When everybody’s unethical, it begins to be difficult to figure out what “ethical” would be.
In Wisconsin, some Republican officials have launched a serious (though ridiculous) “decertification” effort, an effort to persuade the Wisconsin Legislature to rescind the state’s 10 electoral votes, thereby starting a movement in other states where President Trump lost by a narrow margin and there are reasons to doubt the integrity of the count. In Arizona, a Republican state legislator running for secretary of state, and other GOP candidates for Congress, have also called for withdrawing the state’s electoral votes, which went to President Biden. Last September, Trump wrote a letter to Georgia officials asking them to decertify Biden’s Peach Tree State victory, but there was no response, appropriately.
Apparently these and other bitter-enders think that the election, which is almost two years in the rear view mirror, can be reversed at this impossibly late date, resulting in Donald Trump’s triumphant re-installment as President. They are, to be blunt, insane. They are also ignorant. There is no way to get there from here. None. Zero. Am I clear? Even if tomorrow there was found undeniable, verified proof that Trump did win the 2020 election by a landslide, as he has irresponsibly claimed, there is absolutely no provision in the Constitution to permit the election to be cancelled, reversed, or done over.
This is approximately as sensible a fantasy as that of illegal immigration activists who argue that the border jumpers are justified because Mexico still owns Arizona, New Mexico, California and the rest because they were stolen by the Polk administration and the contrived Mexican War. It’s too late. Of course it’s too late, and there is no precedent or law that supports doing anything but accepting reality, learning from what went wrong, and doing better next time.
This does not mean, as the mainstream media would have us believe, that inquiries into the many dubious aspects of the election should stop, and that there is something sinister about sniffing the smoke to see if there was a fire. If a thorough investigation shows that Biden indeed was fraudulently elected because of many irregularities in the narrowly decided states (as well as because of the rigged coverage of the campaign and indeed Trump’s entire Presidency), the public not only has a right to know, it needs to know. Those responsible in such a scenario would have to be held accountable. If such a discovery meant that Biden’s legitimacy was undermined, well, it should be undermined, though it is hard for me to imagine how Joe’s perceived legitimacy could get much worse than it already is.
The fact that Trump is fanning the flames of idiocy and encouraging supporters to accept the fever dream of a reversed election result is one more—there are many—reason to hope, pray and perform animal sacrifices to persuade Fate to take him out of the running, the front pages, and our lives.
The other side is almost as bad, however. Here’s what the Times today and the AP last summer refer to as among the”restrictions on voting” that were passed by the Wisconsin legislature and that the state’s Democrat governor has vetoed:
[One bill] would require most elderly and disabled people who are indefinitely confined to show photo ID to vote absentee; require all absentee voters to fill out more paperwork and show their ID every time they vote absentee, rather than just the first time; and require voters who are confined to apply to get an absentee ballot every year, rather than have them sent automatically.
Any vote not directly linked to a valid photo ID is inherently subject to question. Absentee ballots can be filled out by individuals other than the named voter, and the elderly and handicapped are particularly vulnerable to having their votes co-opted. The fact that such measures are routinely called “restrictions” and “voter suppression” by the “resistance”/Democratic Party/ media alliance is itself a cause for suspicion. Why do they want voting systems that are vulnerable to illicit manipulation and fraud?
Another metaphorical verse in the same song, also used in today’s Times, is this quote, from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers:
“Republicans now are arguing over whether we want democracy or not.”
This is just one more steaming scoop onto the already towering pile of the “Republicans are a threat to democracy” lies that now comprise a large proportion of the desperation efforts by a flailing and failing party to avoid their just desserts in the coming November. Trump and the deluded GOP members are completely wrong about overturning the election now: we have laws. The idea that when laws don’t let us do what we would like or what is “just” we can just twist them like Slinkies is a Leftist concept; Republicans are supposed to abhor such behavior, like ethicists do.
However, democracy requires a trusted and a legitimately trustworthy election process. It does not threaten democracy to call a sloppy, flawed, inadequately secure election that violated multiple state laws what it was: unreliable. In fact, a full and open inquiry followed by remedial measures to be applied to future elections are essential to preserving democracy.