Arizona's phony electors aren't patriots, they're traitors

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Trump supporters near the  U.S Capitol, on Jan. 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election.
Trump supporters near the U.S Capitol, on Jan. 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election.

One of the great mistakes we’ve made during the Trump era, and there have been many, is failing to call out traitors who claim to be patriots.

They are cumbersome words – patriot and traitor. They’re old-fashioned, weighty, archaic, lodged in the throats of second-rate actors in B movies. It takes something close to arrogance to insist that you are a patriot or to accuse someone else of being a traitor.

But if you claim to be a patriot and then act in a way that contradicts the entire notion of what that means, what else would you be but a traitor?

So how else should we view the men and women who signed fake electoral certificates after the 2020 election hoping to subvert that constitutional work of the Electoral College, overturn the outcome of a duly certified election and, in essence, stage a coup that would have kept Donald Trump in office?

Fake electors hail from 7 shameful states

The fake certificates, in which the signatories claim to be valid electors, were sent to the National Archives. The idea was to replace valid presidential electors with a pro-Trump group, and they were concocted by Trump sycophants in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Mexico and – of course – Arizona.

They claimed it as a patriotic gesture, and they were written off eventually as a publicity stunt.

Arizona actually has had two slates of fake electors. The Arizona Republic’s Ronald Hansen wrote about them a month after the election.

The phony certificates and those behind them have become news again by way of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Copies of the documents were obtained by American Oversight and published online.

Why did those from Arizona sign?

Arizona’s phony document is signed by Dr. Kelli Ward (Arizona’s GOP chair), Dr. Michael Ward, Greg Safsten, Samuel I. Moorehead, Robert Montgomery, James Lamon, Jake Hoffman, Tyler Bowyer, Loraine B. Pellegrino and Nancy Cottle.

Earlier this week, state Rep. Jake Hoffman, who signed the bogus certificate, dodged and weaved away from a 12 News photojournalist and from The Republic’s Richard Ruelas who were interested in finding out why he’d signed the fake declaration.

We either learn something from the dark days surronding Jan. 6 or we repeat them. Court challenges making outrageous claims about the election have been tossed by judges again and again. Phony assertions of election fraud and the sham election audit conducted in Arizona by the Cyber Ninjas, at the behest of Republican state Senate President Karen Fann, have been thoroughly debunked and disproven.

Trump continues to spread lies about the election and his most loyal toadies echo his outrageous, unproven claims, all of which does nothing but add to the nation’s divisiveness and bolster conspiracy kooks.

Words may be archaic, but they mean something

But just this week the head of the far-right Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, who once suggested that Sen. John McCain be hanged, and 10 other members or associates have been charged with seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Seditious conspiracy – those also are old-fashioned, weighty, archaic words. Just like patriot and traitor.

In the end, however, history tells us they are not just the part of some campy dialogue in B movies spoken by second-rate actors.

But by the Founding Fathers.

Reach Montini at ed.montini@arizonarepublic.com.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona's phony electors aren't patriots. They're traitors

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