Opinion | Morgan Liddick: On the brink of electoral mayhem
On Your Right
Get ready. We are about to see the nastiest presidential race for a long time. Already the torrent of exaggeration, misrepresentation, half-truths and outright falsehoods has begun. In the past, we could rely on a mostly square media to call balls and strikes, but not this time. Most major news outlets have joined the fray as the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.
If this were a science-fiction film, it would be “Revenge of the Swamp Creatures,” and it would be horrifying. Not only are anonymous bureaucrats lobbing ugly charges, for months gangs of thugs lacking only the recognizable brown shirts have been attacking government facilities, private businesses, politicians they dislike and private citizens at will — their viciousness, arson and looting justified as a reaction to “police violence.” Because there’s no more appropriate response to a bad outcome between police and noncompliant, potentially violent suspects than attacking third parties and taking their stuff. Aside from assassinating a random cop or two.
Bizarre or not, these claims and charges are being treated as if true by a political class by turns supine and opportunistic, and by its captive media that cares for nothing except the defeat of President Donald Trump the usurper and the preservation of their own comfortable lives.
There’s more: Across the country, states have stampeded toward mail-in voting, without much consideration of what is necessary to ensure that Nov. 3 is the end, not the beginning, of an orgy of violence. Ten states now allow “family members” to collect and return ballots for their kinfolk, loosely described. Sixteen others allow nonfamily third parties to do so. In Colorado, anyone can return ballots, as long as they don’t do it with more than 10 at a time. I’ll pause a moment for you to consider the possibilities for naughtiness. And yes, there has been.
Nor is that all. In 22 states, mail-in ballots needn’t be received or counted by Election Day. Washington state is the champion here: Ballots mailed by Nov. 3 can be “received” as late as Nov. 23. California is next, at Nov. 20, Illinois follows with Nov. 17 and so on. Many election analysts fear that this is a recipe for chaos. More voters for Trump than Joe Biden will vote in person, meaning his numbers will be high on Election Day. Then, as mail-in ballots dribble in — some in key states like Ohio — Biden’s numbers will rise, potentially changing the overall results in the presidential and other key races. This may not be, but certainly will appear to be, the result of boxes of ballots being “found” in, say, the trunk of Al Franken’s car. It’s no joke; it’s happened before in Minnesota.
In the aftermath of the tumultuous Tilden-Hayes election of 1876, the nation was as divided as it had been at any time after the Civil War. It had been a closely run thing, with Democrats running against the “corrupt” Grant administration while ignoring the wildly rotten city and state governments they controlled as well as their party’s use of the Ku Klux Klan as an enforcement arm for white rule in southern states. In the end, the result was disputed and the cry among Democrats was “Tilden or blood.” Sound familiar? The election took months to resolve, with an extraconstitutional elected committee finally working a compromise: Hayes would be president, and reconstruction would end in the South, which became solidly Democrat and would remain so until Richard Nixon. Reignition of the Civil War was averted.
Now, here we are again on the brink of electoral mayhem. It would be easy to avert. All states would have to do, seven weeks from Nov. 3, would be to tighten their election rules slightly. No requesting a mail-in ballot on Election Day, all mail-in ballots to be received on or before Election Day with tabulation immediately upon receipt and delivery of mail-in ballots by post or the individual voter only. Yes, this would leave the system open to fraud with the U.S. Postal Service as a cutout, but the above would at least have the advantage of not holding election results in doubt for weeks.
Alas, it will not be. As in the past, Democrats have chosen chaos as an instrument of their drive to rule. They calculate that if enough suspicion and violence can be created, the American people will trade acceptance of their rule for quiet.
It’s a tyrant’s bargain, and America should reject it.
Morgan Liddick’s column “On Your Right” publishes Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. Liddick spent 27 years working for the U.S. Foreign Service, primarily living abroad. He also spent 12 years teaching U.S. history and Western civilization at community colleges in Colorado and Texas. He lived in Summit County as recently as 2015. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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