Views expressed in letters to the editor do not represent opinions of The Gazette-Virginian or staff members.

To the editor:

There is a saying that when Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in American flags. The events on Jan. 6 show just how close we have come. 

Fascism is generally defined as a political movement that embraces far-right nationalism and the forceful suppression of any opposition, all overseen by an authoritarian government. 

Fascists strongly oppose liberalism and democracy, and believe the state takes precedence over individual interests. They favor centralized rule, often a single party or leader, and embrace the idea of a national rebirth, a new greatness for their country. Economic self-sufficiency is prized, often through state-controlled companies. 

The Halifax County Republican Unit Chair said he is “very disappointed” with Republicans and Trump voters who took part in the mob. 

“From what I could see [on television] enough of them were Trump supporters, and I’m sure some of them were. I would like to think they were not [Republicans], but when you get a hot-headed person fed up with politics, this is a potential.”

Let us be frank. They were all rapid Trump supporters stirred up by inflammatory propaganda, lies and distortions by far-right media outlets, President Trump and worse for years. 

There are individuals fed by unbridled ambition, greed and the thirst for power who will stop at nothing to achieve their objectives. And now the Republican Party will be engaged in a mighty struggle in coming months to rid itself of these forces if it is to survive. 

Without doubt our democracy and freedom cannot be taken for granted.  

This election was one of the most secure in history. The president elect won the popular vote by over 7 million. He won the Electoral College vote, certified in many cases by elected republican officials in key battleground states who held their oath to the Constitution as a sacred duty and who now receive death threats. 

Thank God the founding fathers built enough checks and balances into our democratic system and there were enough good people in the right place. 

Our freedom and democracy could have died on Jan. 6.  

Ed McKinney

South Boston