No one could seriously state that 2020 has not been a year of endless surprises. We underwent a grueling election and are experiencing an unthinkable series of COVID-19 cases. In the old expression our world “has turned upside down.” So it could be argued we could use a break from more upheaval and drama. It could be argued but not everyone follows the thought.
After what is truthfully a decisive win by Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger, some Americans, including some elected Republican officials, encouraged by the president who to this point has refused to concede, continue to refuse to admit that the president lost.
There are many explanations given for this extremely odd if not unheard of turn of events. One I heard was that, if the president refuses to concede, then the upcoming Georgia runoff election will be impacted positively. It seems a score in the electoral college of 306 to 232 does not matter in determining who won the presidency. Honestly I cannot see how a refusal to concede could help the Georgia race for Senate in January although maybe someone does. The other “fact” that is treated as irrelevant is that truth matters and it makes a difference. It is true the president has the right to challenge results and to file court cases assuming they could realistically impact results. Here, however, no realistic argument even on voter fraud would conceivably change the results. The numbers are too high. The “fraud” would have to be too extreme. In the words of John Bolton, a Republican and former National Security Advisor, who I would not ordinarily quote, “the arguments that Trump and his campaign are making on the conspiracy to deny him reelection is this conspiracy is so vast and so successful that apparently there’s no evidence of it.”
Judges in Pennsylvania and in other states have turned away multiple cases challenging the results. Attorneys, recognizing their license to practice could be at risk if they lie conceded, one of them stating he had “no evidence of fraud” qualifying it by saying “at this time.”
The statement made last Thursday by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a government agency signed into law by Donald Trump in 2018, was “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised.”
On the other hand an unnamed “senior Republican official” was quoted as saying “What is the downside for humoring <the president> for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change…He went golfing this weekend. Those lawsuits will fail, then he’ll tweet some more how the election was stolen and then he’ll leave…” Apparently demonstrators in Washington, DC this past weekend did not see it this way.
In the meanwhile the truth is we do have real problems with over 11 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and over 246,000 deaths that go unaddressed. Think of this when dealing with truth. Suppose when you set your clock, time was inconsistent from one nearby location to another. Suppose when you listen to the weather report the weather person reports “the weather is whatever you want it to be.” When considering work in the sciences how disruptive would it be if routine algorithms were modified, if counter indications for taking certain medications were changed, if everything you depended on for real information every day were suddenly suspect.
Finally, suppose this reasoning were transposed to the world of sports. This year the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the World Series defeated the Tampa Bay Rays. Their last win was in 1988, 32 years ago. Corey Seager was named MVP with two home runs, five runs batted in and an on-base percentage of .556. It was the first time the Dodgers won the World Series in 32 years. Suppose unhappy sports commentators in Florida reported the game as being thrown to LA or claimed the scoreboard was rigged. Suppose for weeks or more they refused to accept the results. I suspect that in the world of sports which we sometimes take more seriously than the regular day to day world, there would be outrage. Today, let’s agree to the truth.
Esquire, Colliton Law Associates, P.C. Janet Colliton has practiced law for over 38 years, 37 of them in Chester County, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Her practice, Colliton Law Associates, PC, is limited to elder law, Medicaid, including advice, applications and appeals, and other benefits planning including Veterans benefits, life care and special needs planning, guardianships, retirement, and estate planning and administration.