BY THE PEOPLE
Eighty years ago I was born into a family where protecting this nation from foreign enemies, by serving in the military, was expected and respected. Father volunteered for WWI, eldest brother WWII, second brother Korea, me Vietnam, eldest son-in-law Kuwait and his son will soon graduate from West Point. That's who we were and are.
Last year, inspired and triggered by Donald Trump's Big Lie that the 2020 election was fraudulent and presidency stolen from him, insurrectionists attacked The Capital of the United States in an attempt to keep President-Elect Biden from taking office.
Several Big Lie promoters are Arizonans. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez's and Ronald J. Hansen's 30,000 word Arizona Republic Investigative Report names key players, what each did and continues to do.
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann launched a partisan Audit that was so poorly executed nothing of value was learned. What investigators did discover was Big Lie promoters used her Audit, and power and prestige of the Arizona Senate, to cynically grift millions of dollars from Big Lie believers. It is also clear none of the above matters because most Republicans are legitimately afraid of angry constituents and even more afraid of being "Primaried".
Not everyone fell for the Big Lie. Governor Ducey, Secretary Hobbs, Senators Bower and Boyer, Chairman Hickman, Chairman Jack Sellers, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and others heroically remained loyal to their oaths of office while being physically and verbally threatened. Loyalists are now shunned by Big Lie promoters.
Keeping our democratic republic alive requires mutual acceptance of factual reality and leadership that unifies all of us towards procuring safety, peace, food, health and comfort for all. Democratic government is slow, messy and often frustrating process but we are the most powerful nation in the world when unified. Aftermaths of elected representative support for the Big Lie, and Arizona Senate President Karen Fann's Audit, go way beyond a damaged state reputation; millions of dollars wasted, her personal disgrace and resignations.
Governance that combines the democratic ideal of individual freedom to express feelings, with the republican ideal of individuals electing representatives to promote majority feelings while maintaining minority rights, is not how most nations were governed in the past and are governed now. Some form of religious and/or secular autocracy appears to be the default nation-state governance system.
Credible national polls find about 25% of us now endorse authoritarianism over democracy. Even worse approximately 20 million Americans now support using violence to install their authoritarian of choice.
Soon the 2022 Congress and Arizona Legislature will convene with Big Lie promoters embedded in both. I find it astounding and depressing that this nation's greatest threat today is from fellow Americans out to destroy our constitutional right to "government of the people, by the people, for the people".