Editor, Times-Union:

As we approach the midterm elections, we need to be reminded of what is at stake. Our country’s democratic institutions are at risk of withering away due to the GOP’s unprecedented acceptance of conspiracy and demagoguery.

We have discovered the extreme lengths Trump was willing to pursue to stay in power. From sending fake electoral certificates, to signing an executive order to seize voting machines, to calling for another election with military supervision. All this failed and culminated in a last-ditch attempt that involved a violent occupation of our seat of government. It was meticulously planned and nearly pulled off. However, the danger is far from over.

Republican-controlled state legislatures have successfully passed restrictive voting laws inspired by Trump’s big lie that the 2020 election was stolen. A federal judge signed off on voter intimidation by stating armed vigilantes in Arizona have the right to stake out near ballot drop boxes. The ambivalent messaging from national conservatives regarding political violence is fueling extremism and, in the case of Paul Pelosi, inspiring action. It seems like they are setting the groundwork for another coup; but this time, they could succeed.

The Republican Party has included the destruction of democracy to their platform, under the euphemism of “election integrity.” The GOP have proved they value power over principle and embrace unethical methods to achieve such power. They failed at dismantling it by insurrection, now they will try to do so by election. If they prevail, our principles are at risk of extinction.

Richard Sanchez

Fort Wayne, via email

Formerly of Warsaw