Election integrity is vital to the survival of our Constitutional Republic. The lynchpin to the peaceful transition of power in the United States is confidence in our elections and faith in our institutions. One side will always be unhappy with the results, but if the results are construed to be fair, then the losing side has historically used each defeat to redouble their efforts and renew their party for the next election. Until recently, the winning side would be magnanimous in victory and extend a hand to the losing side to pledge cooperation. Hence, power has shifted relatively peacefully back and forth for over two centuries.
Politics is rough, too often ruthless, and inevitably emotional, but at some point politics must give way to governing after the election. Unlike dedicated or obsessed partisans, average Americans eschew rank partisanship and prefer a modicum of unity for at least a respite between elections. At some point, the people want their elected officials to be Americans and not just Democrats or Republicans. It now seems the campaigns never cease, and we must endure perpetual election seasons as each side strives not just to defeat the other but rather wipe them from the political landscape.
There are very strong feelings on both sides of the 2020 election, but neither have been well served by the conspicuous mishandling of the election, its aftermath, and any analysis or investigations by state governments or federal agencies. Biden supporters chafe at the suggestion Biden was not legitimately elected, and Trump supporters remain convinced the election was stolen, so no one is content or happy. Americans are more polarized than any time in our history except probably the Civil War. That is extremely deleterious to an enormous diverse dynamic nation.
The problem is that in the big picture regardless of which side you are on our country is suffering a gross loss of confidence in our elections and faith in our institutions. Those are the ingredients for the recipe to dismantle our Constitutional Republic. And sadly, that is exactly what too many in our ruling elite of both parties desire.
This is hard to hear for both sides, but the preservation of our Constitutional Republic is more important than who won. The tragedy for Americans is that our elected leaders in both parties do not recognize the grave threat or refuse to face it. Protecting the sanctity of our Republic should take precedence over any partisan goals.
Our elected leaders have abjectly failed the American people. Simply dismissing the genuine concerns of half the people and leaving the other half with nothing to cling to is a gross dereliction of duty. They are happy to continue the perpetual political bickering, but Americans just want fair adjudication and resolution.
When it became obvious the electorate was radically polarized, leaders of both parties should have mobilized to settle the issue. Why did they not come together to form truly bipartisan commissions to investigate the election and the events of 6 January?
There are still myriad allegations and investigations into the 2020 election, but the Congress shirked their Constitutional duty to assure the people we had a fair election. Republicans were very unhappy with the 2012 reelection of Obama and many Democrats declared the 2016 election of Trump as illegitimate, but both sides eventually accepted it (the Russian Hoax not withstanding). The Congress should have conducted a truly bipartisan audit and opened the books to the people not to select the winner but to show the public they had indeed scrutinized and verified the results of a highly controversial election.
Again, this will aggravate loyal supporters of Biden and Trump, but it really doesn’t matter who won if half the American people no longer trust our institutions. Our Constitutional Republic is much bigger than any individual, even a president. Like a bad call in football that seemingly affected the outcome of the game, when the time runs out, it’s over. The game goes into the record books and can’t be reversed. At this point, even if irrefutable evidence shows Trump won, we have no mechanism to reverse the election and no leaders with any conviction or idea on how to revisit the issue.
We have to move forward with the priority being that our state and federal governments are committed to election integrity. The opportunity to guarantee the results of the 2020 election has been missed, but that does not mean we should dismiss the earnest misgivings of half the voters, but rather acknowledge their concerns and work to assure all Americans our elections will be fair and free.
The persistent partisan sniping and one sided show trials are unhelpful and unserious. Acute partisans revel in the acrimony and the power hungry exploit it, but most average Americans find it quite tedious. They may have distinct opinions about the 2020 election, but at the end of the day they want to believe our Constitutional Republic is still healthy and viable. The 2020 election will be forever debated, but ultimately the continuance of our country is more important. Elected officials of both parties must come together to assure election integrity going forward. We The People demand it!
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings, and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly, and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8 pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at fmtalk1065.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on MEWE @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at http://www.renewamerica.com/.© Pete Riehm
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.