SCOTT DREYER: The Mission Critical Importance of Election Integrity

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it (….)  -I Corinthians 12:26a

Based on our interests and jobs, we all focus on different things. A mechanic likes to get his hands on parts and fix them. A doctor likes to meet patients and heal them. As a trilingual speaker and language teacher, I like words.

That is why a headline from a New York Times article caught my eye this week: Trump Asked Pennsylvania House Speaker About Overturning His Loss.

Did you notice the pronoun “His?” Headlines can be powerful and frame a story, even for those who never read the actual article. Do you catch the drift of the NYT using that pronoun? They are framing the election as “his” loss, in order to personalize it, as if this entire election is “only about Donald Trump.” By personalizing it, not only do they make the election look small, but they make Trump look small and petty as a “sore loser” by not accepting defeat. 

This is nothing new. A few years ago I saw an article entitled “Will Trump get his wall?” There it is again: “his.” That article did not view a border wall as a part of enhanced national security or immigration safety. It portrayed it as only “Trump’s wall,” his personal toy and project.

This thinking is taking root, since the media has such a pervasive influence in our culture. Over the past month we’ve seen reports of alleged voter fraud, election laws changed at the last minute, inexplicable dead-of-night “vote dumps,” etc.,  When President Trump and his legal team go to court–which of course is their right as American citizens to seek redress when they think they have been wronged–some people dismiss it as “sore loser” or “it’s just Trump and his cronies who want to cling to power.”

However, that thinking is wrong.

  • President Trump won over 74 million popular votes this election. That is a whopping 11 million more than his 62.9 million in 2016. For a reference, 74 million is greater than the population of Thailand, the United Kingdom, or France. For those 74 million voters, this is not about “his” loss. 
  • This week the US Supreme Court has on the docket a case from the State of Texas alleging that last-minute, unconstitutional changes to voting procedures in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin were unfair to all the rest of the states that followed their legal voting procedures. Within a matter of days, 18 other states have supported Texas’ suit, claiming the results from those four states are tainted because their voting changes were illegal. Those states are:  Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Arizona.  All signed on to the brief that backs the Texas suit. Note the geographic diversity of those states, and these 19 states represent 36% of the 50 US states– over one-third. For that one-third of our states seeking redress at the US Supreme Court, this is not about “his” loss.
  • I have heard poll results claiming 39% of the American population think the election was fraudulent. Since the US has some 330 million residents, 39% is a massive number: some 128 million. Our system of a democratic republic works for one reason only: “We the People” believe in the system and make it work. Since so many Americans are skeptical about the election results–and some are white-hot furious–the legal system needs to play out and be seen as fair and transparent.
  • For Biden supporters who obviously wish him well, would they want him to start an administration with some half of the country doubting or even resisting his legitimacy? Besides, all Americans should be concerned about election integrity. Over the past years, I think many Democrats and Republicans have been upset by what we see as an “out of touch, unresponsive” political elite. If politicians can truly buy and rig elections easily, we can expect to see our leaders even more unresponsive since they don’t really need votes. That, God forbid, would mean the end of our free country and individual liberties. 

Issues involving free, transparent elections involve us all, and our future, unborn generations to follow. Once a country loses its liberty, it’s almost impossible to get it back. 

The results of Election 2020 are not about one person; they involve us all. 

Scott Dreyer in his classroom.

– Scott Dreyer

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