June 2, 2023

ignorant are at fault

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3 December 2020WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUNDToday’s Events in Historical PerspectiveAmerica’s Longest-Running Column Founded 1932Only the ignorant are at faultBy Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift          WASHINGTON – Ignorance is a choice.          Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling has it right when calling upon the president and other elected Republicans to stop claiming without evidence that the presidential election results are fraudulent, and to stop inciting violence over an outcome they choose not to ignore. Visibly angry, Sterling declared, “This has to stop,” as he recounted how a 20-year-old contract worker was targeted with a noose and threatened with treason for simply doing his job with a voting system company.          “Someone’s going to get killed,” Sterling said, noting that he and his boss, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, now need 24-hour security for themselves and their families.          Georgia just completed its second recount to establish yet again that Democrat Joe Biden won the state. President Donald Trump insists he won the election and Democrats are stealing it as part of the biggest fraud anybody has ever seen. In a 46-minute speech made from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Trump launched the biggest conspiracy theory anybody has ever seen. Twitter labeled a two-minute version of Trump’s stream of lies “disputed,” while including a link to his full remarks on Facebook. And, still, his adherents hold fast.          There is no way Trump can overturn the election results, and it is long past time to quit humoring him. Sidney Powell, the attorney who defended Michael Flynn and who had been working alongside Rudy Giuliani touting false theories is now in Georgia telling Republicans they should not vote in the January Senate runoff because the election is bogus.          What a turn of the screw it will be if Republicans take her advice and don’t show up to preserve the Republican Senate majority.          All Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., cares about is his majority, and of all the spineless Republicans afraid to speak out against Trump, McConnell leads the parade. Tightlipped and with few words, he is enabling Trump’s charade.  He stays silent because he needs Trump to energize the Republican base in Georgia. If death threats are the results of Trump’s insistence that the election has been stolen from him, then so be it. In McConnell’s world, that’s the price of power. His silence nurtures ignorance.          McConnell is the one person in the country who could do something to rein in an out-of-control president and simultaneously address the needs of the country. He knows history. He knows there will always be demagogues, and he knows they are powerless without public support, which is why the fault lies not with demagogues but with a public that chooses to ignore facts, truths, and reality.          With their abetting, Trump is doing enormous damage to our democracy. Thankfully, the courts are blocking him at every turn. Of the dozens of lawsuits that he and his allies have filed to overturn the election, Republican-appointed judges and a Trump-appointed judge have been in the forefront to declare them baseless.          What the nation needs now are Republicans like Gabriel Sterling in Georgia who are willing to step forward and say the demagogue has no clothes. Trump thinks he’s riding high now. He’s raised over $200 million since the election to pursue his unfounded claims of a stolen election. But his case is built on lies and false promises, and like another strongman dominant in another era, Senator Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisc., Trump could be heading for ignominious oblivion when his gullible-by-choice followers discover he’s been lying to them.           Douglas Cohn’s latest books are World War 4: Nine Scenarios (endorsed by seven flag officers) and The President’s First Year: The Only School for Presidents Is the Presidency.          Twitter:  @douglas_cohn          © 2020 U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.          Distributed by U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.


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