At last! The Cyber Ninjas long audit has confirmed not only that Joe Biden won the election, but it suggests that he won by more votes than previously counted. So we might wonder now, after 60 court cases and countless recounts, how much longer will this counterproductive and costly effort to overturn the 2020 election continue?
We have other pressing concerns. For example, which state might overtake Mississippi as second only to Peru for its Covid death rate? Alabama seems to have hit that mark, and time is of the essence.
With so much at stake, from Covid to climate change, disasters of virtually every variety, spiraling crime rates, and toxic politics, it is hardly any wonder that we might long for an escape to the good old days. Ted Koppel recently joined a group of tourists on a bus at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Appreciative of the values that made America great in the 1970s, they were headed to Mayberry.
They may not have expected Ted Koppel, but they seemed to appreciate this opportunity to appear on CBS Sunday Morning and voice their concerns. First asked how many thought our 2020 election was fair, just two hands went up. And there was broad consensus with the comment that followed: “Fair? By no means. There was a lot of voter fraud.”
And then this observation: “People had been dead 15 years, and there was a mail-in ballot. You don’t know how many were duplicated, triplicated, the whole bit – or how many dead people voted for Biden.”
It could be helpful to be aware of the outcomes of scores of audits, recounts and court decisions, and the fact that there is virtually no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could possibly have changed the results of our 2020 election. No bamboo dust, no machines or ballots from Singapore, no mail-ins from thousands of dead voters.
Moving on to January 6, emotions ran high, and we were advised: “There were truckloads of people bused in. It was all staged. They showed on the news that all these vehicles were coming in with Black Lives Matter people. It’s a disgrace on our country.”
But President Trump seemed pleased with the crowd. Suggesting that he would walk with them to the Capitol, he told them, “We’ll fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
One gentleman implicated Donald Trump in the insurrection. Then we heard: “I don’t know why they’re so focused upon this when there are so many cities burned down every day by protestors.”
Burned down cities? The Lake Street neighborhood in Minneapolis suffered the most damage following George Floyd’s death, but only the residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma came close to burning down a city. The homes and businesses of black residents of the Greenwood neighborhood were all burned to the ground. But that was in 1921. Nothing to match that since.
Then another gentleman added: “They want to murder and kill everyone who was there. We don’t even watch news on TV anymore. We don’t feel like we’re being told the truth. We find our truth in other ways. I won’t say what those other ways are.”
We all know that physically attacking or harming a person or property is a chargeable offense, but the death penalty is not a likely option for demonstrators convicted of crimes and misdemeanors.
Having arrived at their destination, the conversation ended with this concern: “I just hope where this airs it won’t show Southerners as a bunch of dumb idiots. We have a lot of love in our hearts.”
The opinions offered were not challenged by Mr. Koppel. Political differences can be difficult to overcome when partisan isolation magnifies these differences and leaves us vulnerable to misinformation. The findings of the Arizona audit will hopefully move some of us in a positive direction, despite the persistence of fallacious claims.
Our better angels must prevail. Aunt Bea and Sheriff Andy would have listened patiently, reminded us that vaccine mandates have been saving lives since 1905 and that our free press and fair and free elections are core rights and principles essential for the maintenance of a functioning democracy. Then they would have wished us luck and advised us that the choice is ours.