July 31, 2021

Dishonoring our Country

Spectator
By Stephen Tuttle | July 3, 2021

 

We like to celebrate the Fourth of July though we typically do so superficially. We've all been taught the basics: unfair taxation from an oppressive absentee government, the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere, Lexington and Concord, Washington's ultimate victory, and the rest. It was bold, but, as we should have been taught, not nearly as inclusive as it promised, and the subsequent Constitution was intentionally exclusive.  

But neither the Founders nor those who have come after them ever believed the U.S. was anything other than a work still in progress. While we're celebrating our past, we need to acknowledge the ideals spoken through the decades have not yet been realized for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, we need to recognize that those ideals are now under attack by a seemingly deranged former president and his ever more delusional supporters.

Donald Trump has knowingly told whoppers his entire adult life. He has never really denied that fact; he calls them “strategic hyperbole” instead of lies. Most of the time they were done to benefit him or diminish a perceived enemy. But the lies he continues to spew regarding the 2020 elections are destructive and dangerous to the very foundations of our country.

In a Reuters/Ipsos poll in late May, 53 percent of registered Republicans said they believe Trump won the election. And 25 percent of all adults believed there were irregularities and/or fraud.  

Even more troubling, according to a June poll of nearly 2,000 Republican voters by Politico/Morning Consult, fully 30 percent believe Trump can be “reinstated” as president and nearly half believed audits could change the election results. An astonishing 15 percent believed the courts would put Trump back in the White House by the end of August, an idea started by a guy who sells pillows.

None of this is vaguely close to reality, and all of it does a disservice to our system of representative government. 

There are two ways Donald Trump can regain the presidency, and only one of them is really legitimate: He could win the 2024 presidential election. The only other option involves a real coup and the destruction of the country as we know it. There are no other avenues that can be legally or constitutionally exploited.

The election results have already been certified in every state, the Electoral College has met, the results have been certified by Congress, Joe Biden has been sworn in. There are no state statutes that allow — nor any constitutional basis for — undoing any of that. It isn't going to happen.

(And state legislatures aren't going to accuse electors of fraud, “recall” and replace them, and have the newly minted electors reconvene the electoral college. That's yet another fantasy of attorney Sydney Powell. We should always remember that her defense in defamation suits brought against her for the accusations she made about voting machine companies was that no reasonable person would think she was telling the truth.) 

The 2020 presidential election was the most scrutinized ever, given the foreign influence that had permeated the 2016 campaigns. 

Federal prosecutors served as observers, and the Department of Justice investigated. Audits and recounts were conducted, including in states Trump supporters claim were somehow “rigged.” Yet absolutely no evidence of widespread voter fraud or irregularities has been found. None. 

There has been no evidence of external interference; no evidence voting machines were programmed by Venezuelan allies of long-dead Hugo Chavez; no evidence they were hacked by the Chinese; no evidence they were attached to modems that allowed votes to be changed; no evidence that county clerks in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, or Wisconsin were involved in some kind of conspiracy to change election outcomes; no evidence that dead people or non-citizens voted ... in fact, there is no evidence of any of the many wild accusations you have heard.

If there was any such evidence, the courts would not have rejected lawsuit after lawsuit, more than 60 total (of which only one succeeded: an effort to allow poll watchers to get closer to the ballot counting in Pennsylvania). Those Trump lawyers and supporters were told repeatedly they needed more than wild stories and accusations; they needed evidence they did not have because it does not exist.    

So outrageous have their claims been, Trump loyalist and attorney Rudolph Giuliani has had his law license suspended in New York. (The panel making that decision said his claims in public, to the media, and in court were without evidence and outside the bounds of propriety. Giuliani's comments in public and to the media are likely protected, but telling his whoppers in courts is a big no-no.) 

Joe Biden is the president. Donald Trump lost. Trying to undermine those facts with ongoing, outrageous lies dishonors our founding, our history, and our country.

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