Rural Voices USA, formerly Rural America 2020, released the following statement from Board President Christopher Gibbs on the Capitol riots. Rural Voices USA is a nationwide network of rural leaders, farmers and rural community members who are working to bridge the rural-urban divide and ensure rural voices are being heard on important policies. More information on the network and its mission will be released in the coming weeks.
“The attack on our nation’s capital was the result of the President’s relentless assault on our democratic processes and the support of his enablers. It was also a result of the breakdown of discourse and decency in our politics which has been present for far too long.
“What happened on Wednesday does not reflect America’s rural values including decency, patriotism, and respect for the rule of law. Rural Americans, including those who voted for President Trump and those who voted for President-elect Biden, are shocked and outraged by this assault on our democracy. But out of this violent assault can come the seeds of a national healing. It is more clear than ever that we must address partisan divisions in America.
“The rural-urban divide has been stoked by politicians who seek to divide us as a county for their own political gain. Unfortunately, that includes elected officials from rural America who seek to demonize their opposition and play into conspiracy theories and ignore constituents whose views don’t reflect theirs. It is time that all citizens own this problem and work together to unite this country. That is why, in the coming weeks, Rural Voices USA, will be announcing our plans for an expanded network of rural Americans dedicated to bridging the rural-urban political divide and supporting a new vision for a prosperous, unified America. We can’t wait for politicians. This work must begin with us and it must begin today.
“We have been through one of the darkest days of American history. Unfortunately, there will be many more if we can’t find common ground. We look forward to the hard work ahead of truly placing country first by sharing a different perspective on rural America, demanding more of our leaders and embracing the differing views of our fellow Americans in the service of a more constructive political future.”