Op/Ed: Former Capitol Hill employees from Darien speak out after attack

A view from the top of the interior of the Capitol Dome. This is the Capitol Rotunda. The circular marker in the center is the geographic center of Washington, DC and the quadrants of the city intersect on this point. It is also where Presidents and qualified Statesmen and Stateswomen lie in State after their passing. This is the same Rotunda that Americans watched being desecrated by American extremists on national and international news last week. Travel one direction out of this Rotunda and you will head straight to the House Floor. Travel exactly the other direction and you will arrive at the Senate Floor.

A view from the top of the interior of the Capitol Dome. This is the Capitol Rotunda. The circular marker in the center is the geographic center of Washington, DC and the quadrants of the city intersect on this point. It is also where Presidents and qualified Statesmen and Stateswomen lie in State after their passing. This is the same Rotunda that Americans watched being desecrated by American extremists on national and international news last week. Travel one direction out of this Rotunda and you will head straight to the House Floor. Travel exactly the other direction and you will arrive at the Senate Floor.

Rachel Taylor

DARIEN— Chris and Rachel Taylor are former Capitol Hill employees, Darien residents and members of Darien’s Republican Town Committee.

Some 15 years ago, we both worked on Capitol Hill. To be precise we both worked in the Capitol Building, itself. We were both communicators for high-ranking Republican lawmakers with offices that you most likely viewed on the news last week, during the violent assault we all watched helplessly.

We looked on in horror as the very hallowed halls we walked while working endless hours in service to our country were being traipsed through and destroyed by violent American extremists. It was a heartbreaking sight for both of us.

We met in that building, fell in love there, and now the shining beacon of democracy — which we both revere — was being desecrated like we could never have imagined.

As Americans, we shared in the same sense of distress and disbelief felt throughout our country. This tragedy is not what any of us would have ever expected to see in our lifetime. Rightfully, we should all share the desire to see that those who directly violated our Capitol Building, taking the life of an honorable Capitol Police Officer and causing untold damage, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The heinous actions of these lawless marauders on January 6th were reprehensible and unforgivable.

As lifelong Republicans, we condemn the attacks of these far-right extremists whose ideals were fanned by false hopes from reckless pundits and many levels of the party — including President Trump.

Striving for insurrection could only serve to hurt our country domestically and internationally. It was a grievous barrage that will live on in history books. We know that these actions were committed by a small, hateful and misguided sliver of people — and not our party as a whole.

Still, we need to rebuild.

There was a time not long ago when our party’s leadership was comprised of level-headed, principled, compassionate Conservatives who maintained integrity in the face of a hostile political backdrop. I’m sure we’re not alone as we recall that time while we ponder the party’s future direction.

Now, President Trump’s term is ending.

Quoting former President George W. Bush from this past week, “To those who are disappointed in the results of the election: Our country is more important than the politics of the moment.”

Truthful, appropriate and clear language from a real leader. The election is over, it’s well past time to move on in order to preserve our democracy.

In Darien, we are fortunate to have local leaders and town volunteers who operate effectively with a clear and cooperative vision, honesty and mutual respect - even when we may happen to disagree. We are lucky to have such civil, responsive and capable governance in our small town. At the end of the day, we are all neighbors within this small community and thankfully we doubt we could find one member who would condone the attack that occurred on Wednesday of last week.

Today, even amid all current challenges, Darien is growing. New members of the community arrive weekly. Effective local control, leading to a very well-run town, is attracting new residents. Families are drawn by things we all share and champion; safe streets, great education and lower taxes. We must encourage all to be included in the future of our town and focus on what matters, here and now.

This is a turning point. As a community, we know that Darien is capable of rising above the political fray and uniting.

Chris Taylor worked for the Office of the Speaker from 2005 to 2007. Rachel Taylor worked for the Office of the Chief Deputy Majority Whip from 2005 to 2009, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA-07) then became House Minority Whip in 2009. She departed his office for political work in Tennessee in 2010 and returned to the House later that year to work for a different Member.

Obviously we don’t speak officially for these Representatives anymore, these opinions are our own.