Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Letters to the editor Jan. 6

| January 6, 2021 12:00 AM

Subversion of the Constitution

Senator Steve Daines joined the group of senators planning to vote against Electoral College certification of Biden’s victory in Congress. He argues that the country needs an audit of the election results in “certain states” to alleviate doubts about election integrity. But it is the constant repetition of disinformation by Trump and Republican leaders like Daines that has fomented public distrust. Now Trump has threatened Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State if he doesn’t “find” the votes to overturn the election! These actions are unprecedented and dangerous to our democracy.

Biden won the election by more than 7 million votes. The vote counting processes in all 50 states were transparent and observed by both Republicans and Democrats. Each state in the country delivered certified results, signed by state governors, to Congress. The Electoral College voted for Joe Biden by a margin of 306 to 232. It’s a done deal, Joe Biden is the President-Elect.

Trump requested audits in swing states with no change in the results: Biden won. Trump repeatedly lost his challenges in the courts because no tangible evidence of wrongdoing was ever produced. Former Attorney General William Barr and the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed that they found no evidence of election irregularities. And yet Trump Republicans are still trying to undermine the election and refusing to accept the legitimacy of a Democratic president, no matter how big the voice of the majority.

Democracy depends on a willingness to transfer power peacefully from one group of leaders to another. By refusing to do so, Senator Daines proves he is unworthy of elected office. He knows his actions will not change the outcome, yet he is willing to entertain this charade, at our expense, to court Trump voters. His subversion of the Constitution will be remembered.

—Jennifer Allen, Kalispell; Gordon Ash, Kalispell; Peggy Brewer, Bigfork; Vilma Chemers, Bigfork; Carol DiNolfo, Bigfork; Mike and Shirley Gunther, Kalispell; Karen Kolar, Bigfork; Priscilla Life, Bigfork; Loraine K. Measure, Kalispell; Rebecca Miller, Bigfork; Don Moe, Bigfork; Monte and Sandra Sanford, Bigfork; Betty Violette, Bigfork; JeAnna Wisher, Columbia Falls; Bradley Wirth, Bigfork.

Attempted coup

For the first time a president is attempting a coup.

It’s not the first time that wealthy men have taken over our state. The first time they were called Robber Barons. This time the wealthy men in power haven’t yet gotten a name, but government by the wealthy for the wealthy is here.

A wealthy Montana senator is backing the president’s coup attempt.

—Robert O’Neil, Kalispell

Defend the Constitution

Sen. Daines:

I write as a longtime federal employee and Montanan. Like you, I am a public servant.

We share an oath of office, promising to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I urge you to uphold our shared obligation. Fulfilling our oath includes defending the election, by those Americans we serve, of Joe Biden to be our next president.

President-elect Biden’s election, by our fellow Americans, is similar to your recent re-election to the U.S. Senate. Both elections are defined and directed by the U.S. Constitution with its relevant constitutional amendments. Joe Biden’s election is exactly as legitimate as yours, and any challenge to his election challenges yours as well.

By denouncing Joe Biden’s status as the next duly-elected president, you call into doubt the legitimacy of your own election.

Our oath to support the Constitution suggests that, whether foreign or domestic, those who attack its articles are enemies of the U.S. You and I are obliged to defend our country from them.

That’s why I write this letter, Senator Daines: to defend the Constitution.

I invite you to do the same.

—Kendall Flint, East Glacier Park

Dangerous game

Dear Senator Daines,

What dangerous game are you playing? We are writing to request that you a) immediately remove your name from the list of Republican senators planning to challenge the outcome of the presidential election, and b) apologize to the people of Montana for daring to lend your name to efforts to undermine and destroy trust in our fragile democratic institutions.

We are Americans and Montanans concerned that you have aligned yourself with those attempting to overturn the legitimate free and fair election of our next president based on false claims of fraud — claims you certainly cannot believe are true. Why do you wish to delegitimize the election and undermine the peaceful transition to a new administration?

To whom do you owe your loyalty? Are you a public servant sworn to uphold the Constitution and serve the people of your country and your state? Or, do you serve those with dictatorial ambitions who are encouraging insurgency in order to subvert our democracy? What on Earth do you imagine as outcomes of delegitimizing the election? Would the consequences, ramifications, chaos that could ensue be worth it? What dangerous game are you playing?

We do not wish to be ashamed that you are Montana’s U.S. Senator. If you truly want to “protect the democratic process,” as reported in the Daily Inter Lake, please commit yourself to building a country that works together to live up to its shared ideals, rather than to those seeking to destroy it for personal, selfish aims.

—Paula and Bob Smith, Bigfork

Undermining the election

Montana’s Senator Steve Daines has signed on with 10 other Republican Senators to challenge the legitimate results of the Electoral College at the Jan. 6 congressional recording of the votes. The duly elected governor of each state has verified and certified the count. It is not up to any other states or state representatives to challenge these results. They have no standing, just as it is not appropriate for any other state to challenge Montana votes.

There has been no evidence of voter fraud in any of the 50 plus court cases submitted by President Trump and the Republican Party. Citing poll results (often inaccurate) of what people believe and having evidence of voter fraud are two different things. Challenging the Electoral College results based on people’s feelings with no supporting data is poor judgment. And, yes, 74,000,000 is a lot of votes; 81,000,000 is still more.

This challenge will make all future elections in every state questionable. The Republican Party used to be termed the party of law and order. The laws of each state have been followed, but Senator Daines and others are aligning themselves with Trump supporters looking for a way to overturn free and fair elections. Not liking the results of the election gives no one the right to overturn the results. That is not how our system works. If one loses an election and if he has strength of character, he accepts the result of the election and moves on.

Senator Daines and the others know that their action will not be sustained and will not affect the inauguration of Joe Biden. So, what is their motive for undermining this election? Could it be just to pander to Trump supporters who they believe they can manipulate to support their future endeavors (run for President anyone?).

—Frank Carden, Kalispell

No evidence of fraud

With the November presidential election now two months behind us we would ordinarily be well into the “peaceful transition of power” that’s the bedrock of our Constitutional Republic. However, with the President refusing to accept his loss, and instead claiming massive fraud and election rigging, we see increasingly agitated Trump supporters carrying signs saying, “Stop the Steal” – and advocating overthrowing the will of the people.

Now the President has every right to present his facts and evidence to state and federal courts – the key words here being “facts and evidence.” Currently, the President or his supporters have filed 61 court challenges to the results in five “swing states.” To date, before nearly 100 judges appointed by Democrats, Republicans and Trump himself, his record is 1 win and 60 losses, including two 9-0 losses at the Supreme Court, where conservatives have a 6-3 edge.

Still, the President refuses to concede, saying that voting machines provided by Dominion and Smartmatic switched votes to Biden.

It’s important to remember that all voting machines are checked for accuracy by state officials before the election. All machine software is rigorously checked to make sure no malware has been inserted, and in 2020 for the first time, 95% of all ballots had a paper backup to ensure the machines got it right. In Georgia’s hand recount, Trump picked up a few hundred votes, but Biden still won by 12,000. And contrary to administration claims, every state had both Republicans and Democrats observing the vote counting.

All 50 states have certified their vote counts, as has the Electoral College. The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency reported that it was “the most secure election in American history.” Attorney General Barr found that neither DOJ, nor the FBI, had seen fraud on a scale that would change election results.

With no evidence of fraud or rigged elections, it’s clear that only one person and one party are trying to Steal the Election; subvert the will of the people; and retain power through a Legislative Coup – President Trump and his GOP enablers. It’s time for the sedition to end.

—Brian Peck, Columbia Falls