For decades, progressives have tried to abolish the electoral college in favor of a direct democracy approach; under their plan, votes would be cast in a national election, bypassing electors and the states. They have pushed populist initiatives, most notably the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, to do away with the electoral college without even having to go through the inconvenience of a constitutional amendment. This interstate compact directs participating states to cast their electoral votes for the presidential candidate with the highest number of votes nationwide — regardless of the choice of the voters in their own states.

The current ploy by my Republican colleagues, to challenge the electors in one or more states, threatens the future of the electoral college. It lends credence to opponents’ arguments that this system overrides votes and tramples on the will of voters.

The path that led to this episode began with Trump’s victory in 2016. Progressives did everything they could to undermine his policy initiatives, and even impeached him.

Emotions run high in this partisan environment, and given everything our president has unfairly endured, it is easy to understand why so many of his supporters think the election may have been stolen. But the choice before us now is to accept the results of the November election, or to object and undermine not only the president but also the institutions that define us as a free people.