Carl F. Bryan II: A time for kindness, caring and listening
The purpose of this piece is not to fan the flames of political discord. We have enough of that now in our beloved country.
There is a place for Republicans and Democrats in our system. We benefit by constructive ideas from conservative, liberals, and centrists. Our country is not just politically polarized today. We are divided even more sharply into groups who believe in true facts and real science, and those who do not.
We all should condemn violence, especially the insurrection we all saw in the Capitol that resulted in deaths, injuries, and vandalism. We all should do so because it is the right thing to do.
I write now to make to clear all fellow citizens that they should carefully consider their words and actions. Especially to our younger citizens. Some may draw the wrongful conclusion that there will be no sanction, consequence, or criminal prosecution for insurrection or incitement to riot. One who aids and abets a crime by fomenting or encouraging it is as guilty as a principal for its commission.
The death of another (even a co-conspirator) in a felony one has encouraged by aiding and abetting by word, act, or tweet could result in criminal prosecution for the crime of murder under the felony murder rule. When a peaceful crowd turns into a violent mob, even those just caught up in the moment can be held responsible for its consequences.
It is a time for our leaders to be courageous and to help us to heal, not to try to capitalize on crisis. All of us should resolve to respect other views. We face a pandemic, an uncertain world, and difficult social and economic problems. Kindness, caring, and listening will help us more than animosity and shouting.
Carl F. Bryan, II, was a Nevada County Superior Court judge from 1986 to 2007.
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