Former U.S. Senator Doug Jones is calling on citizens to “build a pro-democracy coalition” a year after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“Jan. 6 was a day of remembrance and analysis, a day to look back,” Jones said. “Today is a day to look forward,” Jones said. “Quite frankly, democracy is in peril. I don’t give a damn what anybody says. I see it on both sides of the aisle, but particularly from the radical right.”
Jones said the actions of Republicans who voted against certifying the election gave legitimacy to the “Stop the Steal” movement.
“That was signifying that the election was stolen,” Jones said. “That allowed such buy-in from so many in the country.”
When asked if businesses should stop supporting the members who voted against certifying the election, Jones said nobody should support those representatives.
“They shouldn’t be in office,” Jones said. “They shucked their fiduciary duties. Business has a unique position, they could really exert some influence if they understand it ought to be about democracy … They can come a long way if they get a little backbone.”
Although Jones placed the events of Jan. 6, 2021, squarely on the radical right, he called for voters to avoid electing extreme candidates on either side.
“We don’t want anybody to shirk their philosophies or principles, but they can work together,” Jones said. “We need to hold folks accountable. I mean that about Democrats too. Some say ‘it’s our way or the highway.’ We have seen that time and time again and it is not going to work.”
He also called out Democrats for losing the messaging battle.
“We’ve got to first of all recognize we are dealing with a propaganda and outrage machine,” Jones said. “Right wing billionaires have put money into an apparatus that puts out all types of information that is not true … Democrats need to build their own apparatus to help counter that narrative.
“We’re not talking to folks, not having the dialogues. We often respond to their misinformation with anger and frustration. We can’t just be pissed off. People out there are willing to listen. They believe there is a threat to democracy, but they think it is coming from socialism.”
Jones also commended President Joe Biden on his speech regarding the insurrection and the Department of Justice for its work in prosecuting insurrectionists.
“It was powerful. It was a force of nature,” Jones said. “I’ve known (Biden) 40-plus years and he’s always been a great orator. But he combined that skill with the closing argument of great trial lawyers. He set the table to talk about democracy going forward.”