To Heal, We Must Stop Hating
It is both too soon and too late to pile onto Donald Trump.
It is too soon to revisit every warning sign, to dissect every falsehood. Right now our country needs healing more than recrimination. We cannot heal wounds by ripping off scabs with critiques, especially self-righteous ones.
It is too late because Trump’s damage to our country is done, though fading fast. After Jan. 20, Trump will be just another private citizen, no more or less believable than any other American, including those of us who write articles like this one.
But I know one thing right now. I will never vote for Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley or Glenn Thompson.
Cruz of Texas and Hawley of Oklahoma, both senators, are 2024 presidential wannabes who, like Trump, will say and do whatever gulls people into voting for them.
Thompson, supposedly one of us, our area’s Congressman, took Texas’ side against Pennsylvania in a stupid and untruthful lawsuit that was based on made-up allegations of massive election fraud in Pennsylvania.
The three of them tried to throw my vote into the ash can. They tried to throw away your vote, too, and the votes of seven million Pennsylvanians, whether for Trump or for Joe Biden.
Why? For the political equivalent of parking-ticket violations.
“This is not a fraud case,” admitted Rudy Giuliani, the lawyer/fabulator who tried to get a federal court to throw out all of Pennsylvania’s votes over hogwash.
In court, Giuliani and other lawyers are subject to ethics rules. Lie to a judge’s face, and lose your law license.
They did their lying outside the courtrooms. In press conferences, Giuliani and other mouthpieces screamed “Fraud!” — and Americans believed them. We have been stung by our government’s lurches toward socialism and its corruption. We yearn for someone, anyone to set our country aright. Some of us believed them, because, after all, they are lawyers — to the shame of that profession.
But in court, their tunes changed.
Giuliani shouted about “widespread, nationwide fraud” in the Nov. 3 election. Then when the judge asked him point-blank, Giuliani admitted his lie: “This is not a fraud case.” His admission is on the record. But the damage was done. Those of us who want change, who need change, who fear for our country’s future, grasped at his straw men.
Why did 50 or 60 election fraud cases get thrown out of court? It was not because the evidence was not strong. It was because there is no evidence of widespread fraud.
See what the judge said in a Bucks County case: “The parties specifically stipulated … that there exists no evidence of any fraud, misconduct, or any impropriety with respect to the challenged ballots. There is nothing in the record and nothing alleged that would lead to the conclusion that any of the challenged ballots were submitted by someone not qualified or entitled to vote in this election.”
“The parties … stipulated.” That translates into “The lawyers admitted.”
What did happen? In an emergency reaction to the COVID pandemic, Pennsylvania’s governor overreached, Pennsylvania’s Legislature got too stiff-necked and Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court played petty politics.
The result? Petty fraud, not widespread fraud.
In Pennsylvania, one man tried to vote illegally using a mail-in ballot in the name of his dead mother. One.
The other “illegal” votes? Parking-ticket level. Mail-in ballots of some legal, registered voters arrived after the statutory deadline, and Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court said, “Count them anyway” because voters feared in-person voting could sicken them with COVID.
The voters had the right to vote. The voters voted properly. The ballots were late, in a year when people were deathly ill, postal effectiveness had been slashed and a new voting tactic was being tried for the first time.
The “harm” is the equivalent of a district justice saying, “You got a parking ticket, but your broken leg is in a cast so you didn’t feed the meter. This time, I’m going to tear up the parking ticket.”
THAT is the significance of most of the “widespread voter fraud” in Pennsylvania that “stole” the election for President away from Trump — but wonder of wonders, Thompson thinks that his re-election on the SAME ballots was totally correct.
Can’t have it both ways.
Was there any fraud in Pennsylvania? Of course. Philadelphia is still part of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has the Schuylkill River. Philadelphia has election fraud. Both are endemic, natural, limited, and were not significant in statewide races last year.
Members of my family and friends of mine support President Trump and voted for him. Great. Some cited abortion. Good for them. Some cited fear of socialism. Totally legitimate. Some cited Democrat Joe Biden’s age. Fine. Some cited Kamala Harris’s gender or ethnicity. Shame on them, but though that is reprehensible, it is still reasonable in a warped way.
Blind hatred of all Democrats, though? Hatred of our neighbors? Our fellow churchgoers, fellow grocery shoppers?
We ought to be better than that, just as left-wing wacko Democrats ought to stop short of hating Republicans simply for having supported Trump.
The rioters who stormed the Capitol? They are un-American. But that is a whole other issue. Today, it is still too soon to pick at that scab.
And, sadly, it is too late to step back from Trump. He did his damage. On Jan. 6 at the Capitol, we saw the results.
Too soon for this. Too late for that.
But it is the right time for one thing. It is time to stop hating our fellow Americans just because we disagree about politics.
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Denny Bonavita is a former editor at newspapers in DuBois and Warren. He lives near Brookville. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.