Lingering Humanity from the Jan. 6 Hearings

Nancy Colasurdo
5 min readJul 30, 2022

There has been much necessary, intellect-led analysis of the Jan. 6 Committee Congressional hearings that have taken place the last few months. While most of it has been about legal maneuverings and strategy, for me what will also linger this summer are the human, humane moments we witnessed.

They fill me with hope and anguish. They make me feel. They keep playing in my head.

Perhaps it’s the life coach in me, but I like nuance and context. I enjoy being jolted out of my (sometimes warranted) “Great Divide” doomsday thinking, really listening to people I would have dismissed as one-dimensional a few months ago, and now seeing their humanity. Or hearing about people who think like me but have had to pay a heavy price for being steeped in their patriotism.

When witness Sarah Matthews described herself out of the gate as a “lifelong Republican” who was initially proud to be working in the Trump White House, I confess I winced. I knew immediately we had diverging political, and maybe moral, beliefs. But then she said this while being questioned in the latest hearing and, for me, nothing else mattered after that:

“I again reiterated that I thought that the President needed to condemn the violence because it didn’t matter if it was coming from the left or the right, that you should condemn violence 100 percent of the time.”

Witness Cassidy Hutchinson had evoked a similar emotion in me in a previous hearing:

“As a staffer that works to always represent the administration to the best of my ability and to showcase the good things that [Trump] had done for the country, I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, and really … it felt personal … I was really sad. As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie.”

Since testifying, both women are being vilified mercilessly by members of their own party.

Maybe it’s because I was a Reagan Republican as a young adult, but I get these women. My world view started crystalizing when I simultaneously entered the workforce and pursued a degree in Journalism and Professional Writing at then-Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey). My lens on…

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Nancy Colasurdo

Activist Journalist, Opinion Writer, Author, Life Coach in Greater NYC area. Occasional guest columnist at NJ.com. Six-word bio: Zen chick with a Jersey edge.