Yesterday, to a crowd of supporters, the President of the United States declared, “…you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.” Urged by the President “…to confront this egregious assault on our democracy,” the crowd set its sights on the Capitol.

Early this morning, members of Congress made their own emphatic statement about strength versus weakness, by affirming the Constitution, protecting the electoral college, and preserving the integrity of the election, itself.

Yesterday’s events, which included moments of appalling violence and authentic heroism, stir questions that should keep a public affairs educational institution like SPIA busy for months to come, including: what would have happened if a crowd composed primarily of people of color had stormed the Capitol? How do we move forward as a republic? How do we dial back partisanship?

Now, more than ever, we should be dedicated to answering these questions, with SPIA students, staff, faculty, and alumni as active participants. There is much work to do – part of the larger endeavor of building a more perfect union, per today’s message from UGA President Morehead.

– Matthew Auer, Dean, SPIA