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Standing our ground on the vote for president

How can an election be stolen? Let me count the ways. Here are 10 to start with.

1. Assume fraud in the election process – President Trump continues to infuse the anticipation of voter fraud into the conversation to prime us for his possible loss. A recent discovery of some discarded ballots in Luzerne County, Pa., was seized upon and blown out of proportion by Trump and his White House spokesperson, who told reporters “I can confirm for you that Trump ballots, ballots for the president, were found in Pennsylvania.” Undoubtedly, small mistakes will be made due to human error, and this has all the signs of being a simple mistake; far from proof that the Democrats, ironically, are trying to steal the election.

2. Discourage voting by mail – Trump says he wants to “get rid of the ballots.” In the interest of voter safety because of the pandemic, most states are allowing voters to request a mail-in ballot unconditionally. Some states have already been using a universal mail-in system successfully. There is no evidence that voting by mail — no matter what it is called- leads to widespread fraud and safeguards apply regardless of what the Trump girls say.

3. Undermine the USPS – As if Trump hasn’t spread enough fear about mail-in voter fraud, he is deploying another tactic to sow distrust about the ability of the USPS to deliver ballots timely. In addition, he has taken concrete steps to actually hamper that ability by getting sycophant Louis DeJoy appointed as postmaster general, who immediately began to take a wrecking ball to the efficiency of the Postal Service.

4. Take advantage of unbalanced election districts and the antiquated electoral college system – Any doubts or mistrust brought into the campaign will automatically lean in the favor of the Republican since the Republican party has been engineering gerrymandered districts for quite some time now.

5. Bogus “Trumped up” investigations – Then there are the so-called investigations by Republicans in congress to discredit Joe Biden or his family members. Senator Ron Johnson recently led a probe which concluded with him admitting that no substantial evidence was found of any wrongdoing. That does not stop the suggestions, exaggerations and conspiracy theories, however, that Trumpers thrive on.

6. Stack the Supreme Court – Trump and Mitch McConnell are rushing through the life appointment of a successor to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg so that she will be a vote in favor of Trump when he drops his planned contest of the election legitimacy in the Supreme Court’s lap. This is a very questionable move since it was McConnell’s decision to block Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland with 11 months remaining in his term as president. We are now currently in the midst of the election, with many absentee ballots already being submitted. Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, summed it up; “A 6th GOP justice, nominated by an impeached president who lost the popular vote by 3 million, confirmed by GOP senators representing 15 million fewer Americans than their democratic colleagues, after Obama’s pick couldn’t even get a vote.”

7. Welcome foreign interference – Our intelligence officials have been setting off alarms which are being ignored by Trump’s White House. A bipartisan report just released found that the 2016 Trump campaign had much more interaction with Russian government agents than was previously known, and that their involvement continues unabated. Trump frequently echoes Russian inspired propaganda in his rallies and tweets, and Fox News acts as an amplifier. Suspiciously, the Trump appointed DOI is no longer briefing congress in person, which limits our representatives’ access to information on acts of outside interference.

8. Refuse to scientifically manage a pandemic – This couldn’t have been planned by anyone, but its occurrence is a timely one for Trump who can figure out how to use anything to his own advantage. Journalist Bob Woodward has made public tapes which he used for his new book that prove that Trump knew how deadly the virus was as early as January, and that it is a highly contagious airborne spreader. We are currently at only 10% with over 206,000 deaths, with a disproportionate number being poor and minorities, most likely Democratic voters.

9. Lie – It goes without saying that politics is not always transparent and completely truthful, but Trump is in a league all his own when it comes to this. He follows the dictum that anything repeated enough times will be believed, and the simpler the soundbite, the easier it is to remember. Fact checkers continue to compile how many lies he has told and during his presidency alone he has made over 20,000 verified false claims.

10. Simply refuse to leave office – The primal cause for us to worry about our democracy being stolen from us is that we now have a president who wants to preside for life. He has floated the idea publicly more than once. His adoration of autocrats, and his breaking of alliances with other democratic countries show where his ambitions lie. He has no concept of service, he calls our military losers and suckers. Investigative reporters have finally uncovered many of his tax returns, revealing that he has definitely not paid his fair share of taxes to support the government, which includes the military.

Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Trump showed us who he was as soon as he took the podium at the bottom of his escalator ride. Biden said that the choice of who will become president is in the hands of the American people. The choice is more than that. It is a choice between preserving our democratic republic with the opportunity to work to improve it, and just letting autocracy take over.

Susan Bigler is a Sheridan resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com

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