Sunday marks 40 days and 40 nights wrongly wasted by President Trump and his allies in an attempt to subvert the will of the people, cancel the results of the presidential election, and keep him in power.

Without credible evidence to support his accusations of widespread fraudulent voting and election process corruption, Trump first declared in the early morning hours of Nov. 4 he won the election that he lost.

”We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election,” he tweeted. “We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed.”

Nor were they cast after the polls closed. But as has always been the procedure, they were counted by local election officials until every valid vote had been tabulated. The counting took a few days in populous states because of the record volume of absentee and mail-in votes in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Trump followed the results with a blunderbuss of lawsuits and a litany of lies to rally his loyalists to help him remain in office another four years.

His whining about a corrupt election resembles a coup attempt – ignoring the U.S. Constitution and the foundations of our democracy. His effort to enlist the support of Republican officials for his mad mission borders on sedition. The top federal official in charge of election security described the Nov. 3 election as the “most secure” in U.S. history. Attorney General William Barr’s investigation, initiated at Trump’s request, found no widespread election fraud.

Yet 126 GOP members of the U.S. House and attorneys general from more than a dozen red states embraced his irresponsible crusade by signing on to a preposterous legal case filed directly with the Supreme Court by the attorney general of Texas. The purpose: overthrow the election results in the crucial states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The nation’s highest court on Friday declined to hear the case, pointing out Texas lacked legal standing to contest the voting results in four other states. It was the second time within a week the court, which includes three Trump appointees, repulsed the president in refusing to consider a challenge to election results.

“The Supreme Court really let us down,” tweeted Trump. “No Wisdom, No Courage!”

Trump knows he lost, but he won’t admit it. He is like a failed-state dictator who refuses to leave even when the public vote turns against him. The refrain is the same: rigged election, a fraud. The devil rivals did it.

Fallout from Trump’s attack on the integrity of the nation’s voting system, a cornerstone of democracy, portends a fifth column resistance to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration. Trump’s rhetoric has created a cult-like belief by millions of Americans that Biden and the Democrats stole the election. Sadly, no amount of facts and evidence or court decisions will convince them otherwise.

If you consider that outlook an overreaction, consider the appalling statement by Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West to the latest Supreme Court decision rejecting the Texas lawsuit to overthrow the election. He suggests possible secession by red states that voted for Trump.

“This decision will have far-reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic,” said West. “Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.”

The deep political fissure that divides America has resulted in the brazen display of extremist civilian militia. They were present at anti-racism protests in Portland, Seattle, Kenosha and elsewhere. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said armed protesters descended on her home a week ago, shouting obscenities and threatening violence if she didn’t overturn the state’s presidential election results for Biden.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s chief election official savaged by his own Republican Party, is under siege for refusing to accede to Trump’s request to hand him the election. In revenge, the Republican House Speaker in Georgia is pushing a proposal to allow the GOP-controlled legislature to select the secretary of state instead of the voters.

Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump nominee to the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, best described the president’s defilement of the presidential election in rejecting one of his many lawsuits.

“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy,” said Bibas. “Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof.”

Trump’s unprecedented onslaught to remain in office relies on disinformation, conspiracy theories and no proof.

Bill Ketter is senior vice president of news for CNHI, LLC. Reach him at wketter@cnhi.com.

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