Chad Gardner: Words matter. Integrity matters. Honesty matters.

Guest column by Chad Gardner

Each time I'm in Washington, I'm always drawn to the Capitol. I enjoy walking around the building and soaking up the history. It's truly The People's House. It's where we send our locally elected officials to debate and discuss issues that affect the lives of Americans. I have a great deal of respect for our country's traditions and it was painful to watch insurrectionists and seditionists attack the people's house. I was shaking with anger as the halls of the Capitol, where I've enjoyed standing, were being desecrated by those who want to see our constitution and rules of government tossed aside.

While the events of January 6 were horrific, our nation stood strong. This insurrection was quickly repelled and by nightfall our representatives were back in their chambers conducting the business of our nation and doing the will of the people. Americans elected Joe Biden in a free and fair election to serve as President for the next four years. Congress confirmed that election after they returned to their chambers and finished their constitutional duty to count the votes submitted by the states. While this day saw an attack on our nation's constitution, Democracy won and our Republic won.

Words matter. Integrity matters. Honesty matters. For the past four years, it's been difficult for me to watch the Republican party torn apart by an individual that is more interested in serving himself than serving others. I will always cheer for the President to succeed no matter who occupies that position. We should all want our government and our nation to be successful for the betterment of our citizens. On January 20, I will begin cheering for Joe Biden to succeed so we can move our country forward. When the President is looking after the best interests of our country and succeeds, we win. Sadly, that has not been the case in recent months and years.

2016 was the first election in my life I didn't cast a vote for President. I value my right to vote and seeing that empty blank as I submitted my ballot was difficult. I didn't support either candidate that particular year, but I couldn't cast my ballot for a man I felt was morally and ethically lacking. But, I'll support the office of the President and cheer for whoever holds that office to succeed in leading our country. I didn't vote for President Trump in 2020 for the same reasons as four years ago. The last two months and especially the last week have shown the country he's more interested in self than service.

For elected officials, service to country, state, or city, should be placed above service to a party. Those who are elected to represent the will of the people have been called to serve all of their constituents. Through their service, their words matter, honesty matters, and integrity matters. May we all strive to hold ourselves to a higher level of accountability and place service over self.