Letter: Erosion of trust undercuts our Democracy

Posted 1/20/21

To the editor:

America is facing a deficit far more critical that its sky-rocketing fiscal deficit or even its vaccine deficit. We are experiencing a trust deficit which threatens the very …

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Letter: Erosion of trust undercuts our Democracy

Posted

To the editor:

America is facing a deficit far more critical that its sky-rocketing fiscal deficit or even its vaccine deficit. We are experiencing a trust deficit which threatens the very existence of the republic.

180 years ago Alexis de Tocqueville noted that mankind would never be free from dogma which he defined as “to entertain some opinions on trust and without discussion.” That is we believe it because THEY said it.

For more than 240 years this country has survived and thrived because we have had some level of trust in our public institutions.

None of us has the time or energy to personally count the votes in any given state; we depend on others to do it correctly and give an accurate result. In Georgia, elected officials chosen by the people counted the votes in that state not once but three times. They compared the machine count with the manual hand ballot count and found the totals virtually identical, and declared that the candidate they had voted for had lost.

Not accepting these sorts of outcomes in a number of states, those who didn't like the outcome brought more than 60 claims to courts across the country. In all but one inconsequential decision these judges looked at the facts, that we don't have time to look at, and found no evidence of voter fraud.

So the THEY we have depended upon for more than two centuries, our publicly elected officials, have determined the results of the election and the courts, in essentially every case, have upheld their judgement.

It is, of course, reasonable and, in fact, our responsibility to question those institutions if there is some basis in fact for doing so. But if you are going to do that then the questions you should be asking yourself is who is the THEY you are listening to, what are their credentials, where did they get their facts, do they have skin in this particular game? Disgruntled politicians who don't like the results of an election and their anonymous Internet enablers don't meet any of these criteria.

Totalitarian regimes come to power and maintain power through the erosion of trust; Democracy cannot survive without it.

Geoffrey Berg
26 Brownell St.

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