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Editor’s note: This commentary was submitted on Monday, before the insurrection at the Capitol.

By the time you read this Congress will have confirmed the electoral college vote and sanctioned the election of Joe Biden as our next president and Kamala Harris as our next vice president. On January 20th they will both be sworn into office and a new day will begin in America. What kind of day might that be?

Sixty. That’s the number of frivolous lawsuits that the outgoing president and his friends have filed in various courts since the November 3rd elections. Fifty-nine. That’s the number of cases that he has lost or have been dismissed out of hand. Grand accusations of voter fraud have been alleged, but no compelling evidence has ever been put forth. That, however, has not dissuaded the effort.

The courts, including the Supreme Court, have rejected any efforts to overturn the election, as well they should. The president lost what might very well be the most secure election in modern history. His challenges resulted in some states doing manual recounts; recounts that he not only lost, but his opponent actually gained votes.

The losses have not stopped some members of Congress from carrying the torch (or perhaps slop bucket might be a better metaphor) for this president. We have witnessed one member of Congress, Rep. Louie Gohmert; R-Texas, sue Vice President Mike Pence, insisting that Pence overturn the will of the voters. Just this morning this suit was dismissed. It’s not the dismissal, but the effort that we need to pay attention to.

Now we have the U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo, declaring that he will not accept the election results and will insist that the U.S. Senate overturn the will of the people and reinstate the loser, Donald Trump. Although this effort, much like all the previous efforts, will go down in flames that is not discouraging 140 members of Congress (all Republicans) from signing on to this effort to undermine our democracy.

It’s obvious that many, if not most of these politicians are doing this to appease the outgoing president. Some are hoping to run for president in 2024 and wish to curry favor with the most extreme, right-wing base. Whatever their motives might be they are most certainly disturbing and dangerous.

What’s happening right now, before our eyes, is that one political party is refusing to accept the results of the elections. It’s no longer about voter fraud. They just don’t like the results. Fifty-nine legal challenges have only served to demonstrate that our elections were devoid of corruption. The problem is that the losers of the election refuse to believe they lost. These are dangerous waters in which we swim.

Is this going to be the new norm for America? Are we going to contest each and every election that we hold? Today the outgoing president is already declaring, without any evidence, the runoff elections in Georgia to be illegal and corrupt.

Why is this happening? In the president’s case he needs to fan the flames of conspiracy theories in order to continue extracting money from his supporters. He recently created a PAC that allows contributions to be used for darn near anything he wants. He’s probably kicking himself that he hadn’t thought of this before.

What about the others? They are intentionally undermining our democracy. They are openly attempting to stage a coup and overthrow the legitimately elected president. Folks, this is what third world countries do. This is what dictator wannabes do. This is NOT what Americans do and NOT how America acts.

Seventy-two million Americans supported this president, but it was not enough. The victorious candidate received over 80 million votes and 306 electoral college votes. That, hands down, makes him the winner unless you can prove massive voter fraud. Oddly enough the only voter fraud that’s come to light has involved Republicans.

The plan is that if you cannot win at the ballot box then find a way to steal the election; stage a coup and overthrow the government. People who do this, or even think this way, are traitors to our democracy. What we are witnessing is sedition.

Sedition is a serious felony punishable by fines and up to 20 years in prison. It refers to the act of inciting revolt or violence against a lawful authority with the goal of destroying or overthrowing it. Sedition is a word that has not been widely used until now, because until now we have not had one party attempt to overthrow our government. That’s what Republicans are hoping to do. What they are doing is a crime.

On January 6, when Sen. Hawley, et al, make their move in Congress the majority of members should call it out for what it is: Sedition. Those supporting this criminal effort should be immediately escorted from the building and placed under arrest. Should these traitors be allowed to get away with this we can be sure that they will try again...and again until the day they will prevail.

We’re in dangerous times. Our democracy is under attack and the only way to get out of it is to stand up and fight back, or watch it vanish forever.

Bob Stannard writes a regular column for the Banner.


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