COMBING the WOOL
Riots, Tyranny, Sedition (domestic) and (potentially foreign) Treasonous Acts - what is this country doing to itself? Where is blind justice when a belief in justice, in truth itself, is lost through anarchy and chaos which is the result of seeding lies among normally honest law-abiding people? Why is rational thought and a belief in God short-circuited by those expected to be leaders but who turn out to be followers of a belief system which actually overturns rational thought in pursuit of power and self righteous goals?
First, a word about 'Fake News': it is now early 2021 but the media has been with us for centuries, and there has always been some who disagreed about the media getting the story 'right'. Under President Trump we were alerted in 2016 to the idea that somehow there are some organizations whose business it is to sell news that have somehow created false news all the better to sell their product. It soon became apparent that if a news item didn't enhance the Trump image then that news was declared falsified, fake, untrue. We all expect the news to be based on fact, and sometimes the media injects their opinion into a story. This sometimes confuses reality with an opinion; this is dangerous because it leaves it to the audience, which may not have all of the facts, to make a truth (fact) determination. It is the responsibility of the news organization to NOT let this happen; opinions can be misleading and a bias can be created which distorts the reality being broadcast. This concern is not new but in a society polarized by a President with opinions, not necessarily honest opinions or which will be expressed honestly, any reporting done under this man's umbrella MUST be factual and the less opinion the more honest the reporting will be.
OK, now let us look at what has happened over the last 12 months in the United States. As we neared the election for the President of the United States in November of 2020, President Donald John Trump presided over a country fraught with a pandemic, experiencing a nationwide fear of the spread of a virus so insidious that the virus was (is) spreading though contagion from people showing no signs of the virus but from which the only defense was (is, until vaccinations are available) the
This fear had an obvious fallout: the need to change the 'normal' means of casting one's vote; change from going to the location established for everyone wishing to vote, the local polling station, to the submission of the ballot through the mails. Absentee voting has used this tried-and-proven method of casting one's ballot for years. This is not a new or unknown method for voting but what is new is the volume of mail expected to be generated due to pandemic fears. What is new is the demand to be placed on Post Offices across the nation to prepare ballots. These were mailed by voters who are largely unfamiliar with the 'normal' absentee ballot submission procedure. This method of voting was quickly seen as the safest choice to protect everyone's health and safety while providing a democratic means of casting their vote.
And circa June 2020 President Trump voiced a distrust of this solution to processing a tabulation of the votes. President Trump himself has been and continues to be an absentee ballot voter but his claims of fraud (potential fraud) are based on the inability (as he sees the situation) to verify the authenticity of the ballots received in this manner. Whether there is or is not any merit to the President's often belabored claims of election fraud, various State agencies concerned about the President's fears began to examine their vote tabulating system. Each State did this separately, and each State came to the same realization: the polls would have a very light turnout and yet (as it happened) the expected number of votes to be counted would remain the same or be even higher in number.
These votes still needed to be tallied by the same process in place for doing so, but the emphasis on vote counting labor was about to be distorted by the physical steps necessary to validate mailed ballots versus ballots cast on site at the polling locations. States began to realize that a new phenomenon was about to occur: the day of the election would NOT be the day when a final tally would be available late in that day or by early the next day. Provisions had to be made for delaying this expected final count date and several States altered their official ballot processing rules to incorporate this new reality.
These changes to ballot processing procedures were made well in advance of the election, in time to be included in the mailing of the ballots to the electorate, and there was minimal confusion in this procedure; instructions were clear and everyone understood the need, in each respective State, for the change in provision for late-arriving ballots to be tallied in a reasonable time frame. During this time, President Trump continued to voice his fears that these ballots would be fraudulently cast, that ballots would be cast by dead people, that multiple ballots (mail AND poll-present duplicate) would be cast, that duplicate ballots would intentionally be replicated allowing one person to cast hundreds, even thousands, of votes because, who knows, who can stop this kind of fraudulent behavior?
His rhetoric persisted, and his claims were heard and an attempt was made to assure the President that the voting system in place was adequate to identify this type of attempt, should it be made, to thwart such fraudulent attempts. But as the media reported on all of this, each State continued to review its existing polling procedures, and as we rushed to election day each State was responsible for processing these ballots as they always had, secure in having tested any changes to their ballot counting procedure as dictated by changes necessary to count the increased volume of mailed in votes.
Now this is when things became really interesting. President Trump seemed unable to comprehend the reality of not being able to provide an instantaneous vote tally at the end of the day on November 3, 2020. When the polls closed, he expected a vote count that would tell him whether he won or lost. In past years, a normal delay of a few hours would grant this tally, or at least a close enough tally to enable declaring a winner statistically; enough votes had been counted, coupled with the percentage of total votes cast, to be able to declare a winner of the election. At the close of the day, the expected 'red phenomenon' had in fact occurred. (The Red Phenomenon resulted from the majority of Republican voters, who cast their ballots on election day, have their votes counted before the majority of Democrat ('Blue' voters) could have their mailed ballots counted.)
President Trump went to bed on election night seeing a majority of the States results favoring a Republican win. Those mailed in ballots continued to be counted and because of the delay of several days due to the anticipated work in processing these ballots, the trending tide of Blue overwhelmed the early Red votes such that ultimately Trump did NOT win the States he thought he had won. His cry of 'fraud; I told you so!' led many of President Trump's followers to take up the scent, to claim the voting to be fraudulent, and to support him in trying to get the results validated to prove that he really won and that counting otherwise was fraudulent. (This was taken to court more than fifty times and unsubstantiated claims of fraud caused these lawsuits to be denied every time.)
