ICYMI: Fairfax GOP Condemns Violence, Defends Free Speech

Chairman Steve Knotts shared the following message with the Fairfax GOP membership on Sunday, January 17:

The Fairfax County Republicans have repeatedly condemned all political violence and do so again in the wake of the attack on the Capitol. We remain grateful supporters of our dedicated law enforcement community and mourn the loss of life, including Officer Brian D. Sicknick and Officer Howard Liebengood, as well as veteran Ashli Babbitt.
 
Freedom of speech and assembly are among our most sacred rights. The Constitution gives our citizens these protections, regardless of whether or not the speech is popular or agreeable. We reject political violence, but those who gathered peacefully in support of President Donald Trump on January 6th did nothing wrong.
 
Fairness and faith in our system of government are central to our Democracy. Americans cannot allow the tragedy of these events to be an excuse for censorship and the loss of our Constitutional liberties. Citizens must be able to trust our electoral system, in order to unite as a nation following elections.
 
As we look forward to this fall’s election we need to keep the integrity of our elections in the forefront of our minds. While we believe that the process in Fairfax County is relatively strong compared to other areas, the Fairfax County Board of Elections has identified voters who cast more than one ballot. This constitutes election fraud, and we will demand Fairfax County provide full transparency, in order to ensure the election integrity our citizens deserve. No amount of election fraud is acceptable.
 
President-elect Joe Biden has issued a call for unity. Instead of trying to score political points, Fairfax County Democrats should demonstrate their good will and join us in our efforts to examine the election process and guarantee election integrity to all citizens. We should all welcome the freedom we enjoy as Americans that allows us to improve our voting process and provide ballot security in Virginia.

As Chairman Knotts noted, the Fairfax GOP has repeatedly and consistently denounced all forms of political violence, whether it comes from the Right or the Left. “We support the peaceful exercise of free speech, consistent with law and order. Of course we condemn yesterday’s lawlessness in our nation’s capital,” the Fairfax GOP tweeted on January 7. “We unequivocally oppose all political violence, to include the destruction of property, no matter the stated cause.”

Democrats, locally and nationally, seem to have a more “nuanced” position when it comes to politically-motivated violence.

On May 30, 2020, when American cities, to include our nation’s capital, were descending into lawlessness, the Fairfax County Democratic Committee retweeted a statement calling riots “an integral part of this country’s march towards progress.” Fairfax Dems eventually deleted the tweet, after drawing national media attention.

On June 1, 2020, then-Senator Kamala Harris tweeted: “If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.”

By contrast, as events spiraled into chaos on January 6, 2021, the Fairfax GOP reiterated calls from the White House to remain peaceful and to respect law enforcement. Ever since, the Fairfax GOP has condemned the day’s violence, stood with law enforcement, and encouraged all witnesses to share whatever they know with investigators.

Regrettably, the Fairfax GOP’s own Vinson Palathingal has come under attack for merely attending the President’s rally and lawfully marching on January 6. While the ensuing media firestorm was limited to India, Vinson’s nation of birth, Democrats shamelessly attempted to manufacture controversy here in Fairfax County. Even Rachna Sizemore Heizer, one of the county’s at-large school board members, got in on the act.

In a January 15 Fairfax Times article, Vinson set the record straight (read it here). As Chairman Knotts told the Fairfax Times: “The Fairfax GOP will always defend the right of citizens to lawfully express themselves, as Vinson did last week. Of course, we unequivocally oppose all political violence, and we know Vinson fully shares this conviction. Vinson broke no laws last week. All Vinson did was peacefully exercise his First Amendment rights, and for that he is now being viciously attacked and defamed by the intolerant, authoritarian Left. We proudly stand with Vinson, and we remain thankful for his continued leadership.”

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