I am saddened and angry that our country is being torn apart by the lie that Donald Trump won the election, and it was stolen from him.

The fact that Joe Biden won and Donald Trump lost is beyond dispute but apparently some of the evidence bears repeating. First of all, it makes no sense that Trump somehow lost the election because of widespread fraud and Republicans did well in down ballot races.

Republicans challenged the results in numerous court cases. They were overwhelmingly rejected including by two Republican judges. An audit in the most populous county in Arizona done by a Republican chosen firm resulted in a net gain in Biden votes. A study done by The Associated Press found only 475 possible cases of fraud in the six battleground states. Some of them were Trump votes. The closest loss in any of the battleground states was 10,457 in Arizona. There were 198 possible fraud cases in Arizona. This is just a partial list of the evidence that Biden won and Trump lost.

Meanwhile Trump continues to claim the election was stolen. His claims would be farcical if they were not so important in weakening our democracy. They led directly to the events of Jan. 6, which was an attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of power, a cornerstone of democracy.

Multiple surveys show that confidence in our democracy is at a long-time low. There have been continued efforts to make it easier to turn over the selection of electors’ votes to partisan state legislators, something attempted in 2020 and in a stronger position to happen now. As long as a significant portion of voters think the election was stolen more violence is possible. Joe Biden is correct in saying that Trump’s stop the steal lies are a “dagger at the throat of democracy.”

All but a few Republicans do not challenge Trump’s lies about the election. When asked about Jan. 6, a common tactic is to quickly turn to criticism of President Biden’s job performance rather than mention the lies that inspired the Jan. 6 insurrection.

It is fair enough to argue about President Biden’s job performance but they are changing the topic. It is not right to turn the page when the head of your own party and likely candidate for president in 2024 is mouthing the same lies that caused the insurrection on Jan. 6. Republicans complain that Jan. 6 is being politicized. It absolutely should deserve intense scrutiny when the same lies that caused the disaster that occurred on Jan. 6 are being repeated by the most powerful person in the Republican Party.

Although polls are showing declining confidence in our democracy, I think that Democrats, Republicans and independents all would like us to have a healthy democracy.

I have friends and family who are good people and voted for Trump. However you ultimately vote please consider the evidence or lack thereof, and if you consider Trump’s claims to be false, think about what type of person would repeat the same lies for years.

John Mitchell lives in Lewisburg.

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