Diary

The Election of 2020: Is This the End of Democracy in America?

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

The United States is a very different country from the 13 colonies that declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776.  We have grown in size, population, diversity within that population, and technology.  We emerged from two major world wars the strongest nation in the world.  In the interim, we have experienced economic recessions, depressions, and booms.  We fought a bloody civil war that claimed thousands of American lives and we still stood.  We have dallied with fascism (Woodrow Wilson) and socialism (FDR, LBJ).  Throughout our history, there has been one thing that held the people of this country together.

In 1787, our Founders created a political system to make the union “more perfect.”  We clearly know from the Federalist Papers that they disdained factions be they regional or ideological.  Political parties per se did not officially originate until about 50 years into our history as a country.  Of course, they knew that ideological and regional disputes would occur, but they created a system that would address them when they did and Americans held to the belief that although not perfect in all respects, the system they created bound the Nation as one.  That system was predicated on a line from the Declaration that the government derives its power from the consent of the governed.  It placed, within guardrails like the Electoral College, faith in the hands of the voters to show their consent.

Politics can be likened to sports where “disputes” are settled through a set of rules that both sides abide by.  Those rules are administered by disinterested referees or umpires who know the rules and apply them consistently.  But what happens when the referee interprets the rules differently from the way they are written, or who sees discretion and leeway in that interpretation?  More importantly, what happens when a referee has a bias against one team and enforces the rules unequally?

What happens in sports when this happens, things start to unravel and get out of hand.  Like sports, the election of 2020 has proven that the rules were written on the fly and inconsistently applied.  Just as the sports game gets out of hand and chaotic, so does the political game.  The whole system which was created in 1787 has become unstable.

For the past four years almost from the day it was announced that Donald Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton to become President, every norm and rule of the game has been tossed aside in an effort to delegitimize Trump’s victory.  In any country but America, this would have brought about revolution or civil war.  But what prevented that was the American electorate’s undying belief and faith in our electoral system.  Our Founders gave us a system to air our grievances at the ballot box.  With the exception of the election of Abraham Lincoln and the resulting Civil War, that system and faith in the system worked remarkably well.

Should Trump eventually lose this election, it will be tempting by some to call him a “sore loser.”  Others will accuse him of buying into “conspiracy theory” that Biden stole the election.  Those would be rich accusations coming from the same people who foisted upon the public a four-year conspiracy theory known as Trump-Russia collusion.  It would also be rich coming from a group that supported the ultimate sore loser in Hillary Clinton who has blamed everything for her loss except herself.  These people lost the right to demand any evidence of what Trump believes happened in 2020.

Further, outside a few select media outlets, we cannot count on the legacy or social media to be the proverbial watchdogs they sometimes were in the past.  They are run by people whose mask of “impartiality” has been ripped away and do not even try to hide their bias any more.  If they disagree with your thoughts or expressions, it is labeled a “lie” or “disinformation.”  Fact-checkers spring into action as self-anointed dispensers of “the truth.”  It is not even persuasion at this point; it is intimidation into silence.  Once silenced, then one is beaten into submission.  In the name of “protecting democracy,” our betters in the media have taken to protecting us from ourselves.  This is what democracy has become in 2020.

Not long ago, politicians of all stripes helped foster the birth of the surveillance state in the war on terror.  One argument was that if you had nothing to hide, you had nothing to fear.  We groused and complained, but in the end we complied and accepted.  Yet in 2020, seeking “surveillance” into how votes are being counted in many states is considered evil, inappropriate and unacceptable.  If there is nothing to hide, then there should be no fear.

Also, consider the number of times the United States has criticized foreign countries for their election outcomes based on abnormalities in the process.  How many regimes have been changed or coups fostered because we believed those foreign elections were corrupt?  Yet, when thousands of votes for Biden are mysteriously found in the dead of night, we hear nothing but crickets from these critics.  We live under a mistaken impression that unlike other countries, election fraud cannot happen here.

In many respects, the election of 2020 is simply an exclamation mark on the past four years.  Trump- win or lose- drew out the radicals that dominated the Left.  What may have started off as “peaceful protests” over the death of George Floyd soon morphed into something else.  The violence we witnessed this past summer in many cities, lest we forget, were led by chants of “No more USA” at times.  They were not addressing the death of a black man; they were calling for revolution.

Revolutions do not necessarily begin because things are bad.  They occur when there are rising expectations of change and that change is not coming about quickly enough.  Should Biden win this election, the million dollar question- and one not being considered- is whether these “revolutionaries” will accept a “President Biden or Harris?”  We know they will never accept a President Trump.  No one is asking whether they will push more harder and more violently for the change that would usher in their vision of a socialist Utopia.

Today, the country is rife with rancor with sides chosen, bitter partisanship, and identity politics.  This is the state of affairs the Democrats have fostered for the past four years.  We have been through trying times as a Nation in the past that tested our mettle.  What held us together was an undying faith in the electoral process.  That tenuous contract between leaders and voters that conferred our “consent” in being governed has been weakened, if not ripped up.

What the election of 2020 has proven is that our electoral process is anything but free and fair as long as you have a Democrat around to manipulate the system, by miscounting or discarding or finding ballots when the results to not match up with the will of the voters.  Throw in some chaos and blame a virus, and you get the election of 2020.

It is indisputable to this writer that the integrity of the electoral process took a serious blow in 2020.  The loser will not be Biden or Trump; it will be America.  In their lust for power spurred by a burning hatred of Trump, the Democrats in 2020 did what no recession, depression, Civil War, terrorist attack, or other crisis could do.  They have made a mockery of the electoral process and American democracy in general.