Thanks to Dave Miller for his post.
I'll be away for a few days, but I'll check in to post your comments.
So here we are.
Middle of summer, over a year and a half after the 2020 elections and we are still litigating, arguing and fighting over the results.
God, if you are there, help us!
Soon after the election, supporters of Former President Trump sprung into action. Not content with a one and done president, they cobbled together a virtual cornucopia of fabulist accusations, all based on Trump’s campaign protestations that the only way he could lose was through fraud.
From Democrats simply fraudulently stealing votes to dead people and illegal aliens voting, to a deceased president from Venezuela manipulating voting machines to secret servers culling US votes and more, Trump allies seemed to be in a competition to out crazy each other.
And out crazy they did.
Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, Rudy Giuliani and a side order of My Pillow Guy Mike Lindell all worked together to serve up one outrageous idea after another, even as they were all dutifully swatted away by the courts, elected officials and more. So crazy were some of the claims that two of Trump’s lawyers, Powell and Giuliani were forced to admit in court that “no reasonable person” would believe Trump’s accusations and that the Trump Campaign was “not alleging fraud.”
Here are the facts:
• The Trump campaign brought more than 60 lawsuits alleging fraud, before judges appointed by Presidents Bush, Obama, and even Trump himself. Every one of those cases was dismissed for lack of evidence, standing, or failure to properly follow filing guidelines or deadlines.
• Every single Secretary of State in the US, the people responsible for overseeing our elections, certified the elections were free, fair and devoid of fraud.
• Every Governor of the US, Republican and Democrat alike, signified that the elections were free, fair, and devoid of fraud and approved the electors chosen from their states.
• Recount after official recount conducted by states and in some cases, GOP leaning organizations, all concluded there was not widespread fraud at a level to have changed the elections.
• The Trump Administration itself judged the 2020 elections to be the most secure in American history.
• The manager of the Trump Campaign, his Attorney General, Trump’s daughter, his son-in-law, his lawyers and more all testified, under penalty of perjury that President Trump lost the election fair and square and that there was no fraud in the 2020 elections.
And yet, as if we are in some sort of whack-a-mole wormhole, after each accusation gets proven to be false, Trump’s defenders raise another false claim.
David Klepper of the Associated Press summed it all up in a recent article:
“One by one, several of Donald Trump’s former top advisers have told a special House committee investigating his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection that they didn’t believe his lies about the 2020 election, and that the former president knew he lost to Joe Biden.
But instead of convincing Trump’s most stalwart supporters, testimony from former attorney general Bill Barr and Trump’s daughter Ivanka about the election and the attack on the U.S. Capitol is prompting many of them [his supporters] to simply reassert their views that the former president was correct in his false claim of victory.”
Klepper’s reporting shows that in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Trump supporters are not changing their minds about the alleged fraud at the heart of Trump’s election claims and the January 6 riots at the US Capitol. Rather, they are doubling down.
What we are seeing is not the reasoned debate of worthy adversaries, but something more ominous, more dangerous. It is a willing decision to dismiss contrary evidence in the service of achieving one’s own political goals.
It is in short, that moment in “Network” when Newscaster Howard Beale shouts “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
Or as one blogger put it:
“They [liberals and progressives] just want the Impeachment that they never got and Trump off their radar once and for all. To that I, and the 30% of the nation that support Trump say, FU!”
And it is in those two quotes and Klepper’s reporting that we see where America is.
There is a certain segment of people here in America who are incredibly angry. So angry that they don’t care about niceties, decorum or even evidence. They essentially want some primal scream therapy even as they justify the use of violence to achieve their political goals.
But there’s more. They are tired of being neglected, mocked and dismissed. By Washington insiders, Hollywood elites, the cultural left, the ivory tower intellectuals and even progressive bloggers.
Mostly rural voters, and living across the US heartland, they are seeing their communities hollowed out, their schools underfunded, shrinking health care options and a continuing drug epidemic among young people who see no opportunities for a prosperous future.
They are aging, worried and don’t feel as if anyone is listening to their concerns. In many cases, they are correct. And so, in some “I’m giving the status quo the finger” they voted for Donald Trump. Because while he was rude, crude, immoral and sometimes even an oaf, he gave voice to their concerns.
It mattered not so much what he did or accomplished while in office. What mattered is that America heard their voices, their complaints and their worries.
Through President Trump.
Is there a path forward, a path once again available to us toward a “more perfect union”?
Perhaps so, but the solution won’t be found in policies, politics or even electoral majorities. Instead, the solutions we are looking for will only be found when Americans of all stripes choose to sit down together and not just listen, but hear the other. Hear the person with a different point of view and try to understand where they are coming from. And then applying these two simple truths from those of us who live and work cross culturally everyday of our lives:
“It’s not wrong, it’s just different.”
Or, to put it another way:
"Don’t equate bad results with bad motives.”
The great majority of those with whom most disagree are not bent on destroying America. They are not the enemy. They are not America haters. They may have different ideas on how we lean into that more perfect union, but that does not make them bad people.
And so if we want to move forward, we’ve got listen and then seek common ground and look for solutions together. Left and right, conservative and progressive, Democrat and Republican. Without the demonization so prevalent in today’s America.
I’m confident that many in America want this. But I am also well aware that as many others have written, both sides must take some strides to the other because just like in a marriage, someone has to go first.
As difficult as it may be, for the good of the country, that ball is in the court of those on the conservative side. Because without a doubt, it is conservatives who have downplayed the evidence, the significance of and mostly supported the violent storming of the Capitol of the United States of America on January 6.
What say you?