Commentary

Evslin: Dems, GOP both fear next election stolen

by Tom Evslin

Democrats and Republicans alike fear the next election will be stolen. They’re both giving us all plenty of reason to worry.

Tom Evslin

Exhibit number one is rightly Trump’s January 9 coup attempt. Even though some of the participants might have been legitimate demonstrators who got swept up and carried away, those who planned this attempted insurrection should be indicted for the highest crime which can be proven against them – including treason. If there is evidence against Trump himself, he certainly should not be spared punishment; he’s already earned disgrace. It is also frightening that so many (but certainly not all Republicans) have refused to condemn Trump and his refusal to accept the election results.

On the bright side, resistance to overturning the election was bipartisan. Mike Pence never waivered in his duty to certify the election results. The Supreme Court, despite three Trump appointees, gave no credence or support to his absurd claims. As far as I know, neither did any other federal judge regardless of party affiliation.

Giving non-citizens the right to vote is a transparent attempt by urban Democrats from Winooski to NYC to keep their control of local government despite the unpopularity of recent initiatives like ‘defund the police’. It is also an insult to the generations of immigrants who have made America great and earned their citizenship.

Protecting the right to vote with mail ballots was the right thing to do in a pandemic. Vastly expanding the use of mail ballots – especially sending out unsolicited mail ballots – without putting safeguards in place sounds to Republicans like a Democrat effort to steal elections. It’s at least stupid if not mis-intended. On the other hand, Republicans who don’t want unrestricted mail ballots sound to Democrats as if they are trying to shrink the electorate to their own advantage. On the third hand, it’s racist to think that Black people won’t be able to vote if we all must show ID or register.

Republicans are trying to change state election procedure by changing state law, sometimes in ways that will make local election officials less independent. But not every action they propose has either evil intent or an evil result. In an article in Monday’s New York Times, David Leonhardt lumps together very bad ideas like an attempt in Arizona to let the legislature overturn a Presidential election result in the state any time up until inauguration day and ideas which may have partisan motivation but are not undemocratic like an effort in Pennsylvania to make the secretary of state, who oversees elections, an elected rather an appointed official.

Democrats are trying to change state election procedure with federal legislation over-ruling traditional state control of elections while D’s still have control in Washington. That’s scary, too. On the other hand, there was a long period of American history when Blacks were effectively denied the right to vote by state law and action; federal intervention was needed to right that wrong.

Both sides are still trying to gerrymander wherever they can. Gerrymandered districts have been very harmful to American democracy because they protect incumbents from all dangers except a primary defeat by someone more extreme in their district.

The danger of election tampering from inside or outside the country is very real in the age of cyber-attacks. We need non-partisan action on that problem ASAP. Instead we get very partisan accusations.

Where we are is dangerous. Our suspicions of each other are making it harder to safeguard our elections. As we’ve seen, any suspicion that an election has been stolen is corrosive to democracy.

Even though some Republicans sincerely believe that Trump did win the election, it is time for Republican leaders who know better to say so – and to condemn his actions. Even though some Democrats believe that any regulation of elections is an attempt to disenfranchise “their” voters and is racist to the core, it is time for Democratic leaders to support reasonable election safeguards and stop trying to pad the voter rolls with non-citizens.

It’s time for us all to admit that we seek personal and partisan advantage when we can, unwind the conspiracy theories, and try to win elections by aggressively supporting good people who run for office.

The author, an author, entrepreneur, former Vermont state cabinet officer, lives in Stowe. This commentary is republished with permission from his blog, Fractals of Change.

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11 replies »

  1. Get real, Tom. You need to watch “Capital Punishment” so you can see who the real rednecks are and what the real danger to our country is. “Insurrection,” indeed. We had a whole summer of looting and burning and killing and somehow that was just peaceful protests, but a day at the Capitol with no weapons and no burning was supposedly one of the greatest threats our country ever faced. For God’s sake, several blocks were taken over in Seattle at gunpoint during the summer riots and the fawning media just cooed at the “justice.” https://capitolpunishmentthemovie.com/

    It’s hard for many to believe that a man who can barely draw a crowd now– except to chant “Let’s Go, Brandon”– won an election over a man who even now draws huge crowds. It doesn’t pass the smell test.

  2. Wow, there’s a lot to unpack here. First, I remember seeing, and hearing at one location, poll watchers being escorted out of a polling place, and being told that vote counting was suspended for the night, and would be continued the next day. Shortly after this action I remember video of the vote counters coming back into the polling place, and what were believed to be boxes of ballots being pulled out from under the vote counter’s tables, opened, and at that point counting resumed. There was on one other location where poll watchers were moved away from the vote counting to a place behind a glass wall where it was so far away that their was no way they could fulfill their objective.Those are just two instances that I have questions about that were not investigated, and explained beyond my doubt. Then there was the story about a a large van bodied truck with 10s, or 100s of thousands votes being parked for an inordinate period of time. (until wanted or needed ?) It’s too bad that their were dubious situations surrounding the 2020 election, but denying that they occurred is not the same as investigating, and disproving them. So now that we had this election will it cast a shadow upon all that follow ? It’s to bad, but it’s going to take a few election that are above reproach, and well run, to gain the trust back of a lot of people.

