Response to Jan. 6, 2021 defines election deniers

November 3, 2022 12:30 pm
Riot outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Photo: Alex Kent)

Riot outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Photo: Alex Kent)

It is no surprise to those who know me that I have become way too “uppity” to identify with a political party. 

Today we have three major political parties: Re-Trumplicans, Democrats and Republicans. 

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, I need to stress that no matter how they vote, I will not stop loving my family and friends. I will continue to believe what my parents taught me: that we are all God’s children and we are to love each other. I believe that no matter how we vote,  we probably agree on about 80% of what we want for our neighborhoods, towns and country. 

But, this grandmother is beyond angry. It is because the Grand Ole Party of Lincoln has been hijacked by what I believe are “Re-Trumplicans.”

I usually feel a thrill when I vote, even though my choices frequently do not win. But, I still participate. I early voted in the November election and on my ballot I had a choice of Republican, Democrat and Independent.  I searched and searched,  and for the life of me I could not find candidates listed as “Re-Trumplican.” 

You ask, what is a “Re-Trumplican?” Well, my fellow Tennesseans, it is a person who is more loyal to former President Donald Trump than to the United States Constitution or the laws of our land. 

It is time to identify candidates who are not following the law of the land, the Constitution of the United States, or the principles of the Party of Lincoln and it’s time to stop identifying them as Republicans. They are “Re-Trumplicans” because they are election deniers. 

How dare these election deniers take over a party that was founded by the courage of Abraham Lincoln. These deniers are not the East Tennessee Republican Party of my people, but “Re-Trumplicans,” defined by their loyalty to the former president instead of to  our country.

Our country was threatened by what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, but I soon realized that if I wanted to vote Republican in my district, I would be supporting candidates who did not believe in following the law of the land or the Constitution.

So this grandmother is mad as fire and frustrated that the party of my ancestors has been claimed by lawbreakers. How dare these election deniers take over a party that was founded by the courage of Abraham Lincoln. These deniers are not the East Tennessee Republican Party of my people.

My Terry family has been active in the East Tennessee Republican Party since before the turn of the last century. We were small town merchants, fiscally responsible and socially accepting. Winning an election was nice but being kind to our neighbors and taking care of the less fortunate was more important. And, we believed in the Constitution and the Rule of Law. 

We probably lost more elections than we won, but after we lost, we followed the late, great (former Metro Nashville Council Member) Betty Nixon’s suggestion to look at the vote totals and work harder to get more votes next time. 

We would never have stormed our nation’s Capitol or carried guns and threatened people when we lost. We were raised that we were Americans first and the welfare of all was much more important than a political party. We wished the victors well and we worked together for a peaceful transition. I want to scream with frustration with the lack of courage in today’s Republican Party and I say to Liz Cheney: good for you!

Imagine the lessons our grandchildren will learn from “Re-Trumplicans.”  When elections do not go their way, they can deny the results of votes that have been counted accurately and fairly. They are showing my grandchildren that the rules do not matter. If election deniers take over the outcome of sports will we finally sit up and pay attention?

On Jan. 6, 2021, we saw on live television a group of Americans committing treason. As a result, members of the Capitol Hill Police gave their lives so that Congress could meet and certify the 2020 presidential election — although not all members were enthusiastic about supporting the results, and some have become outright deniers. 

Men and women serving in Congress swore when they took office that they would uphold the Constitution.   

Check out Article VI, clause 3, of the United States Constitution that says, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.” 

The Tennessee Constitution states elected officials must take a similar oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Tennessee, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of my office.”  I do not see anywhere in our federal or state constitution that it is okay to commit treason if you do not like the outcome of an election.

My Pollyanna self believed the country — Democrats and Republicans alike — would come together after the horror of January 6, like we did on September 11, 2001, when we were under attack. But we did not. 

Instead, many Republican Party leaders moved to identify themselves as “Re-Trumplicans.” They are easy to spot. They are election deniers, afraid of former President Donald Trump, and are against punishment of those who broke the law during the U.S. Capitol insurrection. What a disappointment in grownups who know better.

 If the country follows history, it is time for the party not in power — this election cycle, that’s Republicans — to win the midterm elections.  

I ask media outlets and political analysts not to make it easy for these election deniers to identify with the Party of Lincoln. Hold election deniers accountable.

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Saralee Terry Woods
Saralee Terry Woods

Saralee Terry Woods is an uppity independent who ran BookManBookWoman Bookstore for more than 25 years in Nashville.