Press: America: Love it or leave it!

Press: America: Love it or leave it!
© Getty Images

San Francisco, 1968: I was among millions of young activists nationwide who took to the streets in opposition to the war in Vietnam, drove one president out of the White House and changed the course of history. I can still hear the bellow of pro-war zealots on the sidelines, chanting: “Love it or leave it!”

But, of course, we, not they, were the ones who actually loved America — and proved it by our actions. We loved America by protesting peacefully, which was our right, if not duty, as Americans. We loved America by engaging in the political process, by volunteering for antiwar candidates Eugene McCarthy or Bobby Kennedy in the Democratic primary. And in November, when Richard Nixon was declared the winner over Hubert Humphrey, as totally bummed as we were, we loved America by accepting the results and moving on.

That is a hell of a lot more than you can say for today’s congressional Republicans. In a stunning survey by The Washington Post, out of 249 Republican members of Congress, only 27 are willing to admit that Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden offers support to union organizing efforts Senate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits MORE won the election. One month later, 222 Republicans still refuse to recognize Biden as the president-elect, while two Republicans — Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarRep. Gosar denounces 'white racism' after controversial appearance Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance Madison Cawthorn doesn't regret participating in Jan. 6 'Stop the Steal' rally MORE of Arizona and Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksCPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' Trump to reemerge on political scene at CPAC MORE of Alabama — insist that Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE, not Biden, actually came out on top.


This would be shocking enough if it happened in Belarus, Venezuela, North Korea or some other country not exactly known as a haven of democracy. But for such autocratic, anti-democratic behavior to occur here — and be tolerated here, in the United States of America, the birthplace of democracy — is outrageous. Especially since there is no doubt about the results from Nov. 3.

You can’t deny the facts: This election wasn’t even close. Every state has certified the results; Georgia, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania have done so twice. Biden won 306 electoral votes, Trump got 232. True, Trump pulled in 74,111,419 popular votes. But Biden racked up 81,009,468. He beat Trump by more than 7 million votes. Biden not only scored more votes against an incumbent president than any candidate since Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, but he received more votes than any presidential candidate in U.S. history.

Not only that, but there is no evidence of foreign influence. Officials of Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security certified the Nov. 3 election as “the most secure in American history.” Nor is there any evidence, as Trump repeatedly alleges, of massive voter fraud. After his own investigation, Trump’s own attorney general said: “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”

But, wait, there’s more — or, actually, less. According to the advocacy group Democracy Docket, Trump’s legal team so far has lost 46 of the 50 lawsuits it filed to challenge election results in several states, including cases lost last Friday in Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona and Wisconsin. To date, they have not won one single case — or changed one single vote.

Given such undeniable evidence, the question is no longer why so many Republicans are afraid to admit Trump lost. The real question is: How can leaders Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump shows he holds stranglehold on GOP, media in CPAC barnburner Trump rules out starting a new party: 'Fake news' Sunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate MORE and Rep. Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyTrump calls on Republicans to 'get rid' of Cheney, other GOP critics Trump seeks to cement hold on GOP McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE allow this travesty to continue? It’s embarrassing. It’s inexcusable. It’s unacceptable. It’s downright un-American.

May I remind those 222 Republicans: This is America. We believe in the right to vote. We believe in counting every vote. And we believe in accepting the will of the people. This is America: Love it or Leave it! I understand there are some openings in Belarus.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Pod.” He is author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”