WASHINGTON ― A former federal prosecutor has launched a marketing campaign to press American companies to overtly reject the core assertion that former President Donald Trump and plenty of in his occasion proceed to make, that the 2020 election was by some means illegitimate.
“The 2020 presidential election was free and fair, and produced accurate, reliable results,” reads the reason behind the “Democracy Pledge” that Glenn Kirschner hopes to place earlier than “every company in the country” within the coming months. “Those who sought to undermine or otherwise refused to acknowledge these results, share responsibility for the civil unrest after the election, culminating in violence at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.”
The pledge features a declaration of “valuing, affirming and supporting democracy,” and of affirming “that the election of Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris was free, fair and legitimate.”
The ultimate piece asks corporations to “not support, donate to or endorse politicians, political campaigns or political action committees that promoted false conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 presidential elections (or otherwise acted in ways contrary to a representative democracy).”
“What we’re trying to do is force companies’ hands so they can’t be agnostic,” Kirschner mentioned.
Trump started mendacity concerning the election ends in the wee hours of election evening and continued straight by way of Jan. 6, when he instructed a crowd of his supporters gathered close to the White House to march on the Capitol to intimidate Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress into overturning the election Trump had misplaced by 7 million votes and giving him a second time period anyway. Three cops had been left useless, and 140 others had been injured. Hundreds of Trump supporters who attacked police or breached the constructing have been arrested, with a whole lot of extra arrests pending.
Yet Trump and plenty of prime Republicans have by no means apologized for spreading the lies concerning the “stolen” election and “massive voter fraud” that fueled his followers’ anger within the first place.
As of late Friday, 23 corporations had been featured on the Democracy Pledge web site, from a images workshop in Missoula, Montana, to a legislation workplace in Melbourne, Florida. Kirschner mentioned he and his fellow volunteers haven’t actively approached any corporations but; these on the location now got here to them, he mentioned.
He added that he doubts many corporations will straight up refuse to take the pledge, however anticipated many will keep away from responding in any respect. He mentioned these names will, after some interval, be listed, as effectively. “And then we’re going to provide that information to consumers,” he mentioned. “And they can make their purchasing decisions accordingly.”
Plenty of corporations introduced after Jan. 6 that they might not donate to politicians who unfold Trump’s election lie or would pause donating to political campaigns fully. This raised alarm in Republican committees since Trump and plenty of of his supporters had been persevering with to push his falsehoods and making them a litmus check for different Republicans.
The Republican National Committee didn’t reply to a HuffPost question about whether or not it supported the group’s pledge.
Kirschner, who spent six years as an Army lawyer within the Judge Advocate General’s Corps adopted by 24 years as prosecutor within the District of Columbia’s U.S. lawyer’s workplace, mentioned he doesn’t see declaring assist for primary democratic values like accepting the outcomes of an election as partisan.
As to what would represent spreading conspiracy theories: having signed onto the lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that attempted to overturn the election by claiming fraud in different states could be a very good qualifier, Kirschner mentioned. A complete of 18 state attorneys common and 126 Republican lawmakers supported that effort. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz even volunteered to argue the case earlier than the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in the long run, summarily rejected it as a substitute.
Even extra GOP members of Congress voted, simply hours after their lives had been put in peril by Trump’s violent mob, to reject the Electoral College vote tally exhibiting that Biden had received. But Kirschner mentioned that vote, by itself, wouldn’t consign somebody to the anti-democracy listing. Members of Congress had made comparable arguments in earlier elections, and it could be unfair to punish the 147 Republicans who did the identical this time, he added.
He mentioned he may additionally perceive an organization wanting so as to add its personal language into the pledge to make clear statements to their satisfaction. “We’re not trying to be jerks about it,” he mentioned. “Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good.”
Supporting Trump himself now, although, is one other matter, Kirschner mentioned. “You can’t support Donald Trump and argue that you are in favor of free and fair elections. … If you’re supporting him, you’re just not supporting democracy.”
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