Virus Outbreak Congress

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 30. 

I am outraged by the current effort by congressional Republicans to overturn results of the recent presidential election. It is particularly concerning to see that most of the Louisiana delegation has joined the effort.

Do U.S. Sen. John N. Kennedy and the Louisiana House Republicans not recognize the threat to our democracy posed by this effort undertaken for no other reason than to pander to a would-be demagogue? Fortunately, this time, the effort will be unsuccessful, thanks to Democratic control of the House of Representatives.

But consider what would have happened if both houses of Congress had been controlled by Republicans. Would that have emboldened even more Republicans to join the effort to overturn the will of the people clearly voiced in the legitimate election process? Had circumstances been different and the House of Representatives been controlled by Republicans, we may be facing that the legitimate election results would be ignored in favor of reinstating a president who clearly lost the election.

And this affront to democracy would be based on nothing but unfounded allegations of voter fraud — no evidence, just allegations. President Donald Trump has had at least 50 opportunities, including two before the U.S. Supreme Court, to present evidence to support his claims.

There is none. Attorney General William Barr, an ardent, outspoken Trump supporter whose job it was to root out fraud, so stated.

What would be left of our democracy then? How would our allies and enemies view such an outcome? And, what would stop Trump, illegitimately handed four more years, from doing the same thing in 2024?

This is how democracies die. We should not be so sure that American democracy will continue that we don’t recognize when its continuation is threatened.

SHARON SMITH LAHOSTE

retired assistant U.S. attorney

New Orleans