In the United States, we have midterm elections coming up. Many people
aren’t interested in politics, or feel there is nobody worthwhile to vote
for. If you’re an American inclined to skip voting in these midterms, I’d
appreciate it if you read this appeal.
The United States is a stable democratic republic, and one of the luxuries of
living in such a system is that many of us can mostly ignore its politics. There is
a lot of intense noise in the party-political process, but the system
contains guard-rails that keep that noise spilling into the everyday life of
family, work, and recreation. But a cancer has taken hold within the
American political system that’s threatening those guard rails, undermining
the peaceful electoral process. This will lead to more instability in the
coming years, interfering with the lives of those who’d rather not pay
attention to party-political causes. Voting against that cancer will help
reduce its virulence.
This cancer is the fiction that there was significant election interference in the 2020 elections that caused
former President Trump to lose. The evidence that the 2020 elections did not
have any material problems is overwhelming. Trump’s allies launched 63 lawsuits contesting the election, none of which
made appreciable progress. Senior members of Trump’s administration, and
leaders of his campaign, testified to congress
that there was no evidence of fraud in the election. These were people appointed
by Trump, who had served him loyally during his presidency.
Despite this, a now-dominant faction of the Republican party continue to
claim fraud in the 2020 elections, a lie that undermines the effective
working of future elections. A worryingly large proportion of Americans
believe this lie, causing growing fissures in American society. An elected
Republic like ours works because disagreements about how we want to live can
be contested in a peaceful, contained environment. Elections regularly
decide the outcome. If trust in the election process dies, then we’ll see
other means used, including violence. All of this will intrude on the lives
of people who’d rather live without the clamor of party politics.
This is why I’m urging those who aren’t inclined to vote, to cast a vote
to help contain this threat. I ask you to look at who is up for election in
your district. Are any of these people contesting the electoral process and
repeating the lies about the 2020 election? If so, vote against them. Please
do so even if you are in a uncompetitive district where one party wins
comfortably. Cast these votes at all levels: federal, state and local.
Particularly take note of any who will have responsibility for future
elections. Politicians who say things that undermine the electoral process do so only
because they think it can help them win. If politicians see that amplifying
these kinds of lies loses them votes, even if it’s not enough votes to make
a difference, then that will encourage them to stop, or encourage wiser
politicians to take their place.
In general, lies that inflame division undermine a free
society. Lies about the election process damage the very mechanism
that we use to settle our differences. Voting now will reduce the chances of
more painful actions in the future.
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