Thistlethwaite: Does Lauren Boebert even believe in democracy?
The great divide in American politics today is not about policy. The divide is between those who believe in democracy and those who would subvert it to win at any price.
Rep. Lauren Boebert and her ilk in the Republican party are demonstrating their contempt for how actual democracy works. They are engaging in a systematic effort to undermine confidence in the 2020 election of President Biden. Their support for the “Big Lie,” i.e. the lie that Trump won in 2020 despite losing by huge margins, is a prime example of this.
Here’s a recent Boebert Tweet that pushes the idea that “audits” of the 2020 election results should be “welcome.” She includes an insulting aside that President Biden is merely the “occupant” of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, implying he is not our duly elected president.
If 81,000,000 people voted for me and I set record after record with my victory, I know I would welcome every audit and reminder of that possible!
Why the hesitance from the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) May 21, 2021
Rep. Boebert’s Tweet is a prime example of how Republicans are trying to cast doubt on the election of President Joe Biden and therefore justify the spate of voter suppression laws being passed around the country.
The effort to falsely claim that the election results were not valid can be vividly seen in the bizarre performance in Arizona of a “review” of ballots. We need to keep sight of the fact that this Arizona “stunt” is part of a concerted effort to cast doubt on election results that have already been certified.
The group hired to do this so-called “review” is called “Cyber Ninjas.” I would think most people would be skeptical of anything run by a group called Cyber Ninjas, but in our conspiracy-driven politics, nothing seems out of bounds. According to reporting from The Guardian, “Far-right conspiracy theorists appear to be connected to the [Arizona] effort and the firm hired to lead the charge, a Florida-based company called Cyber Ninjas, has little experience in elections. The firm’s CEO has voiced support for the idea that the election was stolen from Trump.”
Thus, the idea that an elected official such as Lauren Boebert would still be pushing the completely discredited idea that there is still a need for something called “audits” is not just ridiculous. It is a pointed effort to undermine the confidence of some Americans in our elections. It demonstrates to me that Rep. Boebert does not actually believe in democracy.
Some Republicans are refusing to engage in the “Big Lie.” A member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Bill Gates, has written publicly that: “I can say with confidence the election was safe, secure and fair. There was no foul play. There was no vote switching. The November election was one of the best we’ve ever run.”
And for certifying and then defending the result of the general election, Gates writes he has been “sued, subpoenaed and chastised, primarily by Republicans.”
“Truth matters,” writes Gates.“If Republicans become the part of the ‘Big Lie,’ if we encourage this madness much longer we will lose credibility with the majority of Americans on issues where I believe we have better ideas. We will do lasting damage to our republic.”
Boebert is the congressional representative for District 3, the district where I live in Colorado, but she does not represent me with these ant-democratic views.
Indeed, Rep. Boebert, you cannot truly represent Americans in a democracy and cling to the discredited notion that there is something to be “audited” about the 2020 elections. That is the “Big Lie.”
Gates of Arizona is absolutely right. Rep. Boebert, you have lost all credibility when you subscribe to the debunked notion that the 2020 election should be audited.
And please refer to President Biden as President Biden. Thank you.
Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is President Emerita and Professor Emerita of Chicago Theological Seminary. She and her husband now make their home in the Vail Valley.