Scary Times - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2049631

Scary Times

In the two years since the last presidential election, the stakes have only gotten higher for elections at every level, from village and town up to county, state and national posts. Meanwhile, inflammatory algorithms, disinformation and media misdirection continue to widen the chasm separating voters’ differing views of America, to the point where it is beginning to look unbridgeable.

This year’s Election Day, though, offers an opportunity for U.S. citizens to take a simple and logical first step in building a bridge across the abyss: If there is any candidate on the ballot who voted not to certify the results of the last presidential election after the breaching of the Capitol, or any candidate who has endorsed or promoted the idea that the election was “stolen,” consider them disqualified and withhold your vote for that candidate.

What’s the logic? Consider the fact that close to half of all U.S. voters recently polled said that they didn’t consider the last presidential election to be legitimate, based solely on the endlessly repeated misrepresentation of an election “stolen” through voter fraud and “irregularities” without a single shred of evidence to support the claim, and despite this accusation being refuted in every judicial and state legislature arena where it was tested.

Having thus undermined Americans’ faith in the electoral process, the current slate of “stolen election” candidates are now asking voters to have faith in the process that they have so vociferously trashed and to come out and cast a vote for them. Of course, should they win, then elections would have to be considered fair and the results should be accepted unequivocally, right? If they lose, though, then what else could anyone expect except a claim that the election was “rigged” and “stolen” and the results are therefore illegitimate?

Logically, by doing their best to poison the well after the last election, they have categorically disqualified themselves from consideration in this one.

Just as no one party is responsible for a crippling worldwide pandemic, or a devastating and globally disruptive war in Ukraine, or the associated painful economic fallout of these, neither can one party, by itself, wave a magic wand and make everything better. The biggest challenges we are facing — global warming, the worldwide refugee and migrant crisis and American gun violence, to name only three — should, and must, unite us if we are to have any hope of gaining ground against them.

Those whose path to power is based on obstruction rather than working together on solutions can only allow problems to get worse. And those who would rise by baselessly casting doubt on the democratic process that made this nation the greatest in the world cannot be countenanced.

Andrew Botsford