|Millions believe the lie. (Getty Images photo)|
“We are debating a step that has never been taken in American history: Whether Congress should overrule voters and overturn a presidential election. I have served 36 years in the Senate. This will be the most important vote I have ever cast.
“President Trump claims this election was stolen. The assertions range from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories. I supported the president’s right to use the legal system. Dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms across the country. But over and over, the courts rejected these claims, including all-star judges whom the president himself nominated.
“Every election features some illegality and irregularity and it's unacceptable. I support strong state-led voting reforms. Last year's bizarre pandemic procedures must not become the new norm. But nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale that would have tipped this entire election. Nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break when that doubt was incited without evidence. ...
“If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We’d never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years would bring a scramble for power at any cost. The Electoral College would soon cease to exist, leaving the citizens of entire states with no real say in choosing presidents. [Those states would be mainly rural.]
“The effects would go even beyond elections themselves. Self-government requires a shared commitment to truth and shared respect for the ground rules of our system. We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes; with separate facts, and separate realities; with nothing in common except hostility toward each another and mistrust for the few national institutions that we still share.”
“The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth. That is the burden, and the duty, of leadership. The truth is that President-elect Biden won this election. President Trump lost. Scores of courts, the president’s own attorney general, and state election officials, both Republican and Democrat, have reached this unequivocal decision.”
complicit in his illegal attempt to grab power." Georgia editor-publisher Mike Buffington, who has run against his local political grain by criticizing Trump, writes in his column (registration required), "The Trump supporters who stormed into the U.S. Capitol last week finally did what four years of political opposition couldn't: They exposed the slimy underbelly of Trumpism in a way that is unmistakable and undeniable."