America is being subjected to a stress check – and Republicans are failing | Robert Reich


Monetary regulators topic banks to emphasize checks to see if they’ve sufficient capital to resist sharp downturns.

Now America is being subjected to a stress check to see if it has sufficient power to resist Donald Trump’s treacherous marketing campaign to discredit the 2020 presidential election.

Trump will lose as a result of there’s no proof of fraud. However the integrity of hundreds of individuals answerable for sustaining American democracy is being examined as by no means earlier than.

Tragically, most elected Republicans are failing the check by refusing to face as much as Trump. Their cowardice is among the worst betrayals of public belief within the historical past of our republic.

Trump can also be relying on a Star Wars cantina of lackeys, grifters, sycophants and fruitcakes – together with former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, former speaker of the Home Newt Gingrich, Senator Lindsey Graham, GOP trickster Roger Stone and others – whose reputations weren’t nice to start with however will now and ceaselessly be tainted by Trump’s ethical squalor.

That squalor extends all the way down to Republican members of a board of canvassers in Wayne county, Michigan (which incorporates Detroit) who, after Trump phoned them final week, tried to rescind their approval of poll counts that went overwhelmingly to Joe Biden. On Friday, Trump invited Michigan’s Republican lawmakers to the White Home, hoping to steer them to disregard the favored vote, too.

American democracy wasn’t designed for this diploma of political depravity.

Right here’s the excellent news. The overwhelming majority of officers are passing the stress check, many with distinction.

Chris Krebs, who led the Division of Homeland Safety’s cybersecurity company, final Tuesday refuted Trump’s claims of election fraud – saying the claims “have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent”.

Trump fired Krebs that afternoon. Krebs’s response: “Honored to serve. We did it proper.”

Brad Raffensperger – Georgia’s Republican secretary of state who oversaw the election there, and describes himself as “a Republican by means of and thru and by no means voted for a Democrat” – is defending Georgia’s vote for Biden, rejecting Trump’s accusations of fraud. On Friday he licensed that Biden received the state’s presidential vote.

Raffensperger spurned overtures from Trump quisling Graham, who requested if Raffensperger might toss out all mail-in votes from counties with excessive charges of questionable signatures. And Raffensperger dismissed calls for from Georgia’s two incumbent Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue (each dealing with tougher-than-anticipated runoffs) that he resign.

“This workplace runs on integrity,” Raffensperger mentioned, “and that’s what voters wish to know, that this particular person’s going to do his job.”

Raffensperger has obtained dying threats from Republican voters infected by Trump’s allegations. He’s not the one one. Election officers in Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona are additionally reporting threats.

On Wednesday, Katie Hobbs, the Arizona secretary of state who has till 30 November to certify election outcomes there, referred to as on Republican officers to cease “perpetuating misinformation”, including that threats and “continued intimidation ways is not going to forestall me from performing the duties I swore an oath to do. Our democracy is examined always, it continues to prevail, and it’ll not falter underneath my watch.”

Honors to her, as nicely.

Whereas we’re at it, let’s not neglect all the opposite public officers who’ve been stress-tested throughout Trump’s repugnant presidency and handed honorably.

I’m referring to public well being officers unwilling to lie about Covid-19, army leaders unwilling to again Trump’s assaults on Black Lives Matter protesters, inspectors basic unwilling to cowl up Trump corruption, US international service officers unwilling to lie about Trump’s overtures to Ukraine, intelligence officers unwilling to bend their stories to go well with Trump, and justice division attorneys refusing to take part in Trump’s obstructions of justice.

When you assume it simple to do what they did, assume once more. A few of them misplaced their jobs. Many have been demoted. A number of have been threatened with violence. They’ve risked all this to do what’s proper in an America poisoned by Trump, who has no thought what it means to do what’s proper.

Above all, this stress check reveals integrity. Democracy relies on it.

The truth that Trump’s tried coup received’t succeed doesn’t make it any much less damaging. A brand new ballot from Monmouth College now finds 77% of Trump supporters consider Biden’s win was resulting from fraud – a declare, I ought to emphasize once more, backed by zero proof.

Which suggests America’s stress check received’t be over when Joe Biden is sworn in as president 20 January. Within the years to return we’ll proceed to rely upon the integrity of hundreds of unsung heroes to do their obligation within the face of threats to their livelihoods and maybe their lives.

Of his many odious acts, Trump’s determined try and cling to energy by stress-testing American democracy shall be his most reprehensible legacy.

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