“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”Martin Luther King, Jr.
One year ago, goaded by a sitting president, a violent mob overran our capitol and attempted to steal an election.
We should never forget who the real attempted robbery suspects are in this story. They are former President Donald Trump, his many enablers, Fox News and other far-right media, neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups, and those gullible enough to follow them.
Many elected Republicans – such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – initially condemned the deadly attack and Donald Trump’s involvement in it. Within days, however, the Republican leadership – including our own U.S. Rep. Mike Turner — spinelessly retreated from any criticism of the former president and now want to whitewash this blatant attack on our democracy.
The Republican leaders have bent to the will of Trump and are supporting his Big Lie that the election was stolen. As a result of their failure to stand on the side of facts, a majority of Republicans now believe that the election was stolen. A variety of polls show that around two-thirds of Republicans believe the Big Lie.
Emboldened by acceptance of the Lie, gerrymandered Republican statehouse majorities have introduced or passed bills that not only limit voters’ access to the ballot, but also provide for partisan interference in the certification of election results. This means that Republican majorities in key swing states could overturn a presidential – or indeed ANY – election result that did not suit them.
Only one party currently believes in our American democracy. The other party is desperately working to seize rule by the minority. We Democrats need to spread this message to our friends, family, and persuadable neighbors. We need to ask: Do they want their votes to count?
We must oppose the anti-democratic efforts of authoritarian Republicans in our statehouse and those around the nation.
We must support the work of the House January 6 Committee.
We must call for passage of the Freedom to Vote Act. (Call Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, as well as Rep. Turner to voice your support.)
We must support local Democrats and challenge our elected officials who support the Big Lie.
Above all, we must never forget who the Big Liars are, and we must hold them accountable.
2022 will be a critical year for the health of our democracy. We must be committed and ready to go to work to protect our country.