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,