PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan Boyle is adding his name to the list of politicians who are refusing to attend the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Boyle released a statement on Monday, calling Trump “a unique threat to the Constitution and to our country,” as he outlined, in detail, his feelings about the president-elect and how Trump’s election has him grappling with his long-held outlook on inaugurations.
“As I wrote last March, I believe Donald Trump is a unique threat to the Constitution and to our country. I have never before used such stark terms to describe an American political leader, Democrat or Republican. I do not use these words lightly. But Trump warrants such dramatic description.
On January 6, as dictated by the Constitution, Congress met in joint session to certify the results of the Electoral College. As a member of Congress, I attended and participated in this joint session. As vehemently as I disagree with the election results, I fulfilled my constitutional obligation.
Now the question turns to whether to attend the Inaugural celebration.
I have always believed the Inaugural of the president of the United States should be a nonpolitical day. As just a regular citizen, it is an event I have always looked forward to watching. Regardless of the person taking the oath and the party taking power, I have always looked at it as a day to celebrate American democracy. It is the continuation of that which started with Washington, the peaceful transfer of power in accordance to the wishes of the people.
The election of Donald Trump presents a challenge to my long held view of presidential inaugurations. As much as I cherish this day, can I in good conscience celebrate that which I believe is a grave mistake? Can I sit by mere yards away and applaud the desecration of the most important office in the history of the world?
After wrestling with this question for the last two months, I have concluded I cannot participate in this Inaugural celebration.
I do not challenge that Mr Trump won the Electoral College and therefore will lawfully be president. We cannot go down a path in which we do not accept the legitimacy of the choice of the people. In America, it is the people who decide.
I accept the decision of the people. I respect it. But I will not celebrate it.”
Boyle represents Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district. Boyle recently took to Twitter to voice his displeasure for Trump over his war of words with congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis.