailbox Jan. 14. Oh, I know. It’s a fundraising letter, after all, and it may have been written a couple of days before the Capitol was attacked and at least five people died.
But words matter. And Ann Wagner’s words have told us some truths about her. That’s why I support censuring our Congresswoman for her rhetoric to ensure that her behavior is not deemed acceptable to future leaders.
[Editor’s note: This post originally appeared as a letter to the editor in the January 20, 2021 St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It is reposted here with permission of the author.]