To the editor
In public discourse there are times when what is not said is significantly more revealing than the arguments that are presented. In his January 30, 2021 Guest Column Tom West expresses concern about a loss of voters’ trust in the election process. He then lists a number of steps that require investigation and action to improve the electoral process in order to increase the publics’ trust. While I do not doubt the merit of the suggestions, I question the notion that had these electoral improvements been in place prior to the 2020 election, a peaceful transfer of power would have proceeded as it had 44 times in the past. The reality is that all of those improvements could have been in place and the post-election events would have unfolded exactly as it did.
For months prior to the election, Donald Trump signaled that a Trump win would point to a successful and credible election, but that a Trump defeat would indicate massive voter fraud. This is and was The Big Lie of 2020 and to simply ignore when talking about voters’ trust of an election is unacceptable. Fifty states certified their election results, several states doing so only after multiple recounts and all states doing so under intense scrutiny and observation. Trump campaign and allies lawsuits failed in 61 out of 62 election fraud cases, some due to a lack of standing but others due to a lack of credible evidence. Trump’s Attorney General William Barr instigated a DOJ investigation and confirmed at its conclusion that there was no evidence of widespread fraud. The Republican Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell stated “this election was not unusually close. “ Yet Donald Trump insists that he won in a landslide, and millions of people believe him.
No election will be perfect, and all electoral processes should be continually scrutinized and improved. However, to ignore the destructive influence of a powerful demagogue whose character simply could not accept electoral defeat is like hosting a cocktail gathering and insisting that everyone continue polite party talk while a boa constrictor circles the room.
Mary Katherine Mahoney