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Eric Olson: Sen. Jim Inhofe was the only Oklahoman in Congress who passed the citizenship test

Eric Olson: Sen. Jim Inhofe was the only Oklahoman in Congress who passed the citizenship test

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Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the U.S. Capitol.

Last Wednesday, only one of our seven Oklahoma congressional delegation members passed the citizenship test, Sen. Jim Inhofe.

When he ran for reelection last year, Inhofe’s opponent said “he was no longer up for the job,” an apparent jab at Inhofe’s age. When it came down to it last week, he was the only Oklahoman in Congress who steadfastly understood his constitutional obligations.

There is not one tenable conservative argument that can be made that explains the votes of the others in the delegation. His partner in the Senate, U.S. Sen. James Lankford, eventually voted to accept Electoral College votes, but previously had said he opposed doing so and encouraged the false narrative of the people who stormed the Capitol: that the November presidential election was less than free and fair.

Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham articulated strong conservative arguments in their floor speeches against objecting to the certification votes.

The only plausible explanation for the position and votes of the rest of our Oklahoma delegation is fealty to President Donald Trump and fear of Trump’s political machine.

I am sure that I do not know the full story; however, it certainly appears to me that Inhofe was the only member that showed any courage and integrity. All members took an oath to the Constitution, not Trump, nor the Republican party, nor to their constituents.

Consider the following quotes from the Trump rally near the White House prior to insurrection at the U.S. Capitol while a joint session of Congress was certifying the Nov. 3 vote.

Rudy Giuliani called for “trial by combat.”

Donald Trump Jr. stated, “These guys better fight for Trump. Because if they’re not, guess what, I’m gonna be in your backyard in a couple of months…. If you’re going to be the zero and not the hero, then we’re coming for you, and we’re going to have a good time doing it.”

President Trump essentially called Vice President Mike Pence a coward for upholding his constitutional duty.

I just finished Ronald Reagan’s autobiography, “An American Life.” Go to Youtube and watch his old speeches, which emphasize hope. Compare the content of his speeches with Trump’s emphasis’s on resentment.

The language that Giuliani, Trump Jr. and President Trump used is the language of bullies.

I am sure that there is conflict brewing in the Republican party. Political parties and political bases change. However, regardless of political affiliation, as a society, I do not think we should allow bullies and their allies to run a major political party.

I would strongly encourage any Trump supporters to shy away from Trump’s “Stop the Steal” arguments. You do not use the language that Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump Jr. used at that rally before a siege of the U.S. Capitol if you are trying to have a legitimate nonviolent political movement.

As a Christian, I was absolutely embarrassed and ashamed that the Christian flag was waved at a rally where a group of domestic terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol. For Christians, if you wanted to tarnish the Christian message and image, attendance and participation at such a rally could not have been a better method to do so.

To my fellow Oklahomans, if you are a conservative, President Trump does not deserve your political nor financial support. I would encourage you not to support a political movement that encourages bully tactics like we witnessed and heard last week.

Sen. Mitch McConnell said his votes to certify the election were the most important in his 36-year Senate career.

Regardless of whether you agree with all of Inhofe’s political positions, he showed the courage of his convictions. Kudos to Inhofe.

To the others in the Oklahoma Congressional delegation, “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.”

Eric Olson, Ph.D. is the Chapman Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Tulsa’s Collins College of Business.


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Eric Olson, Ph.D. is the Chapman Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Tulsa’s Collins College of Business.

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