By Jim Hannah
It’s been said that all politics is local. So how did our local politicians represent us in regard to President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud? Well, three Republican state representatives lent their support to these claims, which were dismissed as groundless by a host of both Republican- and Democratic-appointed attorneys general, election commissioners, judges, the US attorney general, and even the US Supreme Court.
Despite this preponderance of facts, Trump’s fantasy of a stolen election found support from three Missouri legislators from Eastern Jackson County: Dan Stacey of Blue Springs; Jeff Coleman of Grain Valley; and Bill Kidd of Buckner. It is noteworthy that other Republicans from Eastern Jackson County did not participate in this delusional and divisive political theatre.
Unfortunately, our Republican US Congressman, Sen. Josh Hawley, led the charge enabling President Trump’s fantasy. His fist bumps in support of the Trump crowd that stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6 egged on those already inflamed by an hour-long harangue from the president. That image will forever haunt Hawley’s political career, should he decide to ignore calls for his resignation.
Words and actions have consequences. US Rep. Sam Graves, who represents part of Independence and Blue Springs, was also among those who questioned Electoral College results, when Congress’ role was simply to count—not contest—the votes. There were ample other legitimate opportunities for legislators to express their concerns.
So next time you’re in the voting booth, remember these names. And vote for those who will reverse, rather than reinforce, dangerous attacks on truth and trust.
—This column, by Jim Hannah of Independence, was published as a letter to The Examiner Jan. 19, 2021.