Meg Galipault Letter: Losing Democracy

Jan 11, 2021
Meg Galipault, Chair of KCDP

“An elected institution that opposes elections is inviting its own overthrow.” These words by
Timothy Snyder in the New York Times have stuck with me for several days. They speak to truth
and consequences. The fatal lie told by political leaders and believed by millions—that our
election was “rigged” and that Donald Trump is the true winner—will have devastating
consequences for us all: the loss of democracy. This lie fed the discontent that led to last week’s
deadly insurrection.
The country indulged Trump’s lie for two months. He took it upon himself to challenge the votes
only in those swing states he lost, spending much of November and December engaged in more
than 60 lawsuits contesting the results. He lost every single suit. Not a single piece of evidence
convinced any judge, including judges appointed by Trump, to overturn the results. All the
while, Trump heralded the lie that he won the election in a “landslide.” He fed Americans with
provably false information about fraud.
Had our Republican leaders done what legislators have done in elections past for centuries—
accept and acknowledge the winner—perhaps no storm would have descended on the Capitol to
disrupt the Congressional certification of the election last Wednesday. Instead, legislators, like
our own Representative Bob Gibbs (OH-07), perpetuated the lie, riled up their base of QAnon
and radical far right groups, and encouraged them to “Stop the Steal.”
As of this morning (Jan. 11), Rep. Gibbs still has not issued a public statement denouncing the
violence. But I’m not surprised. Gibbs was, after all, one of the 100+ U.S. Representatives who
voted on January 6, AFTER the insurrection, to oppose certification of the Electoral College for
“certain states.”
In voting to reject the certification, Bob Gibbs willfully lied to his constituents. He knows how
elections work; he’s been running for various offices for two decades. He knows how votes are
counted and by whom and how rare it is to find fraud. He knows how vote totals are released
throughout the night and sometimes into the days following an election. He knows our system
allows for ballots from overseas U.S. service people. He knows what provisional ballots are. He
knows the role of the Secretary of State in certifying elections. He is not some rube.
Hence, he lied last week. He continues to lie by not acknowledging Joe Biden as president-elect.
And in letting this lie stand and fester, he is every bit as culpable for the Capitol insurrection as
Donald Trump. If he had half a conscience, if he mourned those five deaths, he would resign.
We, the voters of the 7th U.S. Congressional District, deserve better.

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