Sen. Lindsey Graham needs to keep his nose out of Georgia.
Conservatism — being a Republican — is supposed to be all about defending state's rights, not about defending outgoing President Donald J. Trump and wild, reckless, dangerous election fraud conspiracy theories.
Despite his leadership role in the Senate itself, Graham does not hold a national office that gives any kind of jurisdiction — or even a say — over what happens in Georgia.
Lindsey Olin Graham is only a U.S. senator from South Carolina.
He represents one state and only one state, as do all U.S. senators.
Not only was it inappropriate and an abuse of office for him to attempt strong-arming Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to tilt Georgia's vote in the presidential election in favor of Trump, but it was wrong for him to even call Raffensperger about Georgia elections.
In reality, there is no such thing as a national election.
What we view as a national presidential election in reality is a nationwide amalgamation of local elections, conducted by local election commissions in every state.
Graham can parse words all he wants to about what was or was not said on that infamous call, but the fact of the matter is that call should not have been placed to begin with — period.
Graham has been called an enabler when in reality he is is far more than that — he is complicit.
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the U.S. but even if there was evidence of fraud in Georgia — and there is not — it still would not be any of Graham's business.
U.S. elections are, by design, decentralized with each state overseeing its own electoral process, and that is why rules and procedures differ from state to state.
States set policies, make rules, certify the statewide election but the actual administration of the election happens at the local level.
While the Federal Election Commission provides guidance to states and local elections offices and does things such as enforcement of campaign finance laws while regulating presidential and congressional campaigns, it does not run a national election.
And Lindsey Olin Graham most certainly does not run, or oversee, a national election.
He has no business nosing around in Georgia elections or any other state for that matter.
Mr. Graham, here in Georgia we have our own senators, secretary of state, election administrators and are fully competent to run our own elections.
Keep your nose in South Carolina.
Jim Zachary is CNHI's Director of Newsroom Training and Development, editor of the Valdosta Daily Times and president of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.