Whether you agree with the merits is not the point. The point is the merits were never even heard.
Seventy-four million people voted for Donald Trump or against Joe Biden; most of those people realize the election is over. Most people also realize the conversation about the election is not over, and those who technically won the election would be wise to take that conversation very seriously.
An election is no small thing. When a nation refuses to address concerns about an election, or the election process, people feel limited in their options. Like it or not, as many as 80% of Donald Trump’s voters don’t fully trust the outcome. That’s as many people as voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.
I would never call any crime “inevitable,” as that gives the criminal some kind of excuse; and the crimes of destruction, theft, rioting, and trespassing at the capitol were inexcusable. They should have tempered their passions. Their protest should have remained completely peaceful instead of “mostly peaceful.” Media reaction was swift and condemned the unauthorized destruction of federal property. The entirety of the protest was categorized as “insurrectionists” and “terrorists”.
But everyone watching remembers this summer, when those who won the election refused to condemn murder, violence, mayhem, arson, theft, destruction. Most people remember when opponents of Trump stormed the capitol during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings in a brazen attempt to disrupt the proceedings.
Many people in the country are becoming more and more aware that disruptive tactics are allowed by the media and much of the power structure, provided they benefit collectivism over individualism. It is no wonder then, after seeing this double standard, a people would stare very skeptically at an election that is seemingly designed with a collectivist attitude already in place: ballots mass-distributed; ballots mass-collected; ballots mass-counted. The individual is largely invisible in the process. No wonder it’s easy to suspect that ballots were completed en masse as well. Whether they were or they weren’t is not the point. Suspicions about the process were persistent, but the suspicions were only taken seriously by one side.
Beyond that, the power structure seemed to be stacked in favor of the collectivist system of mass-balloting. State legislatures were kicked away from their very-constitutional duty to prescribe the “Times, Places, and Manner of holding elections.” The executive branch assumed this responsibility for itself in collusion with the judiciary branch. In Pennsylvania, this extra-legal action changed ballot date requirements, postmark requirements, signature verification requirements, ballot drop-box allowances, and even resulted in selective, targeted ballot curation efforts in counties favorable to Biden. Again, this was all done without the consent of the legislature.
When brought to the Supreme Court of the United States, they refused to expedite a decision before election day. Instead they took the word of the Democratic Secretary of State that she had ordered all late ballots to be segregated. That same Secretary of State then changed her guidance after the denial and ordered those ballots be “counted, computed, and separately tallied,” which is much different than segregating the physical ballots.
After the election, other states took keen notice that the rules had been changed. In essence, members of the board (states) noticed that their investments in the selection process for the Chairman of the Board (the U.S. President) were put in jeopardy by arbitrary rule changes made by competing interests. So Texas sued Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin because non-legislative actors were making significant changes to law, which prerogatives belong Constitutionally to legislative actors alone.
Many other states agreed their investments in the election were likewise put in jeopardy by extra-legal actions, and they – including Pennsylvania’s Senate – joined as either amici or fellow petitioners. This mattered because there is only one place in the world Texas or other states can bring a case against official state violations in other states: the Supreme Court.
But when the case was brought before the court of original jurisdiction, they again refused to hear the case because they said it was not the right place to make the complaint.
Where were the plaintiffs to go then? To whom could anyone petition for a redress of grievances if the Supreme Court would hear neither the voters, the state legislatures, nor the state attorneys general themselves?
Whether you agree with the merits of the case or not, again, is not the point. The point is the merits were never even heard. In the face of clear, incontrovertible, and admitted actions by the executives and state judiciaries to usurp the authority of state legislatures by changing election processes without the legislatures’ consent, the Supreme Court refused to hear the problem.
This allowed opponents of the plaintiffs to characterize the cases as “lost,” when in fact they weren’t even heard. It allowed these very serious Constitutional questions to be lumped in with lawsuits purporting widespread voter conspiracy and international intrigue.
The media did exactly this, with one of the most referenced fact-checkers, Politifact, claiming “Donald Trump has lost dozens of election lawsuits,” when in reality the campaign itself filed fewer than half a dozen. That’s a little pedantic, but the lack of distinction allows concrete unconstitutionality to be conflated with conspiracy.
I guarantee most of the 74-million Trump voters aren’t paying attention to the legal maneuvering and rulings on standing. But they do get the very real sense they are not being taken seriously. And they’re right. And that’s a problem.
For the third time, I don’t care if you agree with the merits of their complaint. Those that don’t agree are right now gleefully taking a victory lap, and dismissing all 74-million voters as unfit to vote, or worse, treasonous. At the very least, the victors do not take the fundamental concerns over election integrity seriously, when just four years ago they admitted the integrity of our elections was completely compromised.
Four years ago, the concerns over election integrity were taken seriously, with investigation after investigation conducted to satisfy questions. Today’s concerns will not be met with the same level of inquiry, and the petitioners will be left reminded that no one cares about their grievances.
This has happened before in American History. Not in 1860, but in the 1770s.
If one takes the time to read and study all the journals of the Continental Congress, all the correspondence of the delegates of the Continental Congress, and all the proceedings of the House of Commons during that same time (I have), a much clearer version of the American Revolution comes forward, much different than the storybook versions told in gradeschool and the materialistic versions told in college textbooks (the latter are worse, in my opinion).
