“The American people deserve better than having to choose between what I think are the truly dire policies of Joe Biden – in a whole range of areas, really bad for our economy,” she said in an interview with “60 minutes”. “From a national security point of view, what happened, what he did in Afghanistan: very dangerous policies for the country. But the alternative cannot be a man who does not believe in the rule of law and who has violated his oath.
Pay close attention to this line: “The alternative cannot be a man who does not believe in the rule of law and has violated his oath of office.
Cheney is of course referring to former President Donald Trump and his actions in power – and, in particular, during the January 6 riots on the U.S. Capitol. Trump has spent virtually every day since the November 6, 2020 election insisting the result was rigged – despite no evidence (even in Arizona’s bogus audit!) Of that claim.
On January 6, Trump not only told those gathered for the “Stop the Steal” rally that “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country,” but he also waited for hours afterward. . was clear that a violent insurgency was taking place to issue a timid appeal to its supporters to disperse.
What’s remarkable is that even after that day – and his subsequent impeachment by the House – Trump never backed down an inch in his ludicrous claims that the 2020 election was somehow stolen. . Last weekend, Trump sent out a series of statements from his PAC Save America in which he sought to undermine the election results. “The Fake News Media refuses to write the facts, thus being accomplices of the Crime of the Century,” he wrote in one of them. “They are so dishonest, but the Patriots know the truth!
The simple fact – which Cheney made clear in his “60 Minute” interview – is this: Donald Trump has and continues to actively undermine two fundamental pillars of our democracy: that the votes are counted fairly and that the loser recognizes its defeat and participates in the peaceful transfer of power to the victor.
It is the willingness to follow these two principles that has long distinguished America from more fragile democracies and even dictatorships.
After a 35-day vote recount in Florida that left him just over 500 White House votes, then-Vice President Al Gore nodded at these pillars in his concession speech. “I accept the finality of the result, which will be ratified next Monday at the Electoral College,” said Gore. “And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.”
“And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.”
That’s what someone says who believes American democracy is more important than any personal goal. It is also the opposite of what Trump has said and done since his election loss last November.
What’s remarkable about all of this is that Republicans have long positioned themselves as the party of the Constitution and the rule of law. What makes their willingness to ignore Article II of the nation’s founding document – you know, the one that makes it clear that the winner of the Electoral College is president – all the more astounding.
His fellow Republicans may not like to hear it, but Cheney is telling the truth: Trump has abandoned the rule of law in pursuit of his own personal pride and sense of victimization. The fact that many Republicans followed him down this path is testament to their own willingness to abandon fundamentals in the pursuit of political power.
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