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Letter to the Editor: “The Stolen Election”

The details of “stolen election” claims regarding the 2020 Presidential election have been hashed out extensively.  Two questions are enough for anyone to decide whether to support the accusers.  One is the question of credibility and the other has to do with relative threat.

Is the claim of massive fraud credible?  To say it is, one must believe that crooked politicians and campaign managers are simultaneously brilliant and stupid.  On one hand, a large number of election officials and judges (including numerous Republicans and Trump appointees) were supposedly influenced to support false Presidential election results.  On the other hand, the integrity of votes cast for Congress is undisputed.  How credible is it that the alleged plot simply neglected to steal Congress?

That brings us to threat.  Supposing that the accusations of fraud were true, would that be more or less dangerous to American democracy than the actions of the last President?  Between the Civil War and the Progressive Era, elections were often corrupt.  Votes could be bought for a beer and unelected bosses chose winners and losers.  Democracy suffered, but it survived and recovered.  If those practices were returning, we would be right to oppose them with the same kind of protests and reforms that defeated them before.

By contrast, it is on audio, and the veracity of the recording is unchallenged, that Mr. Trump personally tried to intimidate a Georgia election official into falsifying the vote.  It is on video, and unchallenged, that he identified targets for the January 6 mob, naming individuals and groups in Congress who had to go.  Which is the greater danger to democracy – abuse of office by election officials, or abuse of power by someone in the most powerful job in the world?

Scott Corey



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