Leadership Now Project Statement: A Business Response to the January 6th Insurrection
Statement from Leadership Now CEO Daniella Ballou-Aares
Our democracy has faced numerous threats in recent months, tragically converging in a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. What happened was shocking, and yet it felt inevitable. During the last four years, we’ve been watching this movie play out — and all of us at Leadership Now have been trying to prevent an ending that we feared would look a lot like yesterday.
While we are heartened by the relatively quick certification of the Electoral College results after Congress reconvened last night, this is not a moment that can be overlooked. We face an insurrection fueled by conspiracy theories — propagated by the outgoing President and many members of Congress — that not only enable but also encourage acts of sedition.
On June 1st an extraordinary show of force was deployed to defend the Capitol against peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters. None of those measures were in place to defend the Capitol yesterday. Visuals of the violent attack have reverberated around the world, openly displaying the fragility of our democracy and the racial injustice that plagues our nation.
We are encouraged by the initial statements by business leaders and associations, in particular the powerful statement from the National Association of Manufacturers calling for the invocation of the 25th Amendment. It states: “The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy. Anyone indulging conspiracy theories to raise campaign dollars is complicit. Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.”
Today, further action by business and political leaders is urgent, starting with:
- Impeaching President Trump and/or invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the President immediately, before he can cause more harm. If those fail to move forward, then pursue immediate censure of the President by both houses.
- Withdrawing current and future corporate campaign contributions to elected officials in Congress, and in state capitols, who undermined democracy by objecting to the Electoral vote count and bolstering unsubstantiated claims of fraud. Companies should also make clear that the President’s enablers will have no opportunity for future employment with them.
- Working with sustained commitment to pass federal and state legislation that shores up our democratic institutions, voting processes, and racial equity, like the For the People Act (HR1) and the Protecting Our Democracy Act.
We are ready to partner with other business leaders to immediately advance these priorities.
While there is hope given the record turnout and success of our elections — both in Georgia this week and in November — Trump has reminded us that when trust in the very basics of our system are eroded, everything is on the table. Even an insurrection.
The work ahead to rebuild trust, combat conspiracy theories, fight enduring racism, and ultimately heal our nation is daunting, but essential. We are eager to work with our members, partners, and other coalitions to vigorously respond to the threats to the foundations of our democracy. We hope you will join us.
Daniella Ballou-Aares, CEO, Leadership Now Project