How Close to a Coup We Came!

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Without acting now on the Electoral Count Act, we leave the door open to another coup attempt!

Shut the door on the next coup attempt; tell your senators: please fix the electoral count act now.

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An avalanche of principled concern is needed.

We can’t underscore enough, how close we came to a coup after our last election.

Thank you for taking our new action on the Electoral Count Act so quickly, but now we need your friends too! Spread the word on this opportunity. We will not give up on voting rights or free and fair elections. Nor will we relinquish any expectation for peaceful orderly transitions of power, in deference to our civil authority.

As the January 6 hearings proceed, we learn more not only about the physical violence but about the coordinated political and legal assault on our democracy. That deepens our commitment to engagement. We will be present for both the electoral accountability of the midterms and the legislative accountability that dovetails such elections.

We ground our action and advocacy for inclusive democracy in our faith and UU principles. Our 5th UU Principle, “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large” compels us to advocate for a healthy, inclusive democratic process in which the results of elections are respected by all parties. The 6th and 7th Principles suggest we are a community, and interdependent.

  • Somewhat surprisingly, it appears that Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who testified Tuesday, grounded his decisions in his own faith. Thankfully, at least when refusing the political pressure to overturn election results, his faith aligned with our view on the correct course of action.
  • Similarly, from Georgia, we heard about Gabriel Sterling’s indignation and his hyper-focus on the numbers, the relationship between ballot-marking machines and hand tallies, which tell the truth. And we heard his boss, Secretary Brad Raffensperger say “No, the numbers are the numbers. The numbers don’t lie.”
  • In our view, this testimony speaks to risks bound up in the Electoral Count Act. (Day 4 transcript, by NPR.)

The numbers do not lie, and they can be powerful in delivering facts, the truth.

Our democratic process, can not rest solely on the moral fortitude of a handful of elected officials or high-level staff — the now-famous “team normal.” But right now the Senate continues playing a numbers game with voting rights and free elections, by refusing to act. And they are perseverating about the one area where legislative agreement exists, the Electoral Count Act–despite the fundamental risks to our democracy.

Without acting now on the Electoral Count Act, we leave the door open to another coup attempt. As January 6 hearing witness and conservative former federal judge J. Michael Luttig states [with respect to these “unholy wars” –] “the time has come for us to decide whether we allow this war over democracy to be prosecuted to its catastrophic end or whether we ourselves demand the immediate suspension of this war and insist on peace instead.” (Day 3 transcript, by NPR.)

From the Senate, we want a restoration of voting rights. We want free and fair elections. They must deliver the most basic protections for our democracy, and that starts with the Electoral Count Act.

So let’s play our own numbers game and give them an avalanche of principled concern, grounded in our faith, and spur them to pass reforms of the Electoral Count Act. And we will insist that they return to voting rights and free and fair elections. Because we see the interconnected whole, with its nuance, and we know that January 6th was about voter intimidation and suppressing the mere prospect of Beloved Community.

Michael, let us close that door on another coup.

We know that the insurrection was part of a white Christian nationalist backlash looking to thwart all the work that we have been doing, with others, for inclusive democracy.

Write your Senators and tell them to take action on the Electoral Count Act, and tell them to do the work that must be done. And to do it now.

In love, and for a better democracy

Pablo DeJesus

Executive Director, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice