Our nation has been through a jarring, thumping couple of days, but our republic stands, and the Electoral College vote has been counted and certified.
Some of our elected GOP representatives in Washington, D.C., fueled distrust in our democratic process, spreading falsehoods and conspiracy theories about an election that has been investigated, litigated, adjudicated, and their claims refuted. Challenged votes have been audited and recounted multiple times, and courts up to the highest in the land have dismissed allegations of widespread voter fraud.
In a statement, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said, “Congress has now counted and certified the electoral votes. ... Some sought to overturn the will of the voters of our country by objecting to the legitimate results or by storming the Capitol and committing acts of armed violence and rioting. Neither succeeded, thankfully, and the will of the people will be upheld. ... Members upheld their oaths to defend the Constitution, and today will be remembered as the day that our democracy prevailed.”
Many GOP lawmakers stood against the undermining of our democracy before the chaos Wednesday, and we would like to recognize some of those:
Notably from Missouri, U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, a Republican, said in a statement Monday: “While I may not like the outcome of the election, that does not mean I can, nor should I, try to usurp the powers of the individual states of our republic, To allow Congress to alter the decided outcome of the election would irreparably damage our system of government and defy the Constitution.”
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R.-Okla., said, “My job on Wednesday is clear, and there are only two things I am permitted to do under the Constitution: ensure the electors are properly certified and count the electoral votes, even when I disagree with the outcome. To challenge a state’s certification, given how specific the Constitution is, would be a violation of my oath of office.”
After the domestic terrorists invaded our seat of government, some lawmakers who had backed the objections to certifying the electoral votes changed their position. It was the right thing to do.
“While we disagree — and disagree strongly at times — we do not encourage what happened today, ever,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Lankford, R-Okla. “We are headed toward certification of Joe Biden as (president) and we will work together.”
Recently defeated U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., said, “When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes. However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider and I cannot now, in good conscience, object.”
Too bad the revelation came so late.
“Nothing before us proves illegality near the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “The Constitution gives us here in Congress a limited role. We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids. The voters, the courts, the states — they’ve all spoken. They’ve all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.”
A republic takes not just the consent of the governed to operate. It takes faith in and support of the democratic process. Dissent, questions and challenges are protected — even necessary — and have their time and place. But the time has come to accept reality.
U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said. “The best way we can show respect for the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth.”
It is time to begin to heal our nation.