We’ve all been transfixed by today’s violent siege at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. This afternoon, automotive leaders issued statements regarding these events:
From Ford CEO Jim Farley and Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr.;
Like most of you, we have been watch ing the images coming from Capitol Hill today in complete disbelief.
On a day which should be a reaffirmation of one of the most important democratic ideals, the peaceful transition of power stemming from a free and fair election, we saw actions that are the antithesis of those ideals. Beyond the physical damage to our Capitol and the attacks on public servants, these were destructive acts against our shared principles and beliefs.
There are no easy lessons to learn from this moment. It is clear that there will be more difficult days ahead as our country tries to overcome the things that challenge and divide us: a public health crisis, the lack of faith in public institutions, and a fractured sense of what we value as Americans.
These problems can and must be resolved. And, we have to take it upon ourselves to be leaders in our homes and in our communities.
As we start a new year, as a company and as people, let us commit to working together, with respect and empathy, to help our country to be stronger and better than what we saw today.
Bill and Jim
GM CEO Mary Barra tweeted:
The peaceful transition of power is a cornerstone of American democracy, and regardless of politics the violence at the U.S. Capitol does not reflect who we are as a nation. It’s imperative that we come together as a country and reinforce the values and ideals that unite us.
— Mary Barra (@mtbarra) January 6, 2021
UAW President Rory Gamble wrote:
This is a very sad day for our nation and our democracy. This is not how this great nation nor responsible citizens, handle elections or our differences.
We are a better people than this storming mob, and I am optimistic that despite today’s events, we will regain oiur footing and we will move forward for the greater good of all of us. As a nation, we are learning in a profound way that we all have a personal responsibility to safeguard this democracy.
We cannot take our system of government for granted, and we must be vigilant to ensure that our democracy maintains its historical position as the gold standard for freedom and liberty. Today’s actions must not be allowed to alter that.
This is truly a singular point in oiur history. The violence at the Capitol today is a deliberate and despicable attempt by extremists to disrupt our great republic. It will not succeed. We, as a nation, are stronger than this one shameful incident. There is room in this great democracy, as in our own union, for disagreement. It is one of the great strengths of our democratic system. We are better than that, and today above all, we must remember that there is more that unites us than divides us. There is absolutely no room for this type of mob rule in a functioning democratic system.
This is a day none of us should or will ever forget. But please let us remember that there is much work to be done — and we must take the personal responsibility to do it together. We are the United States, and unite we must. I urge us all to work together to move forward and heal our nation.
Finally, the typically conservative National Association of Manufacturers, which has board members from Toyota North America, Subaru, Penske and others in the automotive industry, issued a statement in which it urged Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet members to “seriously consider” invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which would sideline President Trump. It reads in part:
This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such. 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.
The NAM’s full statement can be found here. It is a remarkable condemnation on a remarkable day in our nation’s history.