One of The Washington Post's syndicated columnists, Michael Gerson, went on a Twitter rant on Sunday about how "angry" he is that Republicans won't stand up to President Donald Trump. Specifically, he says Republicans are failing to defend the electoral system.
It is usually a mistake to tweet while angry. But the contrast between the courage of GOP officials in GA, MI in defending the electoral system, and the cowardice of most elected Rs at the federal level, is getting to me. 1/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
I know members of the House and Senate don’t have easy jobs. They are often forced to choose, not between good and evil, but between conflicting goods. But that is not our situation. 2/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
The Penn decision clarifies that Trump is engaged in a meritless attempt to delay the electoral process in hopes of eventually destroying it. GOP leaders are urging patience during an assault on the constitutional order. They have adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward subversion— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
This is not normal. We are witnessing the attempt by an American president to maintain power by overturning a fair election. We are seeing the persecution of public officials for the crime of doing their evident duty. 4/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
And we are seeing most GOP legislators become bystanders or cheerleaders during a frontal attack on American ideals. 5/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
It is a good thing we are wearing masks, because the stench of GOP hypocrisy is overwhelming. People who complain of judicial overreach seem happy with executive overreach. People who talk of law and order embrace a lawless attack on the constitutional order. 6/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
Elected Republicans who speak of patriotism can’t be bothered to speak up for American traditions, beliefs and institutions. 7/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
Those who frown but say nothing are especially disgraceful. Knowing better does not exculpate, it incriminates. Their conscience has ceased to be a guide and become an accomplice. At some point, patience with iniquity becomes complicity. 9/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
At some point, indifference becomes endorsement. At some point, neutrality is surrender. 10/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
We are not asking much of elected Republicans. The fear of being targeted by a presidential tweet and gaining a primary opponent is real enough. But it is hardly the risk of a young soldier on D-Day, or a protester at a segregated lunch counter. 11/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
Honoring their oath is the minimal commitment of responsible representation. 12/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
I like many Republican members of Congress. But those who sacrifice their ideals to the ambitions and insecurities of a single corrupt ruler have ceased to serve the country. Their failure to defend democracy at this moment of testing can’t be excused and won’t be forgiven. 13/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
I know this judgment is harsh. But I am angry with elected Rs because I believed in many of them. Because I know they can be better. Losing a public office is ultimately a small matter in the soul’s long adventure. And losing office in a just cause is one of history’s honors. 14/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
My plea to elected Rs: Remember who you are. Remember your oath and your honor. In a world of change and chance, the great things are eternal: courage, judgment, honesty, integrity, love of country and a sense of the sacred. It is never too late to do the right thing. 15/— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) November 22, 2020
There have been allegations from people in multiple states – USPS whistleblowers, poll workers, voters and elected officials – about voter fraud. We have heard about dead people allegedly voting. We have heard about USPS higher-ups allegedly telling mail carriers to backdate postmarks so that ballots are counted (even if they arrived after the ballot cutoff time). We've heard of complaints about poll watchers being booted from buildings.
If there were only one or two issues in a small city, that would be one thing. The fact that there are various types of allegations in different parts of the country – predominantly in swing states – is why so many of us insist that elected officials get to the bottom of these concerns. Every single politician at every level of government should want to know about these allegations, if there's any merit to them and, if so, how to fix them. That should be their top priority, especially when 70 percent of Republicans – roughly 35 percent of the population – do not trust the election system.
For many of us, this isn't about a Trump victory. This is about having honest, fair elections. Every single American deserves to know their vote is being counted and that the system is secure.
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