It is uncertain how the current drama in the capitol will play out or be resolved. But we would not be here if state legislators weren’t emboldened by a defeated president who has spent two months falsely declaring himself victor, attempting to strong-arm state officials into finding votes for him, and baselessly calling the entire election process “rigged” and “corrupt.” This unconscionable attempt at a hostile takeover of the country’s executive office will linger like a poison in our politics long after January 20.
If Republicans across the country decide to embrace Trump’s wanton disregard for truth and rejection of election results and court decisions—if it becomes the SOP for the GOP—then the republic truly is at a tipping point. Democracy cannot function when one of the two major parties decides to openly subvert the will of voters.
Is this the future of the Republican party? Resorting to procedural chicanery to undermine democracy? Trump’s hostility to electoral norms have seeped into both houses of the U.S. Congress, inspiring the Republicans’ efforts to derail the joint session to count electoral votes with pointless objections. What happened in Pennsylvania on Tuesday shows the result of encouraging and normalizing this dangerous behavior.