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"Listen for dangerous words." wrote Timothy Snyder author of On Tyranny, 20 Lesson s of the 20th Century. Dec 2016 the then Colorado Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, now a local politician, publicly stated, reported by news outlets across the country, that Baca & Nemanich's court filing was "an illegal conspiracy to subvert the will of Colorado's voters" characterizing the effort as; "odious and evil."
At the time I was stunned by the extreme use of inflammatory characterizations that sought to demonize our mindful civil challenge to an unconstitutional law. His use of dangerous words which was continued by his unlawful acts was eventually shut down when the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling that "[O]ur reading of the Constitution as providing the electors the discretion to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice. They therefore support our conclusion that the Constitution does not grant to the states the power to remove electors who vote independently...Secretary Williams impermissibly interfered with Mr. Baca's exercise of his right to vote as a presidential elector. Specifically, Secretary Williams acted unconstitutionally."
At the time, I thought it was merely a political xenophobic aberration by an overly partisan and flawed politician. Now I reject that naive notion. His words and actions of the same manner being used towards all of Trump's dissenters, the news media, opponents, witnesses, now "disgruntled" former staffers, whistleblowers, inspector generals, law enforcement professionals, DOJ lawyers, and even justices. All are now characterized as domestic enemies where he is using all manner of unmitigated personal slurs and demonizations, targeting them for Trump loyalists for political investigations and prosecutions and possibly worse, personal threats and harm.
The Attorney General is now caught actively interfering in prosecutions and sentencing recommendations of Trump's political friends or operatives, in turn, causing the Federal Judiciary to call an emergency meeting among themselves. This weekend over 2000 former DOJ officials published a signed statement calling on "every DOJ employee to follow their heroic example and be prepared to report future abuses to the Inspector General, the Office of Professional Responsibility, and Congress; to refuse to carry out directives that are inconsistent with their oaths of office; to withdraw from cases that involve such directives or other misconduct; and, if necessary, to resign and report publicly — in a manner consistent with professional ethics."
These are the words and deeds of a dangerous time. If you are a patriot. One who holds to the rule of law, that this civil society is based on, Loyal to our 231-year-old constitutional republic, formed and exercised by our imperfect democracy that perpetually seeks to form a more perfect Union than you must stand up and defend our constitutional institutions. "It is institutions that help us to preserve decency. They need our help as well. Institutions do not protect themselves." —-Timothy Snyder in On Tyranny.
2016 Democratic Presidential Elector
Colorado Springs, CO