- - Monday, January 4, 2021

Energy seeks an outlet, and political energy is no different. Throngs of thousands rallied on tarmacs across the nation — sometimes steamy, other times frigid. Then they stood in line for hours to vote, only to be told their champion lost to political deadwood. It is clear that the ardor for conservative values that Donald Trump ignited will not dissipate like the morning fog simply because Joe Biden is to be awarded the presidency. The challenge of the moment is to channel the energy constructively.

The opportunity emerges with Wednesday’s convening of the Electoral College in a joint session of the incoming, 117th Congress. Republican challenges to the Biden electors from a handful of states that used underhanded election tabulation procedures would be a powerful start.

The Wall Street Journal has labeled the expected GOP challenges “a destructive precedent.” For political establishmentarians, the critical issue is not whether election malfeasance occurred, but whether it was massive enough to have reversed the outcome. We respectfully disagree. Just as a porch pirate isn’t welcome to snatch a small package as long as he leaves the large one, Americans who bleed red, white and blue will not accept election fraud so long as it’s not overly conspicuous.

Congressional Republicans are duty-bound to rise in challenge to the Electoral College proceedings. As a matter of conscience, they must announce to the nation that pirating the presidency — something much more valuable than a package — from the White House is un-American. A Christmas holiday week journey along a 1,500-mile swath of Middle America from the balmy Southeast to the frosty Great Lakes and back yielded a catalogue of clues to the emotional psyche of voters in the aftermath of the tumultuous presidential election. Nearly two months on, “Trump 2020” are still widely displayed — on fluttering banners, front-yard signs, pickup bumpers and roadside barns.

The environs of Cincinnati are clearly branded as Trump country. So are the suburbs of Wayne County, Michigan. Nearby, downtown Detroit resembles a post-apocalypse with few autos and fewer pedestrians. Its TCF Center, where vote-tabulation shenanigans are alleged to have produced a dodgy Biden majority, quietly awaits the anonymity of a pending name change.

“Biden” signage from south to north and back: zero. Only a faded “Obama ‘08” bumper sticker spotted in Kentucky served as a reminder by association of the president-elect’s existence. After all, Mr. Obama won 873 counties to Mr. Biden’s 477. By contrast, Mr. Trump prevailed in 2,547.

To be sure, anecdotal observation is not scientific — just a random sampling of sentiment. It is just the sort of reckoning of the passing scene that has led 46% of Americans to conclude there was election and voter fraud in the Biden victory — more than the 45% who disagreed, according to a December McLaughlin Poll.

If righteous Republicans step forward, the conservative energy Mr. Trump kindled during his four-year campaign to “make America great again” can find its outlet in the reconstruction of the nation’s footings of faith, family and freedom. Greatness still awaits.

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