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Quit harming our democracy

Enough is enough. Facts still matter. Evidence requires, well, evidence.

Any Republican leader who’s still publicly denying — or at least failing to admit — that Democrat Joe Biden is America’s president-elect is a coward.

They’re probably scared of the bully still occupying the White House and who’s rumored to be considering a 2024 run after losing by more than 7 million votes this year.

They’re likely more worried about saving their jobs in the next election by avoiding President Donald Trump’s wrath and a potential Republican primary challenger.

When Trump upset Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, she conceded and accepted the stinging defeat as professionally as possible while exploring her legal options in states decided by far fewer votes than 2020. Some liberals made noise about faithless electors in the Electoral College, but it amounted to nothing. It was Trump who baselessly blamed fraud for his popular vote defeat.

What’s happened since this year’s election threatens our democracy. Any losing candidate has the right to seek recounts and to challenge voter fraud if it exists. They don’t have the right to lie and make wild assertions that undermine the credibility of our democracy.

Thankfully, most local and state-level Republicans who co-manage our elections with Democrats have stood tall in defending our nation from Trump’s attacks. They are to be commended for protecting democracy and our Constitution.

We can’t say the same of attorneys general in 17 states who filed briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a far-fetched lawsuit filed by Texas seeking to delay certification of election results in four swing states Trump lost. They allege those states unlawfully changed voting rules, claims they failed to make before Trump lost.

Never mind that those elections and results were certified by local Republican election officials, who clearly would have cried foul if even a shred of notable voter fraud evidence existed. Just ignore the fact that Republican and Democratic poll workers verified signatures on absentee ballots in most places. Forget that William Barr, Trump’s own highly political and conservative attorney general, said there was no substantive fraud. Should we also toss out the Republicans’ impressive down ticket wins?

What Republicans were asking for would destroy our democracy if the Supreme Court had somehow saved Trump. Justices refused to accept the case Friday night.

Any elected leader supporting the rejection of millions of votes without any evidence deserves significant scrutiny about their fitness for office. They’re ignoring the rule of law and Constitution they claim to embrace. They’re willing to harm our country just to keep a bully in power.

With the Electoral College vote, Joe Biden is the official president-elect. Our country needs its elected leaders to come together and help all of us overcome a pandemic that’s sickening and killing more and more people every day.

It’s time to solve problems and get people back to work. Do your job.

* Guest editorial from the Akron Beacon Journal in Akron, Ohio.

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