Opinion: The Media Should Give Equal Time to Both Election Theft Narratives that Led to The Insurrection

Walter Rhein

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Who tried to steal the 2020 United States presidential election?

That’s the question that every American is asking. At this point, we know that there was an attempt to steal the election. The problem is that there are two narratives as to who might have been responsible.

Unfortunately, the media only seems to discuss one of these narratives.

To date, the media has given a lot of attention to the narrative that there were problems on election day. One side claims that there were voting irregularities that led to an inaccurate count. The “theft” in this case is that the rightful president lost because of “fake” votes.

In this narrative, the people who assembled at the Capitol on January 6th were nothing more than concerned citizens. They thought the election was being stolen, so they organized a protest.

In this narrative, it is the Democrats who attempted to steal the election.

This narrative is often referred to in the media as “the big lie.” However, that moniker fails to address the other narrative of election theft that is also at work.

In the other narrative, the claims of election fraud are seen as fabricated. That narrative insists that our electoral process worked as designed on November 3rd, 2020 and that the vote count was accurate and fair.

This narrative suggests that a subset of the Republican party fabricated claims of voter irregularities to steal the election from the rightful winner. Therefore, based on this theory, the individuals who assembled at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 were not “protesters” but “insurrectionists” intent on overthrowing a fair election.

In this narrative, it is a subset of the Republican party that attempted to steal the election.

All Americans need to know that these are the two competing theories. One thing we should all be able to agree on is that somebody tried to steal the election. The only thing left for us is to find out who.

We must also hold the guilty party legally responsible.

“Stop the steal,” has become a rallying cry for the former president. However, it could just as easily be a rallying cry for the Democrats. It should be a rallying cry for every American.

Every American should want to see a fair election. We all want our votes to count. We all want our voices to be heard. The right to vote is our most sacred franchise. We cannot allow any political party to cheat us of that right.

So, how do we determine which of the two “stolen election” theories is the truth?

The answer, of course, is an investigation.

It is not enough to simply make claims about election fraud. Those claims have to be substantiated with evidence. Those claims have to be proven in court.

The onus of proving the election was fraudulent lies with the accuser. The ones making an accusation of wrongdoing, have the responsibility to prove their claims.

Unfortunately, to this date, they have not been able to adequately prove their assertion of significant voter fraud.

Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared Tuesday the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election—Michael Balsamo

It’s important to note that the accusations of voter fraud have been dismissed by Republicans as well as Democrats. Donald Trump’s attorney general William Barr dismissed the allegations.

It’s not as if the Republicans were powerless to challenge the election. From November 3rd, 2020, to January 20, 2021, the Republicans retained control of the White House. They had control of the highest political office in the land. That gave them the power to investigate and challenge the election.

Judges with ties to Republicans and ones with ties to Democrats have both continuously rejected arguments from President Donald Trump over the election of his Democratic rival Joe Biden—Elizabeth Crisp

What this shows is that there has been bipartisan agreement that the claims of voter fraud are false.

In the absence of evidence to support the claim of voter fraud, one narrative of a stolen election can also be dismissed.

It’s important for the media to be unbiased in how they present the story of the 2020 election. Both sides claim that the other side tried to steal the election. This issue is fundamental. We must gather facts and evaluate them responsibly.

The general public must remember that a false accusation of a stolen election represents an intent to steal an election.

One of the most significant pieces of evidence is the testimony given under oath. Statements that are not made under oath do not carry the same weight. For the sake of our country, every significant player in the 2020 election narratives needs to give testimony under oath.

Anyone who has information must provide it in a controlled and deliberate fashion. There can’t be any uncertainty. They must state the facts that they know.

Unfortunately, many high-ranking members of the Trump administration refuse to testify under oath. How is our nation supposed to investigate the claims of voter fraud if high-ranking officials refuse to share all their information?

The bipartisan January 6th committee is the entity that has been tasked with investigating the two claims of a stolen election. To date, there has been no significant evidence of voter fraud. That suggests that the true effort to steal the 2020 election came during the insurrection and not at the voting booth.

The United States must show a commitment to free and fair elections.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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