Forth: This Shouldn’t Be Controversial, but Biden Won


Sydney Stam

(Graphic by Sydney Stam | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Kate Forth, Opinion Writer


Despite President Joe Biden being in office for over 9 months, the validity of the 2020 presidential election results is still being questioned.

Some Republican lawmakers have fueled this lie with their statements. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has been vocal about her false belief that the election was stolen from former President Trump. She has voiced her support for the Stop the Steal movement alongside Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones at a political rally and wore a “Trump Won” mask on the U.S. House floor.

Former President Trump has also been vocal about the fraudulent election. After the 2020 election results, Trump was adamant that voter fraud kept him from reelection. Recently, he has advertised on his political campaign emails that over 15 million U.S. ballots were unaccounted for in the 2020 presidential election.

The most blatant consequence of this misinformation was the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this year. The storming of the capitol by people wishing to overturn the 2020 election results caused $30 million worth of damages from people graffitiing the building, breaking windows and stealing objects.

Several people died during this attack on the Capitol: both perpetrator and defender. This attack has potentially sparked an era of violent political uprisings in our country, and federal law enforcement has prepared for such. Metal fencing surrounded the capital for months following the insurrection and only recently came down.

Another consequence was the creation of the “Stop the Steal” movement by Trump supporters, which supports extremist and far-right policies. The Proud Boys, a group of white supremacists who engaged in violence in the 2016 Charlottesville protests, are heavily involved in this movement. Many of them were arrested at the insurrection.

The Proud Boys chapter in Utah is known to spread hateful messages laced with misogyny, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. They have also involved themselves in local politics by speaking against teaching critical race theory in Granite school district schools.

Despite the chaos and unrest that the election fraud narrative has caused, Republican legislators are still continuing to question the validity of the election, even though these claims have been disputed many times. Recently, Republican lawmakers have been trying to prove that Arizona did not vote blue, but evidence has suggested the contrary. Frighteningly enough, 53% of Republicans in the U.S. believe that the election rightfully belongs to former President Trump.

This untrue rhetoric that some Republicans are trying to spread that Biden “stole” the election is harmful and must be stopped. If Republicans don’t hold each other accountable for this misinformation, more conflict could arise.

Due to the lack of accountability for the spread of this misinformation, we’ve seen this harmful rhetoric continue to spread in our state. During the 2021 legislative session, Rep. Joel Briscoe attempted to pass a resolution acknowledging the success of the mail-in voting process in Utah for the 2020 election process. Rep. Norm Thurston and Rep. Phil Lyman, who are both Republican legislators, refused to support the resolution unless there was a re-write that removed “divisive themes.” The resolution was then edited to remove language recognizing the success of the 2020 presidential election in Utah.

Utah has been conducting successful mail-in voting since 2012, which leads me to believe that Rep. Thurston and Rep. Lyman don’t have issues with Utah mail-in voting, but rather are against admitting that the 2020 presidential election was legitimate.

Such blatant displays of ignorance by our legislators have only kindled distrust in the election among Utah Republicans. 41% of Utah Republicans believe that the election had widespread voter fraud.

Republican lawmakers need to do what’s right and denounce the falsities that some of their peers are making. They should support fair election results at every opportunity.

The GOP shouldn’t lie about election fraud so that they can gain political power. If what Rep. Adam Kizinger says is true about most Republican lawmakers privately disavowing Trump’s claims of election fraud, then they need to stop privately disagreeing and start publicly disagreeing.

Republicans are setting a dangerous precedent by lying about the validity of the election to maintain their political presence. For a party that claims they value honesty and integrity, they sure aren’t showing it with their current acceptance of election conspiracy theorists within their party.


[email protected]