Monday, May 17, 2021

Big Liars Tell Big Lies



Much ink and many pixels have been devoted to the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump continues to bellow his Big Lie about a stolen election. Republican legislators insist that “irregularities” must be addressed. And the January 6 attack on the US Capitol in support of Trump’s Big Lie continues to cast a shadow over American democracy. One of the amazing things about this entire “debate” is that it is wholly divorced from reality. Simply put, no credible evidence of any significant fraud in the 2020 election has come to light. Scores of judges—Republican and Democrat—rejected Trump claims of fraud and other electoral misfeasance. Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security found "no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised." (Followed immediately by Trump firing the official who announce that conclusion.) Even Trump’s sycophantic Attorney General, Bill Barr, rejected Trump’s claims.

Nonetheless, the claims persist and are now working their way into legislation that restricts opportunities for citizens to vote.  Georgia, Texas and Arizona hava already enactead new voting restrictions and bills are pending in many other states.  So far no supporter of this legislation has offered credible evidencel that the changes will improve election security or administration.  Apparently speculation and euphemisms are sufficient for making voting for difficult for many Americans and targeting the many volunteers without whom the system would not function at all.

A particularly egregious aspect of the Big Lie is the complete dismissal of the incredible job by election officials and volunteers throughout the nation in 2020.  In the spring of last year, in the middle of the presidential primaries, election administrators were suddenly confronted with managing large gatherings of voters in confined spaces and keeping everything everything sanitized to prevent transmitting a deadly virus with which the country had little familiarity.  Not surprisingly, some states did better than others.  At the time the media was rife witconcern about whether the country could hold and election in the midst of a dire public health threat.  Some wondered if the election would have to be postponed.  In the end, state and local officials, assisted by dedicated volunteers pulled off what all credible sources agree was a well-run, high turnout election in a very uncertain environment.

The Big Liars would have us believe otherwise.