If not democracy, then what?
If elections are no longer valid, what is the alternative?
The answer has always been, force and violence.
Our democracy was founded on the unique premise that everyone has the right to vote. The right to have their voice heard. And once done and the votes were counted, one person was declared the winner.
The other graciously conceded and power was peacefully transferred.
Didn’t agree with the results?
Go ahead and pursue all your legal options.
But once exhausted. Once the courts had spoken, we always honored the decision.
That’s how a just judicial system works.
We all agree to abide by the ruling.
That’s what All Gore did when the Supreme Court ended Florida’s recount in the 2000 presidential race. It meant he had lost that state’s electoral votes by a controversial 543 ballots, because of “hanging chads.” It’s a story Hollywood couldn’t have made up. But based on that craziness a president was chosen.
Gore didn’t claim fraud.
He didn’t claim the election was stolen.
That’s what our breathtaking democracy is all about.
Honoring the results and peacefully transferring power.
Now there are sizable groups, a large contingency running in Arizona alone, denying the results of the 2020 election. But they don’t deny races where the candidate they wanted won.
Only the ones they lost.
How can an election be stolen when a senator’s win is legitimate but the same ballot for governor, isn’t?
And if you make it clear you’ll accept the results only if you win, as Keri Lake has stated, then you’re saying, it’s fair if you win and fraudulent if you don’t?
Before the votes are even cast?
That’s not how democracy works.
The only forgone conclusions in an election are those run by autocrats where the opposing party either doesn’t exist or is a sham with no chance of winning.
Is that what we want?
If we no longer want open, fair and honest elections where every voice is heard, and anyone can win, then what do we want?
Because right now we are about to make that decision. We are about to decide in this state who will have the power to choose our winners.
A handful of State legislators or the people?
It was only the integrity, honor and adherence to the constitution of the United States of America by both democrats and republicans-Governor Ducey included- that the properly elected winners of the electoral college were certified and presented to Congress.
Mark finchem is running for Arizonas Secretary of State. He has made it clear if elected he will not honor the will of the people if he doesn’t agree with the results.
Wisconsin republican candidate for Governor has promised voters,
“Republicans will never lose another election after I’m elected Governor.”
Once we abdicate our rights, how will we ever get it back?
If not democracy… then what?
We all know the answer.
Force and violence reigns. Lies and disinformation become fact.
By destroying confidence in law enforcement, the courts and encouraging harm, death or destruction to the people you parade as the problem, you’re making it clear democracy isn’t what you want.
It’s violence and taking by force what you couldn’t earn.
Where civil discourse and political disagreements no longer exist. Instead your opponent is vilified, called a traitor and a bulls eye is put on their head, sending a clear message – kill the enemy.
Where an 82 year old man is dragged from his bed at 2:30 AM and his skull smashed in with a hammer by someone coaxed, agitated and riled up by lies spewed on social media and political figures who told him speaker Pelosi is the enemy. When she wasn’t available, he attacked her unarmed 82 year old husband.
Then, despicably, the wealthiest man on Earth, the recent owner of one of the most powerful social networks in the world- Elon Musk at Twitter- retweeted blatant lies claiming Mr. Pelosi was involved in his own attack!
Keri Lake, the woman running for governor of Arizona made jokes about the brutal home invasion.
Donald Trump Jr. sent deplorable tweets and pictures, one with a hammer hanging from a belt loop on a pair of pants that read- “open carry in San Francisco.”
Donald trip claimed the man was trying to “break out not in,” adding ominously there was more to the story. The San Francisco police immediately refuted these lies with factual statements from the attackers own words and actions.
Two days before the attack, chairman of the NRCC, National Republican Congressional Committee, house representative Tom Emmer, tweeted a video showing him shooting at a gun range while running #firePelosi in the foreground. It’s still on Twitter.
This is how you feed the frenzy and encourage the monster.
Repeat elections are rigged, before they’re held, no matter the outcome.
Make it clear elections don’t work.
Incite rage and hatred by claiming the country’s problems are due to those who look or think differently than you.
Terrorize, attack and lie about anything and anyone.
As history has taught us far too often- scapegoats are picked and pointed to as the source for all our ills. Hatred is focused and violence erupts.
That’s how demagogues are born, and democracies end.
As Martin Niemoller so poignantly wrote in his Holocaust poem,
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
If not democracy… then what?