Letter: Why 'The Big Lie' is a big problem for Democracy

Posted 12/15/21

To the editor:

Why are we still talking about last year’s election?  Let’s get real, folks. The 2020 Presidential election had a clear winner, Joe Biden. He won the popular vote, …

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Letter: Why 'The Big Lie' is a big problem for Democracy

Posted

To the editor:

Why are we still talking about last year’s election?  Let’s get real, folks. The 2020 Presidential election had a clear winner, Joe Biden. He won the popular vote, and he won the Electoral College vote. To believe otherwise is to believe that the elections of all the victorious members of the House and the Senate were fraudulent, too. Is it not remotely possible that some vast conspiracy “stole” the election just from Trump and from no others running for lesser offices on the same ballots. (To remind: all 435 House seats were up for election in November of 2020, along with 1/3 of the 100 Senate seats, as required by our Constitution.)

It is sad and astounding that two-thirds of Republicans, whether they voted or not, believe what is now popularly called “The Big Lie” — that the election was stolen from Trump by fraudulent means. Even Trump’s attorney general could find no, repeat no, evidence of election fraud. Further, many recounts in several states have re-certified the election results. It is idiotic to believe that tens of thousands of volunteer election workers, election officials, and poll watchers across our nation conspired to steal that election.

Early voting, mail-in ballots, and secure drop-off locations have been called into question, despite being legal and used without problems for many, many election cycles. Voting machines that have paper trails have been called suspect without any fact-based evidence at all. In fact, one can assume that Biden’s margin of victory would have been greater, had the GOP not shuttered many polling places, creating long lines in many locations intended to demoralize potential voters.  

Yet, The Big Lie persists, so much so that any Democrat who wins a future election for any office will be vilified as illegitimate by the GOP. This state of the union, friends, is dangerous and untenable for our democracy. Worse, a large percentage of the Republican rank-and-file are led to believe that violence is a justified way to re-establish GOP ascendency. Their fear of political opponents is matched only by their leaders’ loathing and by their own gullibility. When will these fellow Americans come to their senses and realize that their “leaders” are corrupt, venal authoritarians without a program for America and without a care in the world for their followers? Our future depends on freedom of thought, not freedom to mindlessly follow the Trump-alike liars and grifters who lead today’s GOP.

Will Newman

Tiverton

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.