“The best way we can show respect to the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth!”
– Utah Senator Mitt Romney
Tomorrow the United States will celebrate the inauguration of its 46th President.
Some of you voted for him, and are likely thrilled. Some of you voted for the other guy, and are likely not as pleased, but otherwise resigned to the will of the voters.
But some out there still persist in spreading a false and, quite frankly, insidious narrative.
They claim that Trump actually won the election, but that a number of fraudulent efforts took place in various states that somehow resulted in an altered outcome.
This is a lie. And it is a lie that needs to end.
Several weeks ago, I warned an acquaintance that his and others’ continued insistence on a fraudulent election, without true data that is able to prove it, could ultimately lead to dire consequences. This individual responded by accusing me of fear-mongering and hyperbole.
Then, five people died during an attack on the U.S. Capitol.
I’m not one to rub it in with the “I told you so” attitude. But, as horrible as the situation was, I felt at least somewhat exonerated in knowing that my fears were not unfounded. If nothing else, it told me that my ability to identify potential socio-political problems was not completely malfunctioning.
As it turns out, the true fear mongering was coming from the election-fraud-conspiracy squad. And that fear mongering has now directly contributed to human death and an attack on the center of American democracy.
Yet even after these terrible events, I still see some of the same individuals spreading the lies, and not willing to consider that the two could possibly be linked.
Every action has a consequence. We can choose our actions, but we can’t always choose the consequences.
So, I’ve been pushing back on these claims. Not just because I’m convinced that I am right. But because we’ve now seen what those consequences can be. Yet still, when I do, I get these kinds of responses:
“But you’re just agreeing with the corrupt media!” they might cry. “You’re just sweeping the evidence under the rug!”
Or, perhaps a more gentle approach: “What would be the harm in verifying just to make sure?”
I get it. Nobody likes to be wrong.
But we are all wrong sometimes. And those who believed in the myths of un-audited, rampant electoral fraud have been directly fed misleading and verifiably-untrue information.
The claims have been audited, reviewed and verified. That’s why there is “no harm in verifying just to make sure” because we have already literally done that very thing. And the evidence still overwhelmingly points to a free and fair election.
Unfortunately, I’m increasingly convinced that this doesn’t matter. No matter how clearly the evidence and the data refutes these claims, some will still believe the fraud claims, or at least the possibility of it, because for whatever reason it makes them – I don’t know, feel more comfortable? I guess?
I understand that desire. But that insistence on feeling comfortable is adding fuel to a lie which has already shown the capacity to break our country. This is why I believe it needs to end.
Soon after the Capitol attack, Utah’s principled Senator, Mitt Romney, said the following:
“Those who choose to support this dangerous gambit by rejecting the results of a legitimate democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. Fairly or not, they’ll be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy.
No congressional audit is ever going to convince these voters, particularly when the president will continue to say that the election was stolen.
The best way we can show respect to the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth!”
How true these words are.
Look, I completely agree that voter fraud, and any serious allegations surrounding it, is a grave issue indeed. I believe that integrity of the voter system is the hallmark of a democratic electoral system.
I believe passionately that we should be doing everything within our power to continually strive for the most secure, legal, and accurate election processes as we can muster.
I’ve worked closely with elections offices in the United States, and seen how the various counties provide anti-corruption and anti-fraud measures, often stipulated in state legislation. And I’ve been shown very convincingly how these measures keep things in check.
Given how seriously I take voter security, I’ve looked closely at the claims of fraud, and have come away completely convinced that this election was, as many of Trump’s own Justice Department officials claimed, probably the most secure election in American history.
I know not everybody has a background in voter data analysis, political science trend mapping, electoral security systems, etc. There are certainly many things which I don’t know in these areas either. And I know that people aren’t simply going to trust me based on my background. There are people far more knowledgeable than me about these things who are saying the same thing, but they are not believed either.
Still, if nothing else, please try to consider that there may be a reason why state legislators, county election officials, state judges, federal judges, state election officials, and more – those who do have close access to the data, the information, and the systems – have nearly universally rejected the claims of voter fraud.
Many of these were Republicans. Many of these are individuals whose jobs came via Trump appointments.I can tell you this much. If voter fraud did take place on a scale that altered the outcome of the election, it would have had to have been so huge, so vast, and so complicated a conspiracy that every fiber of credulity would have to be strained to the maximum.
Thousands of individuals across hundreds of counties would have had to have manipulated, both physically and electronically – hundreds of thousands of paper ballots – and would have had to have done so with such secrecy and such data-driven accuracy to have been fool proof. This would have had to have involved hundreds of political officials from both political parties – all humans with the human tendencies to make errors – all executing a flawless and impossibly accurate operation in which so many uncontrollable variables miraculously went their way.
Either there is a vast multi-party conspiracy, or the election results were mostly accurate.
And only one of these explanations makes sense within the confines of our earth-based mortal reality.
I get it. Many people wanted a different outcome. Many people have concerns about how our electoral systems work. If you have such concerns then I urge you to put aside the effort to first spread the claims of fraud, and first take the time to thoroughly research all of the variables. Don’t rely on memes or media – go directly to the sources. It’s a complicated process to understand, I know. But I can assure you that it does make sense.
Where there are areas for improvement, by all means push for improvement! The effort to truly make our elections flawless and 100% fraud-proof will always be a challenge worth tackling. But in the meantime, take the time to base current claims on data, evidence, and reality.
Our country needs this right now. Like Mitt Romney said, the best way to deal with this is the truth. Every other way leads us further down paths that we don’t want to follow.