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Will democracy die in darkness?

By Don Kriefall

All good things must come to an end. In human history, empires rose and empires fell. The Roman Empire fell, not because of marauding armies, but it destroyed itself from within. Its many excesses caused it to weaken, until it could no longer maintain its borders and defend itself from its many enemies.

Today, we find ourselves in a similar situation as the Roman Empire. We are not at war with a foreign enemy, our enemy is within. Today, our excesses have caused the fabric of our society to begin to erode and tear. Today, there are those who take advantage of our constitutionally guaranteed rights to divide society and demonize those with which they disagree. And now, an election, heavily weighted by mail-in ballots, many without the safeguards, such as a proper postmark or a validated signature, necessary to guarantee that all votes cast are legitimate. Half of the country has lost faith in the validity of this election. In order to maintain a constitutional republic, it is imperative that the citizenry have faith in open and honest elections.

In the preliminary vote totals, Joe Biden has been declared the victor by the media and the Democratic Party. President Trump is lambasted for not conceding the election and preventing a peaceful transition of power to occur. Our Constitution guarantees certain rights for the candidates and President Trump is well within his rights to demand that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote discarded. Whether or not there still remains a path to victory is not necessary. The citizenry has the right to understand and trust that our system of elections remains valid, fair and accurate.

President Trump is criticized for causing mistrust of our election system by calling out numerous circumstantial instances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a fair election did not occur. He is doing nothing of the sort, but the mainstream media and the Democratic Party are actually breeding mistrust with their hyperbolic accusations and insistence that there is nothing to see here. Reports of voting irregularities in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Milwaukee have harmed the expectations of a legitimate election by many. A fair and balanced audit of all ballots cast at the polling sites in these cities is essential to determine that the vote was legitimate and accurate to satisfy the nation’s uncertainty and to also add credibility to the winner.

In 2000, the nation waited for Florida to count “dimpled” and “pregnant” chads on ballots before the U.S. Supreme Court put an end to the count and determined that the winner of the election was George W. Bush. We fail to remember that the Democrat-appointed head of the General Services Administration, David Barram, refused to release transition funding until after the Supreme Court finally ruled on the Florida election, over four weeks after the election. “Until the results are clear, and as long as both sides are going to court, the results are not clear yet,” GSA spokeswoman Beth Newberger had insisted. No one questioned the motives at that time. No media outlet cried that a partisan coup was conspiring to obstruct an incoming administration. No one accused either candidate’s litigation as unfounded conspiracy theories.

Our Constitution provides a way to remedy contested elections. It’s time to let cooler heads prevail and let the courts shine the light of truth and determine how this should end. In 2000, we waited until December 12 to decide the election; we can wait again. This great nation need not fall. Evil revels in darkness, let the truth come out into the light. All citizens of the United States deserve no less.

(Don Kriefall is the Washington County Board chairman.)

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