This is an excerpt from the chapter entitled "Come Back to Your First Love":
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
Revelation 2:4 (NKJV)
This morning’s news coverage featured an attack by President Trump on Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey:
“President Donald Trump publicly and repeatedly lashed out at Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday, contending the Republican leader and Trump supporter had "betrayed the people of Arizona" by certifying an election that didn't go the president's way.
Trump unleashed a series of blistering posts on Twitter a few hours after Ducey and other state officials signed off on Arizona's general election results, confirming Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the once reliably red state.
‘Why is he rushing to put a Democrat in office?’ Trump asked, including a clip of Ducey discussing getting Senator-elect Mark Kelly sworn in as soon as possible. "Especially when so many horrible things concerning voter fraud are being revealed at the hearing going on right now."
By ‘hearing,’ Trump meant the public meeting between Trump campaign lawyers and a handful of state lawmakers taking place two miles from the Arizona Capitol. In front of an audience that included at least two Arizona congressmen, the president's team had made unsubstantiated claims of election fraud and urged the Legislature to throw out the state's results.
‘What is going on with @dougducey?’ Trump continued on Twitter. ‘Republicans will long remember!’
… He also shared a post that asked: ‘Who needs Democrats when you have Republicans like (Georgia Gov.) Brian Kemp and Doug Ducey?’” (Polletta, 2020)
I have lived in Arizona since 2010. I voted for Governor Ducey in 2018. Though I have not agreed with every decision that he has made, I can say that from my vantage point as an AZ resident, he is an honorable man. He also was loyal to the president; some would say to a fault. Unfortunately, he serves a man who is not honorable and with whom loyalty only runs in one direction. One Arizona paper characterized Governor Ducey’s support of President Trump as “years of loyal support.” (Duda, 2020) Here’s how another Arizona paper described Gov Ducey’s loyalty to the president:
“I’m thinking of all the times Ducey put the good of the president above the good of the state. Like when he suddenly announced last year that he was OK with Trump closing the border with Mexico -- "our No. 1 trading partner, times four" — or when he abruptly opened up everything in Arizona in early May because Trump was coming for a visit and had pronounced that COVID was over.
Or when he attended all those Trump rallies this fall, often without a mask, after telling the rest of us to "mask up" and avoid crowds.
And this, governor, is the thanks you get for your loyalty: a presidential pummelling.” (Roberts, 2020)
If you dissect President Trump’s allegations, you find that they were untrue and that he was unfairly attacking Governor Ducey. The president said that Governor Ducey was “rushing to put a Democrat in office.” (Polletta, 2020) But Democratic Senator-elect Mark Kelly’s “swearing-in comes earlier than other Senate contest winners from the general election because his race was a special election to fill the final two years of the term John McCain was elected to in 2016.” (Duda, 2020) When the election results were certified, Senator Kelly’s swearing-in was a by-product.
Even the president’s claims that the certification of election results was “rushed” is untrue: “State law mandates that the secretary of state, governor, attorney general, and Arizona Supreme Court chief justice certify the canvass on the fourth Monday after the general election.” (Duda, 2020)
Here’s Governor Ducey’s response to the president’s false claims:
“He didn't mention the president by name, or specifically reference his comments.
"The problems that exist in other states simply don't apply here. I've also said all along, I'm going to follow the law. So here's what the law says," Ducey wrote.
He continued, adding:
"It requires the Secretary of State, in the presence of the Governor and the Attorney General, to canvass the election on the fourth Monday following the general election. That was today. This can ONLY be delayed if counties DECLINE to certify their results. ALL 15 counties in Arizona — counties run by both parties — certified their results. The canvass of the election triggers a 5-day window for any elector to bring a credible challenge to the election results in court. If you want to contest the results, now is the time. Bring your challenges. That’s the law. I’ve sworn an oath to uphold it, and I take my responsibility seriously." (Polletta, 2020)
Weeks ago, I watched news coverage in Arizona, showing armed Trump supporters gathered to intimidate poll center workers. I’m not sure the quote below from a November 4th article describes the footage I saw or whether it was a similar incident elsewhere in Arizona:
“As tensions flared in Arizona overnight, armed pro-Trump protesters descended on a counting center in Maricopa County, after Biden's commanding 200,000-vote lead was slashed to just 68,000 as ballots continued being tallied.
They faced off with police and security outside the counting center, chanting that every vote should be counted with the result in the balance. At least one person made it inside, forcing the center to close with staff locked in.” (Mulraney, 2020)
The president strongly denounced the counting of votes after election night. Arizona, ironically, was one of the states where the president wanted officials to keep counting votes as Biden’s lead shrank. Governor Ducey has demonstrated that he is an honorable man by promising to keep his “sworn oath” to follow the law, despite the president’s best Twitter intimidation tactics. My concern is that the president’s words often trigger violence. In April, the president tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” as part of his barrage against Governors whose position on opening up their states during COVID-19 didn’t match his. His words helped trigger an armed protest at the capitol building in Michigan. Some of those protesters present were later involved in a plot to kidnap Michigan's Governor:
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