Today, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, Inauguration Day, is the four-year long-awaited day, hoped and prayed for by so many progressives and Democrats. A day when Joe Biden takes the presidency, having won fair and square by 7 million popular votes and 306 to 232 Electoral College votes. Finally, at 9 a.m. our time, Biden’s team of experienced experts begin the repair and regrowth of our nation and citizen Donald Trump will slink from his Twitter limelight to his gold-crested Florida lair.
Conversely, today, Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, is the day long-dreaded, righteously feared, fought, rioted, sacked, and even murdered against – the day when Donald Trump’s self-described landslide victory was stolen, yes, straight-up stolen from the Greatest President in History by a vast left-wing conspiracy of six states, which overturned the real will of the real people, thus subverting our nation to Chinese and communist rule. Today is the day when Trump, the only man capable of waging war against a global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile elite Hollywood actors and Democratic politicians, has been cheated out of office, throwing America toward godless destruction (by a practicing Catholic president, if you will.)
Plainly, both can’t be true. So, which do you believe?
Polls indicate 30% of all Americans and 60% of Republicans believe “the election was rigged” and that Joe Biden somehow, through near-miraculous means, “stole the election.” Some 5 or 10% of Republicans endorse or believe in QAnon and other conspiracy theories of dark, vast, evil intent against Trump.
America, we have a problem here. We can’t have a functioning democracy when half the losers can’t or won’t accept honest results because… they lost. We can’t go forward when every time you lose the election is “rigged.” We can’t believe in “alternative facts” and conspiracies and expect to succeed in the real world governed by science and facts.
We can’t go forward believing internet stories or conspiracy theories or Fox and Friends or cowering, coward representatives – or just not accepting what we don’t want to hear. That’s not democracy. That’s closer to embracing emerging fascism.
Denying and attempting to strip the recounted and certified vote by six sovereign states, some governed by Republicans, is the ultimate “cancel culture.” This is simply choosing to erase what we don’t want to believe. We deny it. Make up magical stories to faith-patch our preferred outcomes.
On this great Inauguration Day, when we should be celebrating one more peaceful transfer of power in what we hope remains the greatest functioning democracy on Earth, 60% of Republicans remain certain they’ve been ripped off by a rigged system and a stolen election.
Democracy doesn’t last this way. But we have been shown the way right here at home:
Christy Smith graciously conceded to election denier Mike Garcia when it was plain the vote count stood at 333 votes in Garcia’s favor. She didn’t storm the Capitol or invite fanciful stories of secret ballot shredding, stuffing, or rejiggering. Rather, she conceded and vowed to continue to fight another day for the values she upholds. That’s democracy. Christy gave us a gracious example of it.
Some of you believe feeble “Sleepy Joe” Biden somehow dreamt up an elaborately executed plan where Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Georgia all pulled off the “greatest hoax on Earth” and, with a conspiracy of thousands of bad actors, covered up Trump’s “massive landslide victory,” replacing it with a fairly solid win by Sleepy Joe.
You believe Sleepy Joe is really Dr. Evil, only way older…
Yet this story has been disproven by recounts and reviews in all six states. It’s been shut down by 69 out of 70 Trump lawsuits – two in the U.S. Supreme Court. The election was called the most secure in our lifetime by Trump’s own election expert.
Yet, you believe Trump, a man who’s been sued hundreds of times, a man with six massive bankruptcy cases, known for 20,000 presidential lies, an exaggerator of epic proportions, and a narcissist of the same – has pushed his “rigged election” story since his first election, fearing he might lose then.
Republicans and all Americans are today faced with real facts about the election – or fanciful stories and conspiracy theories by discredited, yet vocal and repetitive sources.
It is a shame that on Inauguration Day, 60% of Republicans are not celebrating America for the great democracy it is. They believe elections can’t be trusted. Except, consider, Mike Garcia’s razor-thin victory and all the other Republican guys who somehow won in this same “rigged” election. Amazingly, Republicans won positions all over the country while only one man’s outcome was rigged… the guy creating the lies and stories… Donald Trump himself.
We’ve got to come to terms with our problem of denial. Republicans must reject Trump cultism, and Republican leaders must reject fear of his reprisals. Perhaps with Trump gone, more leaders will, as Mitt Romney urged, “be honest with the American people.” Joe Biden won, fair and square.
Today is a great day in America. We, in fact, put on the most secure election in our lives. An experienced and centrist progressive, with a capable staff, is taking the helm during this most turbulent time. We’ve got 400,000 COVID deceased with perhaps hundreds of thousands more in line. We’ve got 12% unemployment and businesses in ruin or on edge. We’ve got blown-up deficits, and on top of all this, we’ve got a crisis of faith in government. We just elected a capable team to get back to productive governing.
We can each do our part by being good, decent, fair, fact-embracing Americans and concede Trump lost; agree Biden is our legitimate president; and having done that, go back to work to fight for our causes. Fight on we may, but always honoring the rules of our democracy itself – win or lose.
Fellow Santa Claritans, put away the fanciful conspiracies and outright lies. You don’t have to embrace Biden, but you must accept him as the legitimate victor and legitimate president. Then, let’s move on building a better and more harmonious America together, working through our differences.
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.