It was disheartening to read that Congressmen Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber, Jim Hagedorn, and Congresswoman-Elect Michelle Fischbach are calling into question the integrity of the election. Scattered recklessly, these seeds of doubt and mistrust fall everywhere — including close to home.

Who is responsible for the count of these “suspicious” votes? Who are these liars and cheaters? Stauber, Hagedorn, Emmer and Fischbach are talking about election judges and poll workers, civic-minded citizens in communities all over their districts and districts like theirs all over the country, people who stepped up to make sure that the process for fair and free elections in our democracy was followed in their villages, towns, and cities. They are undoubtedly the same people who serve in many other ways in their communities: as youth sports coaches, 4-H leaders, volunteer firefighters, booster club members, etc. They serve church dinners and serve on school boards.

Yet, Stauber, Emmer, Hagedorn, and Fischbach undermine these same people — ordinary American citizens – by implying they are involved in an illegal count, accusing them of outright dishonesty. Why? Because they dare not question Donald Trump. Any person with an ounce of common sense knows that Donald Trump has no grounds for his accusations of voter fraud. If he had, he would have laid his cards on the table during last Thursday’s press conference as former Gov. Chris Christie advised him to do. Instead, his rambling vitriol was so baseless that all the major news networks pulled away before he finished. Every reasonable American knows that widespread accusations of voter fraud are the work of an unhinged bully, and I would bet that at three in the morning, when they are alone with their consciences, Stauber, Hagedorn, Emmer, and Fischbach know this, too.

Either they have lost all sense of their obligations as public servants in a democracy in the midst of the “Trump reality” or, more likely, they are terrified that if they don’t fall in line behind Trump, they will end up on his “list.” They’ve seen him throw many politicians under the bus, and they don’t want to be next. This must be terribly intimidating.

Now is the time for them to reflect on whether they are prepared to serve in a democracy. It is the time to find courage. By all accounts, this was a fair election, handled with integrity. Republicans, Democrats and international observers have concurred on this. If they truly mirror the values of Minnesotans, our congressmen and congresswoman-elect will take a stand and support the citizens in their districts and ordinary Americans all across the country who have worked hard to make this election process honest, smooth and successful. They will take the stand that the election is over; Biden has won and it’s time to move on and ensure that he is ready to govern our nation in January.

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Lore Roethke is a grandmother who is deeply concerned about the stewardship of our democracy. In January, she retired from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, where she served as director of the Master of Arts in Teaching program. She resides in Minneapolis.