Democrats want you to believe that asking questions about election fraud is the biggest threat to the republic. Hmmm, might be more believable if they got their hands out of the ballot box! My new column at Real Clear Politics exposes the real threat, with a hat tip to my great fifth-grade teacher, Frank S. Tetler.
By Frank Miele/Real Clear Politics
Lately, we keep hearing about this or that “threat to the republic,” ironically mostly involving something Republicans are doing or purporting to do, but I’m starting to think maybe (stop me if you’ve heard this before) the real threat is a cabal of powerful people who don’t want to give up power.
My recent column about the parallels between a science fiction novel and the Biden White House raised a couple of key questions: How much of what we know “for certain” is just a reflection of dubious assertions we have been told so often that we take them for granted? Assertions that, if not lies, are untested allegations and assumptions that fit a narrative we have been programmed to accept at face value?
In other words, how much of what we know for sure is just wishful thinking (ours, or someone else’s)? Are we living in some kind of mass psychosis that lets us forget about real and present dangers to our nation and our future while we focus on boogeymen?
Think about the situation on our southern border. Even a few short years ago, it would have been unimaginable that the government would allow, and even encourage, millions of foreigners to enter our nation without following the rules, without being vetted, and very possibly without good intentions. Powerful corporations and politicians have turned illegal immigration into an art form, and we are supposed to just nod and go along.
And what about the concerted attack on the First Amendment that was written to guarantee our human rights of free speech, freedom of religion and freedom to assemble? How frightening is it that a moderately dangerous virus like COVID-19 could be used by technocrats and bureaucrats to justify suspending constitutional protections?
But for mass psychosis, you can’t beat the oft-repeated claim that the 2020 presidential election was the “most secure in American history.” That whopper first surfaced on Nov. 12, 2020, less than 10 days following the official election date and well before most of the votes were canvassed and officially recorded, and yet it was parroted by the mainstream media as gospel truth. Twitter said it, so that settles it.
This haughty pronouncement actually wasn’t originated by Twitter, although it’s hard to remember that these days. No, the “secure election” claim was made by the executive committee of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, without any investigation of claims of fraud and without any explanation for how the committee members determined the election to be the “most secure.” Essentially, they were saying: “We run the elections, and you can trust us.”
Remarkably, tens of millions of people bought it. So for the last year, we have been assured that it’s not election fraud that is the real threat to the republic, but rather anyone who questions elections. Forget about the fact that election rules were gutted in 2020, that signature verification and voter ID were thrown out the window, and that ballot harvesting and unregulated drop boxes made it impossible to tell a real ballot from a manufactured one. You would think that would merit a congressional committee looking into voting irregularities. Quite the contrary. Congressional Democrats want to investigate anyone asking questions about it.
Today when you hear about a threat to the republic related to the 2020 election, it’s usually in reference to Donald Trump or the dumb saps who thought they could attack the Capitol with the same impunity that allowed antifa to commit arson, vandalism, and looting in our cities the previous year.
But that just defies common sense.
Does anyone really think that Trump was plotting a coup, but somehow forgot to recruit at least a small part of the military to support him in overthrowing the Constitution? Is Trump really so stupid that he forgot the one basic component of a coup?
As for those dunces who invaded the Capitol and are now charged with seditious conspiracy, can anyone explain how they expected to pull off their putsch when they obediently left all their alleged weapons in a hotel room in Arlington because they didn’t want to violate the District of Columbia’s strict gun laws?
Yeah, makes no sense to me either.
The most plausible scenario I’ve seen for a legitimate “threat to the republic” is a bunch of Democrats plotting first how to steal the election and then blaming the victim who tried to sound the alarm. Remember, they used the same tactic in 2016 when they invented a Trump-Russia connection and then blamed Trump for covering up the fake conspiracy when he denied all the fabricated charges.
The underlying question I have is: Why are people so eager to believe the claim that our election procedures are inviolate and beyond reproach? Don’t they realize that by demonizing anyone who questions an election — calling it an attempted coup in Trump’s case — they are making it that much easier for bad guys to steal elections in the future? And isn’t that a much bigger threat to the republic than anything Trump ever did?
Yet, night after night, the self-righteous pundits on CNN and MSNBC call people like me, who have legitimate questions about the 2020 election, “conspiracy theorists” or worse.
And that brings me back to that apparently all-too-human tendency to believe the best about one’s tribe, one’s nation, one’s political party. How could the best country in the world, with the best Constitution and the most rigorous legal system, possibly be the victim of a plot to steal a presidential election? Outrageous! Ridiculous! Impossible!
Or is it? Maybe not.
It was in Frank Tetler’s fifth-grade social studies class at North Garnerville (N.Y.) Elementary School that I first learned how resistant people can be to questions that put their own certainties to the test.
We were studying the Roman Empire in social studies when Mr. Tetler, one of the best teachers I ever had, asked a question that left me at odds with the rest of my class. Here’s the way I remember Mr. T’s question:
“The Roman Empire, in one form or another, lasted well over 1,000 years. If you throw in the Byzantine Empire, that actually stretches past 2,000 years, from the founding of Rome in 753 B.C. to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. So, here’s my question: How many of you think the United States of America will still be around in 2,000 years?”
Almost all the hands in the room went up. Of course. This was 1965 — smack dab in the middle of “the American century.” Our fathers and grandfathers had beaten the Nazis and the Japs. (Yes, that’s what we called them back then. A few years later, I found out that the vice principal of my high school had been a POW in a Japanese prison camp; he had even worse things to call them.) We were the greatest country in the world. The Declaration of Independence. The Constitution. They were our shield and our weapons. Nothing could beat us. At least that’s before it all went south in Vietnam and a president resigned in disgrace.
Ask the same question in 1975, and you may have gotten a different answer. But this was 1965, so most of us — with the irrational exuberance of youth — were entirely confident that America would thrive for not just one millennium but two, just as we were sure that we would grow up to be rich, happy and very possibly immortal. This was the 20th century, wasn’t it? Anything was possible.
Me on the other hand? I raised my hand when Mr. Tetler asked for those who didn’t think the United States would still be around in 3965. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it probably went something like this (I was opinionated even then!):
“What are you people talking about? Do you have any idea how long 2,000 years is? We’re already one of the oldest nations in the world, and we just started less than 200 years ago. Think of all the disasters that could happen to us that would end our country. Revolution. Disease. War. Maybe we won’t even have countries in 2,000 years. Heck, what is still the same now as it was when Jesus Christ was walking the earth? We may still have a country, but it almost certainly won’t be the same country we have now.”
I convinced no one. People wanted to believe what felt good, what felt comfortable, and that meant everything would continue without disruption into the indefinite future. And if anything came up, we could call in the U.S. Marines. There was no way that the United States and its glorious Constitution could be overturned by anything as simple as a virus or as transparently corrupt as a plot to steal votes, right?
After all, we are the “most secure” republic in the history of the world — especially if no one asks awkward questions.
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Heartland Diary is solely operated by Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. If you enjoy reading these daily essays, I hope you will SUBSCRIBE to www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com by leaving your email address on the home page. Twitter and Facebook may ban me at any time. Also please consider purchasing one of my books. They are available through the following Amazon links. My new book is “What Matters Most: God, Country, Family and Friends” and is a collection of personal essays that transcend politics. My earlier books include “How We Got Here: The Left’s Assault on the Constitution,” “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” and the “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” As an Amazon Associate, I may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases through links on my website.