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Letter: Our democracy is in grave danger

Linderman writes, "The violent coup failed this time. So Republicans are setting things up for a legalized coup next time."

A person holds a letter with the text "letter to the editor" overlaid on the image.

After January 6, 2021, we thought our national embarrassment named Donald Trump would finally be sidelined. Inciting a violent attack on the citadel of our democracy to stop the Congress and the vice president from doing their job and overthrow an election would end anyone’s support for him.

In fact, condemnation from Trump’s own party followed. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., said, “Count me out. Enough is enough.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Trump “is practically and morally responsible.” Several cabinet members and White House staff resigned. Many others spoke out. But it didn’t last. It was only days until many of the same people where actively defending Trump or simply pretending nothing had happened.

A recent opinion piece by the New York Times editorial board titled “Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now” lays out the ongoing threat to our democracy. Election officials of both parties in virtually every state have vouched for the security and integrity of the 2020 election. Yet polls show a majority of Republicans still go along with the Big Lie that the election was stolen. Even more concerning is the one-third of them that think violence is justified to achieve political ends. Election officials and their families have been threatened with violence. A thug at a rally asked “When can we use the guns?”

The violent coup failed this time. So Republicans are setting things up for a legalized coup next time. The Republican presidential candidate won the popular vote in only one of the last eight elections. But they only need to win the electoral vote. They are passing laws in several states to put partisans in charge of elections and allow legislatures to change election outcomes they don’t like. Our democracy is in grave danger. Every patriotic American should be very concerned.

Every candidate for public office, whether local, state, or federal, should be asked two questions. Was the 2020 election secure and fair? Did Joe Biden win a constitutional majority of the Electoral College? Any candidate who does not answer an unqualified "yes" to both those questions should be labeled a threat to our democracy and thus unqualified to hold any elected office.

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Charles Linderman lives in Carrington, N.D.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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