I am including this video of the speech Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden delivered at Gettysburg in its entirety because I think it gives such a good overview of the man and his values. I hope you’ll spend the full 22 minutes to watch it. (To begin, click on both the central arrow and the one in the lower left-hand corner.)
There are briefer versions online, but they don’t do justice to the breadth and passion within. It is a fine, Presidential speech that is worthy of far more attention than it’s received. A transcript is also available.
I am as eager that it be seen and heard by folks outside the US as by American voters because I know the world needs reassurance that most of us in the US have not gone crazy.
Biden represents who we are and where we want to go as a nation—in the immediate future and the years ahead.
I have been urging everyone not to panic about the possibility that Trump could win by cheating. I had planned simply to post the video of Biden’s speech.
But I think there are growing ominous signs we must be cognizant of and emphatically oppose. To change direction, the remedy remains the same: they are all on the ballot in this election.
ENDING THE FUELING OF HATRED
The hatred and division Biden spoke about was writ large in the arrests of domestic terrorists determined to kidnap Michigan Governor Whitmer in a vast plot that included killing police officers to start a civil war.
Yet the current occupant in the Oval Office will not condemn white supremacy. He and his attorney general persist in claiming, against all evidence from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), that it is a left-wing conspiracy we should fear–not the emboldened armed and dangerous so-called militia groups and individuals he’s encouraged with his rhetoric.
STANDING UP FOR DEMOCRACY
For the first time in my lifetime, I heard a United States Senator—Republican Mike Lee of Utah—say/tweet:
“We’re not a democracy. That’s a good thing…democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity [sic] are.”
He also wrote:
“We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.”
Rank democracy? Fits in with the phrase “tyranny of the majority” that I cited in a previous post.
Lee was harking back to the “republic vs democracy” debate of the founders, which eventually brought us the Electoral College. Although the founders were concerned about Athenian democracy in which small numbers of the public were working on policy, this argument has been misconstrued and used by Republicans through the years as an excuse to oppose the will of the majority on a host of issues.
OK. So one Senator goes off the deep end. But how representative is his thinking of that of his colleagues, who have remained silent as Trump has smashed through one norm after another?
An article in Vox, offering historical perspective, observes:
“In the context of the 2020 election, the anti-democratic strain embodied by Lee’s rhetoric takes on particularly serious significance.
“President Trump has been clear that he believes any Biden win will be fraudulent; he has refused to commit to accepting the results of the election or even agreeing to a peaceful transition of power.
“The Republican Party as a whole has largely aided and abetted this approach, most notably by insisting on the fiction of massive voter fraud and enacting policies at the state level that make it harder for Democratic-leaning constituencies to vote.
“The idea that majority rule is intrinsically oppressive is necessarily an embrace of anti-democracy: an argument that an enlightened few, meaning Republican supporters, should be able to make decisions for the rest of us. If the election is close, and Trump makes a serious play to steal it, Lee’s ‘we’re not a democracy’ argument provides a ready-made justification for tactics that amount to a kind of legal coup.”
It’s worth noting that FBI Director Chris Wray, officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the government’s chief counterintelligence official released a video in which they all stressed the integrity and “resilience” of the election system and explained what their agencies were doing to ensure that integrity.
Much of this was prompted by concerns about Russian intervention in favor of the President.
Without mentioning Trump, they also knocked down his claims of mail ballot fraud. Said Wray:
“No matter which method you choose, your voice is important. Rest assured that the security of the election, and safeguarding your vote, is and will continue to be one of our highest priorities.”
Chris Krebs of DHS stated that the results may be delayed beyond November 3, but not by fraud —“and that’s OK. But we’re going to need your patience until official votes are announced.”
That is welcome news, of course, in view of the pronouncements from Trump and his Attorney General. The infamous Bill Barr seeks to play an oversized role in thwarting a fair election.
He has bolstered Trump’s phony charges about fraud in mail-in ballots.
CONDEMNING EFFORTS TO STEAL THE ELECTION
It’s a sad day for America that one failing candidate’s power obsessions have necessitated all this lawyering up by the Biden team as well.
There is concern that lawyers in swing states are prepared to make nit-picky charges to disenfranchise minority and other voters presumed to be casting ballots against Trump.
Many have associated the President’s increasingly bizarre behavior with one of the medications he’s been receiving as part of his coronavirus regimen.
Thus, a statement by the chief counsel of the Republican National Committee emphasizing the vast number of legal (?) actions they anticipate has to be the most mordantly ironic statement of all:
“[legal activity] is going to be on steroids this year.”
To counter that possibility, Tom Rogers, who founded CNBC, and Timothy Wirth, a former Colorado Senator and Undersecretary of State, warned in a Newsweek Op-Ed about the lawyers who participate in such chicanery, knowing that the incidence of vote-by-mail fraud has been proven to be essentially a phony issue:
“As much as President Donald Trump has tried in many ways to subvert our system of constitutional government, it is the lawyers supporting this ‘cancel vote culture’ tactic who will lead to post-election chaos. Lawyers should not be party to these attempts…
They urge state bar associations in the swing states (which they cite as Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Arizona, Montana, North Carolina, Georgia, and Iowa) to issue statements to attorneys that…
“2020 election-related litigation will be scrutinized, and frivolous lawsuits brought to deprive citizens of having their vote counted will not be tolerated.”
In other words, be forewarned, lawyers who are contemplating or plan to knowingly engage in Trump-Barr chicanery. Such behavior may get you disbarred.
I hope that a consideration of the shipwreck that is the Trump Administration—with so many close advisers convicted of crimes and so many others in danger of legal repercussions—will make any lawyer (or prosecutor) think thrice before risking their licenses and reputations on such a Putin-pleasing plot to destroy America.
The goal, of course, is to deprive Biden of a victory he’s earned in both the Electoral College and the popular vote and throw the election into the courts and/or Congress, where Republicans have an advantage due to various procedures (12th Amendment or Electoral Count Act of 1887).
WE ARE THE BULWARK
But the prevention of these wrongful acts also remains with us. The citizenry, already voting by the millions, can be the bulwark. That’s why every single vote for Biden and Harris and the Democrats is absolutely critical. A landslide may not prevent the attempts to wreak havoc, but it will make them a helluva lot harder to gain traction.