Statements on the Assault of Our Capitol

January 7, 2021

A message from the director of Eagleton regarding the violence at the U.S. Capitol.

“The conduct of the rioters disrupting the constitutional operation of our country is contrary to the principles that founded our nation and every value that we hold at the Eagleton Institute of Politics,” said John J. Farmer, Jr., the director of Eagleton.

“These acts border on treason. We cannot be silent or afraid to stand up for a fair, just, and peaceful democracy. We must redouble our efforts, as institutions and as individuals, to assure the future of our democracy, first by restoring peace to our nation’s capital and then by coming together as Americans to truly see and understand one another again. The time is now to condemn these lawless actions and to stand behind and for the free exercise of elections and peaceful transfer of power.”


Rutgers Leadership Statement

Rutgers University Jonathan Holloway, along with Chancellors Christopher Molloy, Nancy Cantor, and Brian Strom, and Interim Chancellor Margaret Marsh, released a statement about the breach of the U.S. Capitol.

“These are challenging times. Our nation is deep in the midst of a global pandemic that has cost more than 350,000 lives in the U.S., we are wrestling with the need for racial reconciliation that is hundreds of years overdue, and today the right of our democracy to function has been threatened by acts of violence that are as inappropriate as they are unacceptable and unpatriotic…

At a moment when it seems that so many fundamental values are being challenged, we wanted to take a moment to remind and reassure the members of our community of the values we hold dear: That we are a diverse community and a resilient community. That we are a community where we can, and must, talk about our differences in respectful and responsible tones. That we are a beloved community.

We want to urge everyone to remember and embrace these values.”


Star-Ledger Op-ed: This failed revolution has been brewing for years

The Star-Ledger published an op-ed written by Professor Farmer about how our country got to this point and where we, as Americans, go from here.

“In attempting to halt the constitutional process of the peaceful transfer of power, those actions were nothing short of an attempted coup. As President Bush stated this evening, ‘The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a constitutionally mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.’ The Tweetstorm became a street storm before our eyes.

For all of the flag-waving histrionics, the Trump supporters’ actions were unamerican to their core, a direct assault on constitutional government. As President-elect Biden stated, they bordered on sedition.

But were they really surprising?

Viewed in the context of the past generation, in which American politics has drifted increasingly toward intolerance and polarization, and American popular culture has devolved into a freakshow, a funhouse mirror image of our nation, today’s storming of the capitol seems less an aberration than a culmination.

The political warning signs have been blinking red for a generation. Beginning with President Clinton’s election, the parties have increasingly characterized each other’s victories as illegitimate and sought to solidify its base by demonizing the other party…

Three accelerants have inflamed this already simmering dysfunction: sources of political information curated by commercial algorithms; the exponential growth of the importance of money in politics and Donald Trump himself…

Today will pass as a low point in American history. Congress will play its ministerial role in certifying the election. Joe Biden will be sworn in as president. Then, perhaps, we can put the revolution we nearly had today behind us, and focus on the reform of laws, structures and attitudes we really need.”

Read the full op-ed.