Archived Opinion

Clampitt speaks on Oath Keepers

Clampitt speaks on Oath Keepers

Editor’s note: Rep. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, has been open about his membership in the right-wing militia group known as the Oath Keepers since running for election back in 2012. Last week, Oath Keeper founder Stewart Rhodes was charged with seditious conspiracy related to his actions surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The SMN asked Clampitt to respond to Stewart’s arrest.

There’s an old saying, “Never judge a book by its cover,” which is an idiom coined during the Second World War. Simplistic enough, but it carries great weight even today. 

It has been one year since the events unfolded at our nation’s Capitol. Actions, to say the least, that would have never entered my mind. I am a firm believer of our states’ and federal constitutions, and with them come a lot of secured freedoms and personal responsibility for enjoying those. 

What separates our country from the rest of the nations is the “rule of law.” We are ALL afforded the opportunity for freedom of expression and redress of our grievances to the government. But, when any individual that is peacefully assembled with others, steps away from the group to pick up a rock, a stick, a stone, or any other instrument to assault, maim, destroy or inflict injury to property or person,-that has now become a riot. 

A lot of good, well-meaning organizations become hijacked by overzealous individuals participating in an activity that becomes out of control. I am currently not a dues paying member to the Oath Keepers, or have been for several years.  And I do not condone any of the actions of seditious activity of any of the individuals that were part of the events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol in January 2021. As we have seen all-too- well over the past couple of years, individuals of high-profile organizations degrade the overall reputation of its members. As with anything in life we say or do, it should be how we would like to have others treat ourselves.

Rep. Mike Clampitt

Bryson City

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  • To bad Clampitt didn't have the guts to just come out and say it. Trump lost the election. Trump,with support from his minions tried to overthrow the election. Trump and all those that bow before him, i.e., Mark Meadows, Madison Cawthorn, etc. are the "individuals of high-profile organizations" that have degraded the overall reputation of its [GOP] members.

    Your silence speaks volume to who you are, where you stand and where your party stands.

    posted by Jean Wright

    Friday, 01/21/2022

  • Wow! Now if I can explain that to my grandkids who range from age 9 to 37 why they witnessed the destruction of the Capitol and officers were being tortured by the mob of trump supporters who were determined to do harm because of his lying and egging the mob into trying to stop an election he lost handily. They sat with me and kept saying why are they doing this? Don't you people think it's time to stand up and call him what he is, a loser who's still try to destroy our rights? What happened to the party that once cared about we the people? I know they've lost their values and are scared of an old man telling them to get on their knees to him or he'll get rid of you.

    posted by Libby McGinnis

    Friday, 01/21/2022

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