An analysis of the constitutional arguments of the time reveals an American population extremely frustrated with their local officials and the House of Commons. They felt their local leaders were corrupt and the House of Commons did not take their grievances seriously (they were right, especially on the latter). Petitions fell on deaf ears. In many cases, their grievances were never even heard, much less considered. The perception among Americans and American sympathizers was the House felt itself superior in all things to the colonies, and was in no way obliged to entertain any complaint from them (this perception was not entirely accurate, but it was widely held).
Reading the complete works of Samuel Adams, we see an evolving rhetoric, from a colonist fighting vociferously for constitutional rectification to one who concedes that such rectification is no longer possible because the local government, the House of Commons, and finally the king failed to take their concerns seriously.
In October of 1774, the Congress rushed a petition to the British people, hoping their constitutional concerns would be remedied by the subjects of Great Britain as they were scheduled to vote in an upcoming election for the House of Commons in 1775, in which many candidates favorable to American policy and reconciliation were being considered. However, Congress had no idea that Lord North, the Prime Minister, hastily dissolved parliament in September 1774, and rescheduled the elections for that same October – exactly when the Continental Congress was drafting their grievances.
Of course, because of the rule change, the American petition could not influence the election one bit by the time it arrived in Great Britain in December. But when Americans found out what Lord North had done – to move the elections far ahead of schedule – they suspected sinister motives. (They were right: Lord North’s power would have been threatened by a House sympathetic to America, and the election was moved ahead in large part so Britain would not feel the economic damages of the non-importation agreements (boycotts) among the colonies.)
John Adams lamented. He hoped that the publication of the petitions to the King in England, along with letters to the inhabitants of Great Britain, would have a beneficial “Effect upon the Nation, during the Fall and Winter, while the People were canvassing for Elections, and that…Some alteration in the House of Commons for the better might have been made. But the Sudden Dissolution of Parliament and the impatient Summons for a new Election, have blasted all these Hopes.” It was quite evident what the intent of Parliament was, and “no Hopes are to be left…but in the Sword.”
This election, conducted under suspicious process and practice, was the turning point in the Colonial attitude toward independency. Delegates to the Congress lost all confidence in their parliament, and eventually their sovereign. It would not be long before the king would contract treaties with foreign governments to wage war against his own subjects.
Throughout this time, the colonists continued to seek legal remedies to and relief from their constitutional concerns; but time and again, the common reply was one of dismissal, legal pedantry, condescension, full censorship, or worse, martial law. Organized protests like the Boston Tea Party, quickly grew into constitutional defense by colonial militias and congressionally-raised armies. Soon, there was no looking back. Reconciliation was impossible; division was for the best; independency was the only legal, political, and moral solution that remained.
Edmund Burke warned of what was to come if Great Britain refused to address adequately the very real concerns Americans were articulating. In Parliament on March 22, 1775, he pleaded with his fellow members, most of whom wanted to crush the rebellion with the full force of the British Army:
“America, gentlemen say, is a noble object. It is an object worth fighting for. Certainly it is, if fighting a people be the best way of gaining them. Gentlemen in this respect will be led to their choice of means by their complexions and their habits. Those who understand the military art, will of course have some predilection for it. Those who wield the thunder of the state, may have more confidence in the efficacy of arms. But I confess, possibily for want of this knowledge, my opinion is much more in favour of prudent management, than of force; considering force not as an odious, but a feeble instrument, for preserving a people so numerous, so active, so growing, so sprited as this, in a profitable and subordinate connection with us.
“First, Sir, permit me to observe that the use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered.
“My next objection is uncertainty. Terror is not always the effect of force; and an armament is not a victory. If you do not succeed, you are without resource; for, conciliation failing, force remains; but, force failing, no further hope of reconciliation is left. Power and authority are sometimes bought by kindness; but they can never be begged as alms, by an impoverished and defeated violence.
“A further objection to force is, that you impair the object by your very endeavours to preserve it. The thing you fought for is not the thing which you recover; but depreciated, sunk, wasted, and consumed in the contest. Nothing less will content me, than whole America. I do not choose to consume its strength along with our own; because in all parts it is the British strength that I consume. I do not choose to be caught by a foreign enemy at the end of this exhausting conflict; and still less in the midst of it. I may escape; but I can make no insurance against such an event. Let me add, that I do not choose wholly to break the American spirit, because it is the spirit that has made the country.”
So while people like Erick Erickson can exhort people to shoot the Trump protestors, most of the mainstream authority and communications structure will simply ignore their real concerns, highlight their more absurd claims, and “other” them into a category worthy of derision until it is a social crime to take them seriously
But if you are afraid of taking their claims or the main principles of their claims seriously, because you will be seen as weak by acknowledging they merit discussion, know that method of “othering” is also not a successful approach. And no one looks back at Lord North or King George as a hero for stubbornly ignoring the demands of the American colonists for constitutional integrity.
 “It is proved,” writes Samuel Adams, “that the consignees, together with the collector of the customs, and the governor of the province, prevented the safe return of the [tea]….The people, finding all their endeavours for this purpose thus totally frustrated, dissolved the meeting….In less than four hours every chest of tea on board three ships which had by this time arrived, three hundred and forty-two chests, or rather the contents of them, was thrown into the sea, without the least injury to the vessels or any other property.”