  3. The country’s going to hell in a handbasket and you’re still upset about Trump? Completely not realizing the illegitimate president that was put into office is responsible for all of this.

    As usual your inability to gather facts or have solid reasoning is fully apparent in this article.

    I often wonder if the left can’t read or choose not to?

    “Mike Pence never waivered in his duty to certify the election results.”
    The vice president is not bound by duty to certify the election, he is there to make sure that the election wasn’t fraudulent and to certify it if it is not. He failed in his duty.

    “The Supreme Court, despite three Trump appointees, gave no credence or support to his absurd claims. As far as I know, neither did any other federal judge regardless of party affiliation.”
    No court has heard any of the information regarding major election fraud anywhere in the country. They have all been dismissed for lack of standing, a convenient way for the court to punt and say I don’t want to hear that case.

    “those who planned this attempted insurrection should be indicted for the highest crime which can be proven against them – including treason.”
    You seem to be awful sure that it’s Trump’s fault. Maybe you should look into the telephone conversations had between the chief of police and the national guard.

    “It is also an insult to the generations of immigrants who have made America great and earned their citizenship.”
    You’ve got this one right, but more importantly it cheapens a natural born citizens vote.

    “Vastly expanding the use of mail ballots – especially sending out unsolicited mail ballots”
    It’s a proven way to cheat the system. Just look at the numbers in Vermont.

    “it’s racist to think that Black people won’t be able to vote if we all must show ID or register”
    It’s also very stupid to think that people wouldn’t cheat elections (just look at the article that came out today, that lady is on the board that’s responsible for proper elections in the town) so it would be very smart to get identification to make sure that the person voting is actually the person and to have reasonable safeguards like accurate voter rolls and chain of custody for a ballot.

    “Arizona to let the legislature overturn a Presidential election ”
    It’s not overturning it if it wasn’t the correct outcome to begin with, it’s returning something you stole.

    “Democrats are trying to change state election procedure with federal legislation over-ruling traditional state control of elections while D’s still have control in Washington”
    Did you read this 800 page bill? It was awful and gave every opportunity to cheat.

    “The danger of election tampering from inside or outside the country is very real in the age of cyber-attacks.”
    So you admit this but yet don’t care that it happened in 2020?

    “As we’ve seen, any suspicion that an election has been stolen is corrosive to democracy”
    We don’t have a democracy we have a constitutional republic.

    “it is time for Republican leaders who know better to say so – and to condemn his actions”
    Specifically what actions would you condemn? Peace agreements in the Middle East, better economy, cheaper gas, less taxes, less illegals crossing into the country, less weaponizing of the department of Justice towards parents, less racism and hatred at every speech, less talk about using f-16s and nuclear weapons on US citizens?

    If you ever start a career writing articles you better pay your editor extra, seems like he’d have to work overtime.

  4. Re: “It’s time for us all to admit that we seek personal and partisan advantage when we can, unwind the conspiracy theories, and try to win elections by aggressively supporting good people who run for office.”

    Yea, right. But while you may condone cheating (the end justifying the means), I don’t. So, go pawn your dishonesty elsewhere.

    • He not only condones cheating, he seems to believe that any questioning of election outcomes is tantamount to treason.
      It is the logic of a cult. The sky is red because our leaders say it is.

  5. If we don’t appeal and change “Mail-in” voting where every derelict, drunk/drug addict, and criminal gets a ballot in hand to decide the future of the country, we are doomed. These folks won’t get off the couch to walk 100 feet to cast a ballot in person but will gladly put their mark on a postage paid ballot to vote for whomever promises them the most money, lesser prosecution, or both.
    We need bonafied voter ID and in-person voting. Don’t try to use the “poor people” don’t have ID excuse.

  6. “Those who planned this attempted insurrection should be indicted for the highest crime which can be proven against them”. Well Tommy, that would be the U.S. Deep State security agencies wouldn’t it.

  7. Is there a cure for Trump Derangement Syndrome? After all this time, RINOs and Dem/Progs control so much, but are in utter fear of a man who is no longer holding any control or office? Why are they so afraid? Is the Truth they are afraid of people figuring out exactly what they are and what they have done? Information coming out of Arizona and other places now that will likely blow the 2020 election Truths wide open. Stay tuned for more gnawing and gnashing of teeth.

    • 45 is living in their heads rent free ! Without Trump Derangement Syndrome, life has no purpose for them ! Sad, isn’t it …….

  8. You should be embarrassed for writing this. What kind of insurrection uses flags and cameras to overthrow a government? A few rioters, ok (and who knows how many were FBI agents). But to use the term insurrection is ignorant at best. Let’s save the treason allegations for all those that work in the government doing inside trading and helping to give secrets to foreign governments, shall we?

  9. You forgot to mention Bezos and Zuckerberg paying billions of dollars to shape election procedures and results….likely the biggest contributing factors toward the massive insecurity of the last election. In retrospect, this was the least safe, least secure election of my lifetime and likely the country’s history. CNN likely has a job for you, you should go!

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