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Editorial: Trump's dangerous game could destroy our democracy
EDITORIAL

Editorial: Trump's dangerous game could destroy our democracy

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Remember before the election when we told you that President Donald Trump was a threat to democracy? Well, the situation has turned out to be even more dire than we thought.

The president of the United States is attempting a “soft” coup, a government takeover without military intervention. This isn’t hyperbole. This isn’t an exaggeration. And we must call it out for the lunacy it is and the danger it represents.

Trump has repeatedly lied and claimed victory in the Nov. 3 election, citing nonexistent voter fraud, often in Republican-controlled states, as the explanation for President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

Earlier this week, Trump called on the U.S. Supreme Court and legislatures in battleground states to muster the “courage” to overturn his loss. He’s really asking them to destroy our democracy.

The so-called leader of the free world is trying to remain in power by convincing other Republican leaders to disregard reality, disregard valid election results and, therefore, disregard the will of the people.

This is something we’re used to seeing in dictatorships, not the land of the free and the home of the brave, a country that was the model for self-governance around the world.

There have been counts. There have been recounts. The votes of Americans in all 50 states and territories have been certified. Trump lost both the Electoral College and the popular vote, the latter by more than 7 million votes.

Still, without supporting evidence, he sells a fantasy that the election has been stolen from him, filing frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit. According to a count by the Associated Press, out of the roughly 50 lawsuits filed around the country contesting the election, Trump has lost more than 35 so far.

And we should point out that despite Trump's bluster, nearly all the lawsuits actually don't center on voter fraud, but rather on procedural issues.

The latest comes from the state of Texas, joined by the attorneys general of several other states. The suit asks the Supreme Court justices for leave to sue Pennsylvania, as well as Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin, all key battleground states that Trump lost, according to the AP.

The filing seeks to overturn the results due to “significant and unconstitutional irregularities” in voting processes in each state and urges the justices to throw out their election results and allow the Republican legislatures in each state to decide the winners.

But this lawsuit, too, is without merit, as it repeats baseless claims about mail-in ballots and more. One of its key arguments is that the election must be fraudulent because the results didn’t match 2016, when Trump won those areas. Because people apparently can’t change their mind and new voters do not exist.

The AP labeled the lawsuit’s chances of success “improbable,” and that seems both accurate and an understatement. In part, that's due to the safe harbor law now in effect that locks in the certified election results.

Still, the impact of 17 other states joining this Texas lawsuit is chilling.

Many GOP leaders have pandered to Trump and his make-believe world of "alternative facts," and this includes the Oregon Republican Party.

Only a few, such as former presidential candidate Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, have dared to speak out against Trump because of his popularity within the Republican Party and the specter that Trump will purposely derail Georgia’s Senate races.

Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, who represents portions of the Columbia River Gorge and Eastern Oregon, has joined the list of those accepting Biden's election victory, albeit only recently. We wish Walden’s statements could have come earlier, but they’ve been made now, and we expected nothing less from him on this matter.

He’s been the lone GOP voice from the Beaver State in Washington, D.C., for years and represented his district well. Walden didn’t seek reelection this year, however, and perhaps that makes it easier for him to speak the truth.

Let's be clear: If sitting U.S. representatives and senators are saying nothing at this point, they’re enabling the president and his dangerous game.

Many Republican leaders seem willing to destroy our democracy for a cult of personality, and they need to be taken to task.

If they’re successful in their efforts, what’s the point of actually voting? If they overturn the election results and disenfranchise millions of voters, what does America even stand for anymore?

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