Editorial Roundup: Silence isn’t representation

Published 8:50 pm Friday, January 22, 2021

While American revolutionaries decried taxation without representation, Minnesota revolutionaries today might cry their Republican members of Congress are offering representation without conversation.

Republicans Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber, Jim Hagedorn and Michelle Fischbach have been unwilling to talk to the press, and in effect, unwilling to talk to their constituencies since shortly after the election.

When states certified the Electoral College votes in December, the Star Tribune and other news organizations attempted to get the GOP lawmakers on the record for if they believed Joe Biden had won the election. None responded.

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This also was after Attorney General William Barr declared there were no credible issues of election fraud that would change the outcome. Silence from the GOP delegation. Several press aids to the members of Congress also ignored requests from the press for comment.

There are three answers. Yes, no or I don’t know yet.

But it gets worse.

As the certification of electoral votes approached in Congress on Jan. 6, none of the GOP members of Congress gave their constituents one inkling of how they might vote. None made public statements nor did they respond to fair-minded multiple requests by the press.

Again, silence.

Ultimately, Hagedorn and Fischbach voted to challenge the verified election results. Emmer and Stauber voted in favor of Biden’s certified win.

And finally, the day after the siege on the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the four Republicans remained silent on if the storming of the people’s house was caused by President Donald Trump’s caustic threating rhetoric and the false claims of election fraud of other Republicans.

While all four denounced the violence at the Capitol, they remained silent on who might be to blame. Let’s remember several of their Republican colleagues in other states placed blame on the president. Others agreed with the certified election results.

It seems that avoiding speaking to the legitimate and verification-oriented press has become a new routine for the state’s GOP members of Congress. But if they don’t give their views and explain their reasoning to the press — the surrogate of the people — they remain silent to their constituents.

Silence may be golden for only so long. Speaking to the governed is an obligation of all elected officials. Voters won’t stand for a “see-no-evil” representation.

— Mankato Free Press, Jan. 20

About Editorial Roundup

Editorials from newspapers around the state of Minnesota.

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