Going forward, and Democracy (again)

      4 Comments on Going forward, and Democracy (again)

Cumulus Media has told Mark Levin and other radio types to stop telling people that the election could still be overturned. This is a Big Deal.

One of the problems going forward is that anyone who believes that the incumbent legitimately won re-election is going to continue to feel that the next President is illegitimate, and that those who support him are at the least closing their eyes to massive fraud. In fact, they are likely to believe that democracy in America is a sham—if an incumbent President who actually won the vote in a landslide can lose the official count by five million votes and have that loss certified, then what democracy is there to lose in a coup? People are having trouble getting over what happened on January 6, but how should people get over what they are told happened on November 3 and the week following?

That’s why I think it’s important to not only impeach the President but have an actual trial in the Senate with evidence, and also why I cannot accept a call for unity from anyone who does not also acknowledge that (a) votes were counted correctly, very few votes were cast in the names of the dead, the underage or non-citizens, and any remaining errors and frauds did not affect the outcome; and (2) the leaders, specifically including the President, who claimed that the outcome was fraudulent were wrong, and were lying about evidence that didn’t exist, and that their actions were despicable and antithetical to a democratic nation.

That may seem like a reasonable demand (it does to me) but where does it leave those Republican leaders (legislators, most importantly, but also Mark Levin and other Cumulus Media folk and public figures generally) who may well believe that the election was stolen? It’s wrong to force them to publicly repudiate what they believe in order to continue to serve in public—but we as a nation cannot safely include in the mainstream voices continuing to make that claim.

Note that this was also largely true in 2000 (and to a lesser extent in 2004), when claims were made that the election was ‘stolen’. There are a bunch of differences, most notably that the election was, in fact, stolen in 2000—but the difference was a few hundred votes in one state, and the specific problems that allowed the problem were actually addressed almost immediately to prevent that particular problem from ever happening again. Also, given how incredibly close the election was in Florida and how poorly designed the process was, there was no way to be absolutely certain that every ballot would be counted correctly according to the intent of the voter; people mostly acknowledged that in the end someone would get screwed. I also have a sense, looking back from twenty years later, that in fact the flawed election in 2000 has had a huge and lasting reverberation through the country, accelerating the process that I’ve described as America falling out of love with democracy.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

4 thoughts on “Going forward, and Democracy (again)

  1. Chris Cobb

    It’s wrong to force them to publicly repudiate what they believe in order to continue to serve in public—but we as a nation cannot safely include in the mainstream voices continuing to make that claim.

    It’s not wrong if the actions they take on the basis of their beliefs are promoting sedition. The courts have ruled, many times over, that Trump’s claims about election fraud are entirely without merit. Anyone who believes otherwise is deluded or lying, and they are failing to acknowledge due process under U.S. election law. When people claim otherwise, they are promoting sedition, especially following an act of open insurrection against the government of the United States. When they promote sedition, they forfeit their right to serve in a position of public trust. If they forfeit that right because they are deluded, those who have deluded them bear a heavier weight of responsibility for the situation, and I feel some compassion for their delusional condition, but that doesn’t remove the obviate the fact that participating in sedition disqualifies people from positions of public trust. If they are seditious liars, then they should face the full consequences of their actions.

    1. Vardibidian Post author

      I agree with you, and yet I don’t really know what to do about the people who (a) continue to make these false claims, and (2) are duly elected representatives of their districts. Removing them for sedition would be lovely, in a sense, but who would their constituents choose to replace them who would not make such claims? Would we be denying representation to the deluded? Because that doesn’t seem like a good path to go down, either.

      I don’t mean to suggest that we should absolutely not enforce some sort of no-sedition rule, just that even if doing so is helpful, it doesn’t solve the problem, and also sets an awkward precedent, particularly if (as may be the case) we are compelled to rely on one Party to define sedition–since it doesn’t seem likely right now that the Republican Party will take part in that. Ugh.

      Meanwhile, I do think that this sort of thing is valuable: Elise Stefanik and the Institute of Politics. It does come at some cost to the IoP, which I think is a valuable institution, but certainly at _less_ cost than continuing with her on the Advisory Committee.


      1. Chris Cobb

        Well, she sure sounds like a bullying fascist. Her schtick of accusing Harvard of “cowering to the woke Left” might once have gotten her some traction, but that kind of rhetoric from a lying seditionist like herself isn’t going to play anymore. It’s interesting that her policy positions aren’t far right, but she seems to have put her political eggs in the Trump basket.

        On the question of whether the constituents of members of Congress expelled for sedition would replace them with another seditionist, I think the question has to be put to them, and the answer is not necessarily a foregone conclusion. The odious Steve King of Iowa was primaried in the election just past, for example. The attack on Congress has crossed a line that has led to significant changes in people’s political behavior in response. Anyone mounting a campaign vowing to replace an expelled seditionist with more sedition is likely to have trouble raising money for a campaign, and their opponents at every stage will have a very easy time. So there’s that.

        1. Michael

          I think it’s also reasonable to expel seditionists from Congress even if you’re certain that the replacement will also be a seditionist. Rinse and repeat as needed. We arrest bank robbers, even though we know there will be future bank robbers. It’s some combination of punishing the individuals who did something wrong, pretending that we do have rules which should be followed, and recognizing that the alternative of allowing sedition or bank robbery to become acceptable is even worse.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.