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Guest opinion: President Trump’s refusal to accept reality is putting us all in danger

President Donald Trump listens during an event on Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Washington.
Evan Vucci, Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s continued refusal to accept the results of the election is no longer just pathetic; it’s dangerous. And it’s time that we the people do something about it.

Even as his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud are being disproven and his flimsy legal filings are being dismissed in courts all across the land, Trump persists in claiming that the election was rigged, even going so far as to tweet in all caps Sunday night: “I WON THE ELECTION!” The tweet was, of course, flagged with a long-suffering “Official sources called this election differently.”

Last week, the federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (which oversees U.S. election security) concluded that the “November 3 election was the most secure in American history” and that “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

And yet, rather than concede with dignity and grace as virtually every other defeated American presidential candidate in modern history has, President Trump continues to deny reality, inflame his supporters and stoke the anger and divisiveness that has characterized much of his presidency.

Meanwhile, our national security is at risk and a vicious pandemic continues to ravage the land. And it’s not going away, no matter how much this president (who, we must remember, knew just how dangerous the coronavirus was clear back in February and deliberately chose to downplay it) wishes it would.

We are now facing a new surge of COVID-19 cases nationwide. In Utah, the number of new cases has risen dramatically from 296 per day on Sept. 6, to 1,370 on Sept. 25; 2,011 on Oct. 23; to a shocking 4,986 on Nov. 14, leading Gov. Gary Herbert to issue emergency orders including a statewide mask mandate (which, astonishingly, anti-maskers are currently protesting outside the homes of both Herbert and Gov.-elect, Spencer Cox).

Under President Trump’s watch there have now been nearly 250,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the United States. This is more than double the total number of American lives lost during WWI. But our president seems to be too busy golfing, tweeting and fanning the flames of division while continuing to discredit the integrity of a free and fair election which is the foundation of our constitutional democratic republic to do much about it. Since election day, Trump has used Twitter over 264 times. Only two of his tweets have been about the coronavirus. The vast majority have been about the election, promoting false claims about the results.

It’s time for the flummery to end. By now, it’s abundantly clear that Trump will never put the well-being of the country above his own self-interest. And so we must call upon our elected representatives to put pressure on a lame duck president to acknowledge the reality of the election results, to cease his shenanigans, to concede the race, to do everything in his power to assist in the transition to a new administration, and to use what time he has left to work with the CDC and top health officials to stem the tide of this horrific pandemic.

President Trump must be reminded of his oath to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States.” It’s up to us, again and always, as everyday citizens in this government of, by, and for the people. Please speak up. And please call your senators and representative today.

Sharlee Mullins Glenn is a writer, teacher and community organizer. She is a founding member of the Everyone Belongs Project and sits on the external advisory board for Brigham Young University’s Civic Engagement program.