Wednesday, December 16, 2020

America needs qualified voters to protect its democracy

President Donald Trump recently went to state of Georgia ostensibly to campaign for the two republican candidates in the run-off election for Georgia’s two seats in the Senate. Whether the Republican party will retain the control of the Senate hangs in the balance. Appearing before his hardcore supporters, Trump made a cursory mention about the two candidates for the Senate, and then proceeded to alternatively rave that he has really won the presidential election and not Joe Biden. And whining about the Republican governor of Georgia refusing to invalidate the election results and call the state legislature into session in order to declare Trump the winner. Because of his agitation and cries of voter fraud, Georgia recounted the ballots cast three times and certified Joe Biden as the winner each time. There existed no legal statue that would have allowed the governor to rescind the election in the manner requested by Trump. Trump had sown the seeds of doubt about the legitimacy of the election long before the actual day of election. He implied foreign influence rigging the outcome in favor of his opponent offering not a shred of evidence. He questioned the validity of mail-in ballots and attribute those ballots as illegal ballot box stuffing. Again, offering no proof whatsoever. He is the only American sitting president in history to bad mouth the electoral process he is supposed to be in charge. Well after all the states have certified their election results and confirm that Biden has been duly elected president, Trump still refuses to concede and continues to assert that he won. Trump has demonstrated that he is a person without shame or scruples. Chris Krebs served as Trump’s Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security, the agency in charge of election security. After the election, Krebs declared that the 2020 election was the most secured in American history. Trump promptly fired him the next day. Trump bad mouths his own leadership His endless harangue has accomplished one thing. According to a recent poll, as many as 77% of republicans distrusted the electoral process and are persuaded that the election was stolen from Trump. To satisfy his personal ego, he is more than willing to cast doubt on the integrity of the government that he is supposed to be the leader. Most alarming of all, while Trump prances through his shenanigans with Rudy Giuliani, his jester, in tow, over 200 elected Republican members of Congress remained silent, or even agreed with his claim--despite the fact that they are elected to defend the Constitution. When the sitting president considers himself as above the law and acts as if he has the right to re-write the statues of the Constitution to suit his purpose, his action represents an imminent threat to our democracy. By not objecting to Trump’s offense, the Republican members of Congress are tacitly going along with his deliberate attack of the U.S. Constitution. The principle reason these elected national officials are willing to suppress their conscience and table their sense of right and wrong is because they are fearful of his core base of supporters, perhaps as many as 50 million voters that voted for him. Some thinking ahead to 2024 may even be scheming on how to become heir to these Trump voters. Trump supporters are terribly ignorant The ignorance of Trump’s core supporters is shocking. They do not understand the meaning of due process. They condone perjury. They approve the soliciting of foreign support and participation in our election process. Protecting the Constitution means nothing to them. They might even admire profitable self-dealing by the Trump family as the art of the deal. As recent as about fifty years ago, the literacy test was used in southern states to deny the African Americans the right to vote. The Supreme Court disallowed the use of the test on the grounds that it was unconstitutional and represented an attack on American democracy. Ironically after four years of Donald Trump rule, in order to safeguard our democracy and protect the Constitution, we will need to introduce a national test to make sure each voter is competent to vote. For lack of a better term, I would call it an ignorance test. Namely, anyone sufficiently ignorant of issues impacting on our freedom and democracy should be denied the right to vote. Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn recently tweeted that China has 5000 years history of lying and cheating. This is an expression of appalling ignorance and heavily larded with racist hate but would not qualify as grounds to deny her the right to vote or hold office. She has merely confused China with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been bragging about his record of lying, cheating and stealing too. It would not be surprising if Senator Blackburn is also a vigorous defender that planet earth is only 6000 years old. But her actions are not unconstitutional, she has the right to blabber nonsense to her heart’s content. However, the very existence of the Constitution and the idea that no person is above the rule of law is crucial to the future of the United States as a democracy. To allow violation of this principle freely without consequences would mark the beginning of the end of America as a free country. This is why a national ignorance test is urgently needed now to weed out those not qualified to judge what’s right and wrong in perpetuating the future of America as a democracy. Admittedly, such a national test may be too unpopular to institute, but America is facing a perilous time. Four GOP officials stood between Trump and Biden Trump actually contacted the Secretary of State of Georgia, a lifelong Republican, and asked him to invalidate enough mailed-in ballots to turn the margin in his favor. He refused, along with Secretaries of State of Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin, the four most closely contested states. Looking at it this way, one could say the integrity of four Republican state officials actually represented Joe Biden’s narrow margin of victory. Had they caved in to Trump’s intimidation, he could claim to be the winner and skip all the lawsuits. Trump and his followers filed some 50 lawsuits at various state level and federal level to challenge the legitimacy of the presidential election. None got any serious review by the courts. His tweets assured his followers that with three justices appointed by him in the Supreme Court, he would get the overturn he was looking for. So, he thought. As one of the last acts of futility, Texas State Attorney General filed a complaint with the Supreme Court alleging election fraud in the four closely contested states. The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the brief and treated it like any other frivolous lawsuit. Indeed, there are no legal grounds for any one state to sue another for the way the election was conducted. The State of the Union escaped further damage because the justices ruled on the side of the law and did not bow to the corrupted demands and expectation of Trump. Nonetheless, 19 GOP state attorney generals joined the Texas suit to invalidate the election. More than 125 Republican House representatives also signed the lawsuit including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. History will show that the willingness of this large group of elected officials to side with the overthrow the U.S. Constitution, marks the beginning of America’s slide down the slippery slope to anarchy. China would have nothing to do with America’s inexorable decline. The rot initiated by Trump and the absence of righteousness to stop the downward slide would be all it takes. # # #

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