John F. Kennedy published his famous book Profiles in Courage in 1956 highlighting individuals whose courage and acts of astounding integrity in the face of overwhelming opposition left an unforgettable mark on American history. With all the turmoil that has been part of 2020, perhaps we need a new edition of Profiles in Courage written about this year’s heroic individuals. Some of these people are still unknown, but they too are about to leave a mark on American history.
At this moment, we are trying to resolve the most contentious and fraudulent election in our nation’s history. Across multiple states, people have voted multiple times, dead people have voted, poll workers broke rules and disallowed poll watchers from doing their job to provide oversight. This election contains much more than just voter fraud. On an industrial scale, election fraud was committed with computer programs changing votes by the thousands to flip the results from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
At 10 p.m. on Election Day in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Trump had an insurmountable lead in a routine and fair election. The public woke the next day to find Biden in the lead in Michigan and Wisconsin, and closing on Trump’s massive lead in Pennsylvania. Statistically, this just doesn’t happen. It is fraud. It isn’t easy to verify, and whether it can be proven in recounts or a court of law remains to be seen in the days ahead. But after the recounts and court cases have been conducted and voting tallies adjusted, Biden may still have a fraudulent lead in some of the contested states come December 8th.
On that day, state legislators will be responsible for choosing electors for their state or not certify them at all. The national spotlight will descend upon these legislators in these contested states. It will take 270 electors nationwide to select the next president.
Regardless of where the state vote counts stand on that day, the legislators will meet and select electors in their states. Suppose Biden’s lead is still standing in the contested states and the common sense of the people tells you it was not valid. In that case, legislators will need to make a critical choice on whether to accept the numerical fraud or choose the ethical option on what cannot be legally proven. If the election cannot be trusted, state legislators can constitutionally choose electors to reflect the people’s will in their state. This is not usurping the people’s will but rather a noble and constitutional act to protect the people’s will.
The pressure will be enormous. The threats and intimidation of these legislators will be extraordinary. Their personal lives, including their political and professional careers will be at risk. Social pressure to go along and get along will be overwhelming. It could be a moment of high drama.
This nation is headed into a very dark time if the election is allowed to be stolen. If this travesty is not corrected, we will never be able to trust another election again. The foundation of our democracy and republic will be forever shaken. What hangs in the balance is the rule of law and whether we remain a constitutional republic.
These state legislators could also choose not to certify electors for either candidate. This may be an easier choice. Suppose neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden reaches the 270 electoral votes needed to become president. In that case, the decision will go to the U.S. House of Representatives where Donald Trump will likely prevail.
This decision may hinge on a small group of state legislators in a single state, or even a single legislator. This moment could become a Profile in Courage for the ages. Will they make the easy choice or the harder virtuous one? On them our future depends.
Jeff Lukens is a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran. He writes on culture, history, politics, and foreign affairs. He can be followed on Twitter at @Jeff_Lukens or on Parler at @jefflukens.