Editorial: What’s more important than democracy?

democracy
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File

Are you willing to forsake your vote for cheaper gas?

Are you willing to forsake the rights of your neighbor to lower your grocery bills?

Are you willing to forsake your own liberties, and the liberties of strangers, for a false sense of security?

These questions, and one other, are at the heart of the Nov. 8 midterm elections — a contest that will define the future of this country, for better or worse, like none before.

What’s more important than democracy?

We live in a democratic republic where we, the people, elect our fellow citizens to represent us in the halls of government. We have sent millions of soldiers to fight and die in every corner of this globe over the course of 246 years to defend that democratic republic — that system of “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

We have become, because of that commitment to democracy and freedom, the “last best hope on Earth” for all nations — and an inspiration to struggling democracies everywhere that people yearn to rule themselves and determine their own destiny.

But all that we value and treasure about our great democratic republic are frightfully endangered because of a fascist movement in our midst — one that attacked the heart of our democracy on Jan. 6, 2021 and threatened to overturn the results of a fair and free presidential election.

The fascists failed… that time. 

But less than two years after the insurrection, our country finds itself on the brink of electing MAGA fascists to control the House and possibly even the Senate, as well as state legislatures and governor’s mansions, in the midterm elections.

Fascism is defined by Webster’s as “a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.” 

When an elected official opposes certifying the results of a presidential election based upon nothing but lies, they stand with fascism over American democracy. 

Government should always have room for liberals, conservatives and independents. But fascism must be stopped in its tracks.

Ask yourselves: What will happen in the next presidential election if the MAGA movement controls Congress? Will they honor the results of the 2024 presidential election if President Biden is re-elected or another Democrat wins? 

What will happen if Doug Mastriano — who has continuously spread Donald Trump’s lies about election fraud and was outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021  — becomes governor of Pennsylvania? 

The governor has the power to appoint a secretary of state to oversee elections. Would Mastriano appoint a fellow election denier to rig the rules with phony “election integrity” schemes to suppress the vote?

Are you really willing to give your governor that kind of power because gas prices are too high? 

Everything that happens in this country depends upon a functioning, stable, democratic republic that respects the rule of law, the constitutional rights of all Americans, and the will of all voters. 

We should always demand that our leaders focus on the issues that are important to you and your family. But no issue is greater than the preservation of our democracy. 

No amount of money or security will ever justify having election deniers and fascists occupying any level of government. They must be rebuked and defeated at the polls on Nov. 8, and every election thereafter. 

Let freedom ring. 

Let democracy prevail. 

Vote!

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