Donald Trump lost by 7 million popular votes. With the election of Joe Biden as president, the American people voted to fire Trump.
Without supporting evidence, Trump said if he lost the election, it was because someone cheated or committed fraud. Then-Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press on Dec. 1, following a review by U.S. attorneys and FBI agents, that “we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
Trump has filed dozens of frivolous lawsuits, sans evidence, to overturn the results of a free and fair election. Virtually all of the lawsuits have been thrown out of court, because there isn’t any evidence of fraud. On Dec. 14, the Electoral College voted for Biden over Trump, 306 to 232, with all of Colorado’s electors siding with Biden.
Yet Trump and his enablers continue to claim the election was rigged. They want to gaslight their supporters into believing an alternate reality in which Trump won re-election.
As Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Several weeks post-election, Trump continues to repeat the “big lie” that he won.
I don’t think Trump really believes he won the election, but he will not concede because he has received a quarter-billion dollars in political donations from supporters, with at least some of that money reportedly helping to fund his lawsuits. Trump is collecting millions, perpetuating lies and disinformation, and filing lawsuits — all the while largely ignoring major crises.
The number of people infected by coronavirus increases daily. As of Dec. 23, 18.4 million Americans have tested positive for coronavirus and 325,000 have died. There is hope on the horizon the pandemic will soon end because of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but Colorado and other states say their initial vaccine allotments are being shorted.
The president should ensure that all available vaccine is distributed efficiently and equitably and demonstrate human compassion for the people who have died or are ill. But Trump has remained largely silent on coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Russians are allegedly responsible for a cybersecurity hack on a long list of U.S. government agencies, the size and scope of which is yet to be determined. Evidence suggests that this hack has been ongoing for some time, posing a “great threat” to this country.
The president should be resolutely objecting to this cyberattack, but he has downplayed the hack and has suggested that China, rather than Russia, may be behind it.
Since Trump lost the election, reports indicate that he has spent much of his time focused on his attempts to overturn the election and less on his residential duties.
Armed with lies and disinformation, he has engaged in a full-on assault on our democracy. He has attacked both Democratic and Republican officials who he perceives as inadequately loyal.
Trump’s attempt to overturn a fair and free election is seditious. He is not the king and he is not above the law. He is an elected official who was voted out of office. He should accept the election results and move on with his life.
In the remark attributed to Ben Franklin, he reportedly said at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention that the new nation would be “a republic, if you can keep it.”
To maintain a democratic republic, citizens need to think critically. Reject gaslighting, lies, alternate facts and disinformation; all of which are calculated to confuse.
Read widely from many sources, reflect on what you read, ask questions and share your perspectives. Observe what is going on around you and draw your own conclusions. Be selective in what you believe.
And if you are not convinced, keep reading.
Joanne Maypole of Westminster is a retired college history professor and administrator.
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