The world watched in horror last week as domestic terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol in what amounts to an attempted coup. U.S. and world leaders expressed shock that this was happening in the cradle of democracy. And it should shock all Americans, regardless of party or beliefs, to see our country defiled at what we hold to be the temple of democracy.
The United of States is a nation of laws: No one can simply declare fraud and crown himself president without proving such allegations. It is obvious where that would lead: Every election cycle would simply see a sitting president find reason to declare fraud and keep himself or herself in power. Democracy would die.
President Donald Trump has availed himself of his rights in the courts, and he has lost some 60 times for lack of actual evidence. He has been denied on both the federal and state level, and has been rejected several times by judges he himself appointed. If we are to continue as a republic, with a democratically elected system of government under the rule of law, then no one, of either party, can maintain office through mere allegations.
Those who believe Trump’s repeated baseless allegations should consider the words of retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, former Trump-appointed secretary of defense, who declared after the storming of the Capitol that Trump sought to “destroy trust in our election” and that he has been “enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice.”
Unfortunately, here in New Mexico, we have suffered these “pseudo-political leaders” who know Trump lost — and it must be made clear they intentionally are misleading people. They know Trump has been unable to put forth evidence that is acceptable to even his own judges. It is time for GOP Chairman Steve Pearce, U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell and others who have purposefully sowed doubt and discord for political purposes, to take back their statements, apologize and help heal our country.
Their actions and words have encouraged those who will commit violence because they are unhappy with the results of a free election. These leaders should not be allowed to claim they bear no responsibility for what occurred.
A person who gathers a pile of leaves in a forest and douses it with gasoline, and then tells a pyromaniac about it, cannot simply point at the arsonist for actually striking the match. Pearce and Herrell made statements they know to be false, and the outcome was foreseeable.
Since 1861, America has accepted the results of its elections, the defeated have conceded, and the nation has moved forward. And we have been able to keep a republic because of our fidelity to democratic principles above personal political beliefs.
It is past time for Trump to put aside unfounded conspiracy theories and show true leadership by sincerely conceding. The world, and those who dream of living in a democracy, are watching.