election deniers

An Election Paradox

An Election Paradox

            Robert A. Levine 11-2-2022

When is an election not an election? When one of the candidates refuses to accept the results of the election even before it is held. There are currently a host of Republican candidates for federal, state and local offices who deny that the results of the 2020 presidential election were valid and state that Donald Trump actually won the election. Some of these so-called election deniers are claiming that their own elections for office in 2022, which have not even yet been held, are also rigged and that they will not accept the results if they lose. What is the point of taking part in an election if you will deny its legality if you do not win. You may as well appoint yourself to the office for which you are running.

Among the candidates who deny that Joe Biden was elected legitimately in 2020, and are now running for office in 2022 and refusing to say they will recognize the results if they lose, are Kari Lake, the GOP candidate for Governor of Arizona. She said she will accept the results if she wins. Other gubernatorial nominees who refuse to commit to honoring the balloting are Geoff Diehl in Massachusetts and Tudor Dixon in Michigan. Senate candidates Blake Masters in Arizona, Ted Budd in North Carolina, Kelly Tshibaka in Alaska and J.D. Vance in Ohio have also not agreed to respect the results of their elections. These candidates all support Donald Trump’s election denial and are all supported by Trump in their quest for office.

According to the political site Five Thirty Eight, 60 percent of American voters will have an election denier on the ballot in the 2022 election. Two hundred of 532 Republican candidates for office fit into the category of election deniers, despite the lack of evidence of fraud and sixty court cases that did not validate Trump’s claims. These politicians stoke distrust in American democracy by ordinary voters. This particularly true of Republicans, two thirds of whom in an NPR poll last year thought elections were unfair. Nine in ten Democrats and 60 percent of independents believed that America’s elections were indeed fair.

It is time for Congress to enter the arena of election denial. A law needs to be passed that mandates every candidate before the election to accept the results of their contest no matter who wins, in order for them to run in the first place. If nominees are unwilling to commit to recognizing the choice of the electorate, they should not be allowed to run. Their refusal to abide by the decision of the voters diminishes the sanctity of America’s elections and demonstrates a disregard for the democratic process. This should disqualify them from running or holding any elective office.

With the election deniers and those who refuse to accept election results all being Republicans, it may be difficult to pass an adequate law on the federal level, since bipartisan support would be necessary to overcome a filibuster. Perhaps it can be passed by referendum on a state to state basis. Being excluded from the ballot in some states would make it difficult for presidential and vice-presidential candidates to run unless they agree to accept the election results.

Election denial and refusal to abide by election results is a direct threat to American democracy and increases partisanship and divisiveness among the electorate. This threat needs to be pursued aggressively and eradicated by men and women of good will in both parties. However, convincing Republicans of the need for this law may be difficult since they worship at the altar of Donald Trump and are afraid of incurring his wrath. However, it is merely common sense not to permit candidates to run for office if they won’t commit to accepting the results.


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On and On and On

On and On and On

            Robert A. Levine

Donald Trump has been out of office now for almost two years, yet he continues to dominate the news. We can’t get rid of him from the front pages of our newspapers or the lead segments of our news programs. He sticks around like a piece of gum on your shoe that you can’t get off. Most of the news regarding the Donald is negative at this time, with him involved in multiple lawsuits and possible criminal actions. Though he continues to complain that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, it appears that he stole classified documents from the White House when he was packing up and moving out. Though he claims to have declassified these documents, there is no actual evidence that he did so. The Department of Justice is pursuing Trump regarding these documents and it remains to be seen whether or not he will be indicted for this action.

Though he is being sued for tax fraud by New York State, the case has also been referred to the federal system in the Southern District of New York for possible criminal charges. For decades, Trump and his organization was shown to have falsified documents in terms of valuing his real estate assets up or down in ways that would save him money in taxes or for insurance. In addition, Trump is being investigated by a grand jury in Fulton County Georgia for possible criminal charges in trying to overturn the results of the election in Georgia. There is also legal action against Trump pending in Washington and various other venues.

Yet with all the legal problems involving Trump, both civil and possible criminal, the vast majority of the Republican Party continues to support him and defer to his judgement when conflicts arise. Most of the candidates for various offices that he backed in the Republican primaries won their contests and these election deniers will be the official candidates of the GOP. And the elected Republican politicians at all levels for the most part are elections deniers though privately they realize that Trump lost.

Trump is both a symptom and a cause of the precarious position of American democracy with threats of violence coming from his acolytes if he is criminally indicted. Unfortunately, most Trump supporters are misinformed about Trump’s illegal and unethical activities, as they get their news from sources that do not verify their stories. Misinformation and disinformation is circulated by the Trumpies on social media and considered accurate by those who are unwilling to dig deeper into supposed news. In a bizarre twist, on Fox News, Trump claimed the ability to declassify documents merely by thinking about it. I guess he also has the same power to change people’s ballots merely by thinking about it. Or perhaps change people’s minds by witchcraft.

But the main story is that Trump remains prominent in the public eye, often blocking out more important and relevant news. How do we get this piece of gum off our shoes when so many Americans still listen to what Trump has to say and believe him? Americans need to let Trump drift into obscurity instead of paying so much attention to his every move. His presence in our kitchens and living rooms just seems to go on and on.


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