Barring some bombshell, expect Joe Biden to be elected President of the United States on Monday, December 14, when the Electoral College meets.
We all know that President Trump is crying fraud and trying to get the powers that be to overturn the popular vote. Indeed, a popular vote can be overturned in many ways, per our Constitution. But Trump has failed to muster the firepower necessary to make that happen.
Remember that we live in a republic, not a democracy. In a democracy, the people vote on laws. In a republic, people elect representatives who vote on laws. There’s a difference.
We should all be glad we live in a republic, not a democracy. Trying to use mass votes to run a country is a recipe for disaster. For one thing, voting is often ripe with fraud.
That’s why our founding fathers set up the Electoral College. It creates a check and balance to direct elections.
To be sure, as confidence in mass elections has increased over the years, our Electoral College now relies on the popular vote to make their decision. But the ultimate call is still made by the Electoral College.
The Electoral College itself has checks and balances. State legislatures ultimately control the electors. Current law allows the electors to vote based on the popular election results, but the state legislators have the ability to rescind that power.
Many other institutions are involved in certifying and validating a Presidential election: state judges, federal judges, state representatives, state senators, governors, secretaries of state and Congressmen.
The United States is one of the oldest surviving republics in the world. There is a reason for that. Our Constitution is rock solid. Our founding fathers anticipated Presidential election disputes. There is an elaborate process to ensure stability and accountability.
No doubt there is fraud in every election just as every man is full of sin. Who hasn’t heard of “get out the vote money”? Indeed, ballot harvesting is legal in 26 states. (This needs to change.)
Over the years, our elections, like everything else, have improved and advanced. Still, a low level of fraud remains. This fraud surely increased in this election because of the expanded mail in voting due to COVID.
Trump would have us believe this fraud cost him the election. Maybe so. And you can bet if the Democrats out “ballot harvested’ the Republicans this election, the Republicans will be trying to turn that around in four years. Such is the nature of politics.
There are two reasons Trump has failed in overturning the popular result: First, the evidence of massive fraud was too weak. Second, he didn’t have the support of the powers that be to make it happen.
Judges, governors, Congressmen and state legislators have the power to overturn the popular vote, but they are not willing to go down that road for Trump.
Why? For one thing, Congressmen and state legislators are elected themselves. It would be bad politics to infuriate millions of voters. This is true of both Democrats and Republicans.
Trump just didn’t have the political capital to make this happen on run-of-the-mill election fraud evidence.
Most losers in Presidential elections understand this and concede, saving the country time, effort, money and angst. But not Trump. He has every right to sing “My Way” on his birthday, but that’s not going to change the rock solid stability of our nation’s election process.
So what are we to make of all the wild accusations of fraud posted to the Internet? As a journalist for decades, I am used to wild accusations. The main thing journalists do is vet wild rumors from real news.
In the days of traditional mass media, such rumors were vetted early by professional journalists and never gained mass media traction. The Internet changed all that. Any blogger with a smartphone can post whatever.
This is fine if the reader has the necessary skills to be a skeptic editor. Unfortunately, most people don’t but think they do. Mass distribution of outlandish rumors is a direct result of the fact our nation now has half the number of professional journalists compared to 20 years ago. That’s a tragedy.
In addition, the targeted nature of ad tracking promotes “splinter media” instead of “mass media,” further amplifying the crazy rumors in the echo chambers.