I write in response to Mark Laflamme’s Jan. 7 assessment of the “mixed” reaction to the violence unleashed on Capitol Hill, in an attempt to preempt the certification of Joe Biden as the next United States president.

While Laflamme acknowledged that many local people found it “unsettling,” he gave pride of place to the view of (unsuccessful) Republican political candidate Matt Leonard. In a phone interview Leonard expressed sympathy for the rioters, attributing their actions to loss of faith in the government.

Failing to acknowledge the outcome of an election repeatedly shown to have been run honestly and capably is not loss of faith. It’s denial of reality. And violently challenging such an outcome is criminal.

There are many people in Lewiston and Auburn who can distinguish between political disagreement, and disingenuously endorsing the violent overthrow of political institutions.

Laurie O’Higgins, Lewiston

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