Letter to the Editor from Indivisible Greenwich Steering Team
We are in a national state of emergency and it requires a response from every American. The Russian government “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion” to benefit Donald Trump.
Those efforts included voter manipulation, contacts with the highest levels of the Trump campaign, and the physical penetration of voting systems.
To reiterate – the Russian government actually penetrated voting systems. These efforts never stopped and are ongoing. The President of our country, the standard bearer of the Republican party, not only refuses to take a stand against such efforts, but he has reaffirmed his future willingness to receive such help.
On Wednesday, the Republican Senate majority leader, refused to permit yet another (a fourth) piece of legislation designed to protect the U.S. against election interference to come up for a vote. At this point, Republican party leadership cannot be seen as anything but complicit enablers of Russian interference. At a time when there should be a unified response by all Americans against such wrongful and criminal behavior, one party has single handedly prevented that response. Everyone in this country should be alarmed and every American should be speaking out. Republican leaders at every level of government have an even greater duty to speak out because it is their party that is preventing the implementation of needed protections.
We have watched as local GOP leaders largely stood silent in the face of Charlottesville and divisive rhetoric against minorities, atrocities at the border and tweets that attack our democracy, our democratic institutions and our people. And they now stand silent in the face of Russian interference with elections and their party leader’s invitations for more. Who else should speak out on this issue if not all leaders of political parties, all candidates, and all elected officials? Moreover, election interference is not solely a “national” issue. Indeed, elections are run at the state and local levels. When we are faced with a “sweeping and systematic” attack on every state’s voting systems, it transcends each and every level of government. Leaders at every level have the duty to speak out and to act. Failure to protect our democracy from attack by Russia is a failure to lead, whether at the local, state or federal level. Rome is burning and silence and inaction at this point equal complicity.
If local leaders lack the moral courage to condemn the rampant, systemic and ongoing corruption of the electoral process, and instead through silence accept sweeping foreign attacks, they are unfit to lead. If they don’t have the moral courage to choose country over party, they cannot be trusted to govern the whole. We urge every American, and especially every Republican, to stand up, speak up and take action to fight back against systemic and ongoing Russian election interference here in Connecticut and everywhere else in this country. Our democracy literally depends on it.