OPINION

Ron Estes, Jake LaTurner and Tracey Mann should be standing by Liz Cheney's side. They must denounce the Big Lie.

By The Editorial Advisory Board
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney won’t repeat the Big Lie.

The Big Lie, in case you missed it, is the fantasy that former President Donald Trump was somehow cheated out of re-election to the White House. In reality, President Biden won 7 million more votes than Trump in a free and fair election, one without interference or fraud.

Stating these facts shouldn't require any particular political belief. They only require a respect for the truth. But after watching their supporters storm the Capitol in the insurrection of Jan. 6, other Republican officials seem to have decided to live in a land of make-believe, rather than the United States of America.

The problem, of course, is that this delusion puts all of us at grave risk. The foundations of this democracy depend upon acceptance of election results. When officials deny and attempt to overturn the will of the people, tyranny follows close behind.

For her apostasy, for her unwillingness to lie, Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, has been relieved of her leadership position in the House. Her peers decided to pander to the ex-president, cocooned in Florida and golfing daily, rather than standing for freedom.

Where was Ron Estes?

Where was Tracey Mann?

Where was Jake LaTurner?

Where were Kansas's Republican representatives in the U.S. House?

Why weren’t they at Cheney’s side, speaking out against obvious falsehoods? Why weren’t they playing it straight with their constituents? Are they willing to lose the pragmatic, business-oriented, patriots who serve as the backbone of the GOP?

Are they really going all in with conspiracies and nonsense?

Cheney should be commended for taking a stand. Her fellow Republicans should stand with her and against the encroaching threat.

That’s also why we should take a moment to praise state Rep. Steven Howe, R-Salina. The first-term Republican took the rare step last week of speaking up about Trump’s treatment of Cheney (the former president has taken to trashing her on his website).

That’s a good first step. But Howe and others — including Estes, Mann and LaTurner — must go further. For the good of our nation, they must state unequivocally that Joe Biden won the presidential election fair and square, that Donald Trump lost, and that anyone who would spread rumors, untruths and conspiracies has no place in their party.

That might finally put the Big Lie to rest.