It is time for our country and state to move beyond conspiracy driven rhetoric that has come to dominate so much of our political discourse.
We must transition from the high levels of dysfunction that have defined a turbulent period, encouraged by some of our elected officials nationally and in Arizona, to a path that will restore the civil dialogue and debate of ideas which have been a bedrock of our democracy since its founding. Inflammatory political rhetoric and the desire for power must take a back seat to the most important factor of all: the truth.
As a group of community leaders and members of Greater Phoenix Leadership who employ nearly 500,000 Arizonans, we share the sadness and anger at the shameful and violent actions we all witnessed last week and quickly released a statement denouncing those actions at that time.
It is clear, however, that we must speak with greater clarity of the disgraceful debacle which unfolded as a direct result of sustained leadership malpractice by elected officials within our country and state; leaders who have incented this type of behavior through dishonest and divisive messaging in order to create a false narrative, and then use this baseline of false truths to create a springboard for vengeance from followers they have helped to convince have been victimized. This is unacceptable, un-American, unpatriotic, and as we witnessed, very dangerous to life and democracy.
That elected members of Arizona’s congressional delegation and state legislature participated and stoked the flames of this travesty is embarrassing and wrong. They should be held accountable for their rhetoric and behavior.
We are registered Republicans, Independents and Democrats. We believe a strong two-party system helps create better policy for the majority of citizens. As an organization, in the 2020 Arizona legislative elections, Greater Phoenix Leadership worked to elect eight Republicans and eight Democrats. We will continue to support qualified people of both parties who will work together to better our state.
Let us be clear: we find the weeks of disinformation and outright lies to reverse a fair and free election from the head of the Arizona Republican Party and some elected officials to be reprehensible.
The political party organization and these elected officials, which some of us have supported in the past, have again embarrassed Arizona on a national stage. The vast majority of us have agreed that we will no longer support the party and these individuals financially, nor will we continue memberships in organizations that support them financially, until we see change in rhetoric, leadership and practice with a return to civil discourse and the fundamental principles upon which the Republican Party was founded.
We acknowledge the great divisions we are experiencing have not arisen in just the last four years, and it may take considerable time to correct moving forward. But we believe deeply we must take action now to make this correction if we are to leave our sons and daughters, and all of theirs, a country and state better than the one we have today.