As an attorney and former law school dean, I am a vociferous advocate for the right and importance of peaceful protest as enshrined in the United States Constitution. But a line is crossed when the gatherings occur at private residences with the express goal to intimidate public officials who are carrying out their oath of office.
But let’s be clear. This incident, terrifying and unnerving as it was for my family and our neighbors — several of whom have young kids of their own — was not an isolated one. It is instead just the latest in a string of attacks that are a direct outgrowth of the hateful rhetoric and threats of violence we’ve seen invade our public discourse here in Michigan, and throughout our country, for several months. Indeed, in the month since the polls closed on November 3, we’ve seen hardworking public officials and election administrators on both sides of the aisle subjected to incessant and baseless threats designed to stop us from doing our jobs.
For all of us, our job is simple: to defend and protect every voter, their choice and their vote. And each of us will continue to proudly, defiantly, guard every citizen’s vote, undeterred, because no matter how one voted or who they voted for, where they live, or what they look like, their vote is the lifeblood of our democracy.
And the misguided efforts to spread lies designed to undermine people’s faith in what was a well-run, secure, fair and accurate election, need to stop.
It’s gone on too long, and it’s gone too far.
Our democracy is resilient. Those who guard and defend it remain undeterred. And we now need every leader, and every citizen, to join us in responding to these misguided attacks against the truth. At this moment in history, democracy requires us to summon the “strength of ten Grinches, plus two” and stand together in unity regardless of partisanship on behalf of all voters.