Who are we now? What government shall we inherit or support?
We’re living in the curse of “interesting times.” Our own President Donald J. Trump, Leader of the Free World and Defender of Democracy, has created our helter skelter moment, himself actually leading the charge to undermine the veracity and honesty in our United Stated election system.
Consider: A person no less than our president now spends his days and tens of millions of dollars, fighting in courts, fighting local canvassing authorities, personally “persuading” (manipulating) anyone and anything – to overturn votes, to deny votes, to wholesale nullify entire states’ elections.
So far, this “Defender of Democracy” has failed in his attempt to overthrow the valid results of an election called “the most secure ever” by the Homeland Security Cyber Chief – who Trump subsequently fired for contradicting Trump’s misrepresentations and lies. Yes, Trump fired his own man for speaking out the truth that he personally, more than anyone, would know.
Most all Trump court battles have been defeated. Some yet simmer and smolder, even after all states have now certified their election results. Certified, as in, “all votes counted and verified and held to be true, valid and legal.” Yet, Trump, unable to lose, continues spending other people’s money, now up to $150 million to somehow, some way, legal or not, nullify a valid election and stay in a job he’s apparently reluctant to actually do.
For Trump, it’s just about “losing.” Or “getting fired.” With an ego so large, this cannot be absorbed; instead, a full-on mafia-grade takedown of American democracy is his play. You, me, our election institutions, our public servants, our judges, our congressmen, senators, judges – are all taking compromising hits – with some standing strong as true patriots to freedom and democracy, while others silently cave, enabling, waiting things out to test which way the wind really will blow in this tumult of ego-driving thrashing about.
Trump personally calls a group of Michigan state Republican officials to the White House, nominally for “just a visit” but two days before votes are to be certified, which either nails Trump’s coffin shut or exhumes his dead political body for another presidential zombie shot. Not likely such a “social visit,” my bet is these Republican visitors got the “Ukrainian treatment” – the same Mafia-style arm-twisting that got Trump impeached. “Nice state you’ve got there. Too bad if federal funds got held up. I can help but… I need a favor…” You know how this works. And Trump has done it multiple times to multiple people in this quest to never lose. In the end, one of the Republicans stood up to Trump and the other cowardly bowed out from the vote, afraid of both the consequences of standing up and laying down. The vote went 3-1 and Michigan certified and that was just about the final nail in Trump’s coffin. And you and I just witnessed presidential vote tampering on the largest scale ever…
We’ve endured all this drama and trauma for three weeks. Nothing but “rigged elections” coming from too much of the national right.
It’s said if you repeat a lie long enough it’s eventually believed to be true. And I believe ultra-repetitive lying is but part of the plan.
Says our President, Defender of Democracy to the World;
“This was a “RIGGED ELECTION,” a “Rigged and Corrupt Election, a Rigged election Hoax!”
“Millions of ballots that have been altered by Democrats, only for Democrats.”
“All of the mechanical ‘glitches’ that took place on Election Night were really THEM getting caught trying to steal votes.”
“700,000 ballots were not allowed to be viewed in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, which means, based on our great Constitution, we win the State of Pennsylvania!”
“NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed.”
“The Fake recount going on in Georgia means nothing…”
“Pennsylvania … wouldn’t let our Poll Watchers & Observers into counting rooms. Illegal!”
“The lies, the cheating, the hypocrisy must be exposed.”
President Trump, the Defender of Democracy?
No leader in living memory has done more to undermine American faith in their democratic systems. So close to treason, Trump has used every tool of persuasion, manipulation, law abuse, and ultra-repetitive lying to make his case anywhere, everywhere, to everyone, that a great big grand collusion between multiple states, agencies, counters, machine coders, countries, judges, all combined – all mysteriously coordinated their efforts to steal Trump’s rightful and personally owned victory and nefariously award it to an undeserving Joe Biden. Ironically, by the very same Electoral College vote as Trump won from Hillary, but with 6 million more popular votes, instead of minus 2 million, like Trump.
So, who are we now? Are we so wrapped up in right-wing conspiracies and magical thinking to believe that tens of states and thousands of election officials all conspired to give the guy most expected to win, the win? Are we really going to believe our democracy is broken because a very unpopular president – lost. Because HE says so? Because we believe ANYTHING he says?
Who are we now? Did we just buy into unquestioning authoritarianism? Is Trump indeed our next Silvio Berlusconi? Or Rodrigo Duterte? Or Kim Jung Un?
Or finally, three weeks after our election when tempers have cooled, Trump flags have either worn out or been removed, when in the quiet times of thought – we’ve recognized that this election was about many things, and in most, Democrats didn’t do all that well. They lost seats in the House. Lost some important initiatives. Haven’t won the Senate. Garcia beat Smith in a nail-biter in a blue state.
This voting thing is legit. Chips fall where they may. Losing does not mean, “rigged.”
Far from a giant leftist plot to manipulate our systems, Republicans actually came out pretty well. The voting system worked. But in the mix, enough folks, including Republicans, had had enough with the now well-proven Liar in Chief. Too much bullying. Too much bluster. Too much drama. Not enough competency. And so, voters split ballots. Sometimes bunches of X’s or dots next to Rs… but a dot or X next to Biden. It happened. It was real. We’ve got to accept that democracy does those things.
So, who are we now? Are we believers in America? Will we back the integrity of our systems? Will we move on and accept and support Joe Biden and help when we can and fight when we must but do it all under the underlying acceptance of the veracity of our election systems?
All the professionals have said, “No fraud, no hoax, no scam.” Trump can moan and groan all he wants, but we’ve got to listen to the competent professionals and accept democracy – win or lose.
Who are we now? We’re Americans, with wonder and amazement of the diversity of our people and the fascinating results elections can produce.
Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared in The Signal since 2006. The opinions expressed in his column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Signal or its editorial board.