That’s why they call it democracy

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I recall a time, not that long ago, when I was convinced the presidential election was rigged. The situation was clear to me. There was something more than a little suspicious about the vote count. It didn’t seem possible that my candidate lost, and by such narrow margins in such key locations, when most of the polls said my candidate would win. I was filled with fear — both rational and irrational — for my country. I put my desperate faith in last ditch possibilities, in “faithless electors,” in recounts, in what the FBI might uncover. And I was not alone.

But in the end it all came to naught. It was January 2017 and Donald Trump was inaugurated president of the United States anyway. We hung our collective heads in shame and disbelief.

Then we did something quite radical. We accepted it. We acknowledged reality. We lived to fight another day. We determined in our minds to work within the system and do everything in our power to see to it that Trump didn’t get elected to a second term. It was a long, hard, bitter struggle, but we did it, you and I. The years of hard work paid off. We won, and we did it all within the law.

There were things we were unwilling to do, things that We knew were unthinkable. We were unwilling to subvert the system. We were unwilling to violate the Constitution in the name of short term expediency. We were fighting to preserve the system, not throw it out because it didn’t produce an outcome we were happy with. We would not have stormed the Capitol to put Hillary Clinton on the throne. We would not have hanged the Vice President in order to prevent the vote count from proceeding in an orderly manner.

That’s the difference between us and them, between the good guys and the bad guys. Good guys work within the rules. We believe in the system and when the system doesn’t always go our way we accept it as the price we pay for having a peaceful transition of power. Like our commitment to free speech, the real test happens when the speech is not to our liking. Our commitment to the system exists because it might not always agree with us, not in spite of it. That’s why they call it democracy.

If the live January 6 Committee hearings prove anything they prove that a shocking percentage of our fellow citizens don’t care about the rule of law, the Constitution or the truth. They will cheer for those things when everything is going their way. But they will throw those things out the window when they don’t. We listened with aplomb for four long years as the “you lost, get over it” crowd jeered at us. Now we see what they are really made of.

   

The stark hypocrisy is this: Republicans champion the system when the vote goes their way. They destroy the system when it doesn’t. They don’t love the system. They only want to win. In truth, the Republican Party is the party of the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot who will destroy us all for their love of power. It’s time for them to go. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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