Squelch it | Editorials | rutlandherald.com
Here’s what the Omaha World-Herald had to say about the electoral lie being a danger leaders need to cover up:
The elect are leading us simply because of their positions – we have chosen them for that. They lead by policy making, they lead with the tone they set and the issues they choose to pursue.
This editorial is a call to these leaders of both parties to come together and tell the American public clearly and unequivocally that our electoral system is sound. Doing something less encourages false conspiracy theories and dangerously ignores a real growth of fringes unwilling to accept the results of the votes and increasingly willing to resort to violence in an attempt to get what they want.
No responsible and clear-sighted political leader should need more evidence than the video footage and subsequent findings on the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol to fully accept the dangers. And yet, many Republicans ignore, downplay, or reframe an assault that included violent attacks on judicial officers and threats against constitutional agents and the process.
Their nods to the widely discredited conspiracy theory that the presidential election was stolen by massive, multi-state fraud and their inability to speak the whole truth with firmness and force allow public suspicion to simmer and grow. .
They seem to believe that the crowd they continue to incite can be controlled. We have ample evidence that it cannot.
The influence of this foul lie is obvious. This week, 1.2% of state lawmakers nationwide – 92 of 7,383 – including Nebraska Senator Rob Clements of Elmwood, signed a call for an audit of the 2020 election results. Believers in the fraud myth will cling to the call of these ill-informed and irresponsible leaders as proof when in reality it is only proof of the power of an often-repeated big lie.
It is important to say here, as we have been doing for over a year, that voter fraud is extremely rare. A Bloomberg government investigation in all 50 states has uncovered 200 cases of voter fraud nationwide since the November 2018 election “during a time when hundreds of millions of people participated in thousands of elections in across the country “.
Those calling for extra-government audits scoff at the extensive systems already in place for performing recounts in close elections, for soliciting and certifying totals and the role of prosecutors, county to federal in prosecuting fraud.
Despite repeated studies with similar results, Republicans across the country are set to change election laws to address a nearly nonexistent problem, citing suspicion among voters as why it’s necessary – when, again, this suspicion is really just proof of the power of an oft-repeated big lie. It just fuels our division.
A poll by the respected University of Virginia Center for Politics found that 41% of Biden voters and 52% of Trump voters at least somewhat agree with the proposal to divide America – “I would favor the states (red or blue) who separate from the union for their own separate country.
It is absurd and serious at the same time.
Where would we draw the line? Not everyone in a red state is a conservative Republican; not everyone in our cities is a liberal democrat. America’s economic engine is in its cities – the 17% of counties across the country that voted for Biden represent 70% of America’s GDP.
It is the rotten fruit of our current policy. Our elected leaders are responsible for where we are and the direction we take from here.
The Virginia poll found substantial points of agreement – improving infrastructure, raising taxes on rich rural broadband and more – if we can just move beyond the cynical exploitation of conspiracy theories and start trying. to solve our real problems.
What we are asking for is a return to normal policy. The postures and rhetoric to gain electoral or political advantage are part of life in our democratic republic. We can and should expect fierce partisan struggles over the issues of redistribution, immigration and spending. But to hang on, repeat and encourage a lie about the security of our elections is a danger to our country.
Our leaders must lead. Condemn the BS unequivocally. It would be a great role for Congress’s Problem Solvers Caucus, of which Don Bacon of Nebraska is proud to be a member.
As individuals, we also have a responsibility. We have to contemplate who we are. The Virginia poll found that three-quarters of both parties view their opposites as “a clear and present danger to the American way of life.” Do we really hate our neighbors who don’t see things the way we do?
You know that if you saw your neighbor fall, you would go and help. We are humans, we are Americans. We can get by.