Now we have a President who refuses to accept that he lost the election. He had received more votes than any person running for the office of President, ever before. This means he has an extremely large following, or people who support and believe in him. What I am writing here is in acceptance of this fact, and it is what makes my opening statement even more puzzling - where is blind justice when a belief in justice, in truth itself, is lost? The fact of the matter is that we, as a nation of law-abiding citizens, believe we have elected a responsible leader of our principles and God-given authority to speak for us, to be our representative for all that we know to be consistent with our Constitutional authority as a nation of law-abiding and dependably honest people. Of consequence, these millions of Trump supporters support their President and normally that would be the end of it; following his dictates in support of his goals is an understand corollary to allegiance to the President and our country.
But, that is not quite the end of it. President Trump is not an honest person. He demonstrably lies every time he opens his mouth. He expects loyalty from everyone working for him but he gives none in return. If you are respectful of someone who deceives you then you have had the wool pulled over your eyes and two things are apparent: 1) others can see the deception and that you have been fooled and 2) it is almost impossible for you to see the same thing and admit to it because it would mean an admission of your own fallibility, something impossible for you to accept.
Sad as it may seem, tragic as it is, the majority of Trump followers have had the wool pulled over their eyes. How did this happen?
It is also hard (extremely hard) for other Trump supporters to do likewise. I know that. But the fact is that the situation is even worse than what I have outlined so far in my attempt to reason my way through how we could have come to a riotous time and what we need to consider as a path of return to normalcy. Let me continue:
The time frame is post-election, Trump has lost and is floundering in an attempt to convince himself and others that this is not true - he really did win, and either by recounting (which simply confirmed he lost) or by searching for ways to invalidate the election, he can sell his followers on what an unfair situation this is, that the election was stolen from him (it wasn't) and that all of what his followers wish to be true is in fact true - Donald John Trump did in fact win the election. He did NOT win the election.
The mechanism for winning an election of the President and Vice-President in the United States involves the Electoral College (EC). This discussion does not examine the roots of this procedure, but the effect of this process is that the various constituencies of the United States (50 States, District of Columbia, etc.) rely on the EC to determine the winner of the election. A total of 270 votes in the EC s necessary to determine the winner of the election, and the EC makes this determination by tallying the votes from each State. This process requires that each State certify as being honest, non fraudulent and a factual tally of each vote received. So far so good. Then one of the States (Texas) made an amazing claim: Pennsylvania, and other States, had created unlawful ballots and thus all of the votes from these States were untenable and could not be tabulated.
Trump supporters were thrilled! This was awesome, their leader was right, the election was stolen from them because all of these votes were illegal! Cheers!
There was undeniable evidence that this was so - that ballots in Pennsylvania and other States were brought under consideration because of the following (general description of the legal question): States have a State Constitution which describes the process for counting votes. Ballot processing procedures, in some States and notably Pennsylvania et al, are mandated by State Legislature. It seems that what happened, in these States, is that a rush to implement rule changes to effectively process ballot procedures mandated by the pandemic crisis somehow had these changes defined by areas other than the State Legislature. Such entities as the State Governor, Secretary of State and other non-Legislative bodies were responsible for describing and defining these changes; this was contra to the State Constitution and thus unlawful.
It isn't clear just HOW this situation would invalidate an entire State's ballot results, but the outcome of the Texas Governor's request to discount these election results through the EC created a furor that resulted in President Trump's claim the election to be stolen was further substantiated by review of the respective State Constitutions; yes, the law said these changes had to be made by a body that had not been involved in making the changes. Now what?
Rather than clarify how to correct the situation (an emergency meeting of each State's Legislature? A review of existing procedures for allowing continuation?) or resolve that the changes made were legally correct in that said changes met emergency criteria for same - or for any published discussion from any of these States - in absence of ANY resolution as to how or what needed to be done or if anything needed to be done - a large number of legal Representatives of Congress took up the cry and declared the election to be unlawful. It is noteworthy that these Representatives are all Trump supporters (see above reasons for wool over their eyes), individual Members of the National Legislative bodies who for whatever reason believe their constituents agree with their posture. There is a lot of wool being pulled over a lot of important eyes - and the wool in this case?:
January 6, 2021 was the day Vice-President Mike Pence began the official recognition of the EC tally, the point where the new President becomes official and is to be inaugurated and Trump's era is about over. This happens at the Capitol Building, in the Senate Chambers and was all taking place as scheduled. President Trump (and his lawyer, Giuliani, and son Donald Trump Jr and others) held impromptu news conferences that morning. Their essence continued to be and Trump himself repeated that the election had been stolen and that his followers were to meet at the Nation's Capitol Building (the event would be 'wild') it is reasonable to understand how unreasonable were the actions of those who continue to follow his claims. The riot that followed on the steps and into the Capitol building itself resulted in 5 deaths, the destruction of property, the raising of a gallows and mob cries of 'Hang Pence' and there was a totally insufficient police force of any kind (why is still unanswered a week later). All of the details here is still unfolding history that you can read separately.
We are in a continuing state of crisis on Friday January 15 2021 and as we approach Inauguration Day for a new President and Vice-President it is necessary to complete this discussion by pointing out something more significant than anything said thus far: More people voted for Donald Trump's replacement than have ever voted for a President before, even exceeding Trump's own vote tally by more than 7 million votes. Imagine that! Both Donald Trump and the man chosen to replace him have EACH received more votes than any President in history! I do not believe we have had a population explosion in the last four years but rather a larger voter turnout than ever before because there are may people who, like myself, have had the wool taken from their eyes. The impetus has been a correcting force that demands that a President be truly a Nation's President in nature, an example of someone with empathy, honesty, integrity and the ability to provide a righteous example of the ideals we possess as Americans. Most Americans feel as I do in renouncing a false leader but it might take some time to comb the wool before we return to normalcy.
15 January 2021