Opinion: Baseless Accusations of Election Fraud Are Dividing the Country

Walter Rhein

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As the bipartisan January 6th committee reveals more and more information, we obtain a better perspective of the mindset of the insurrectionists.

Perhaps the most stunning revelation is that so many people were willing to engage in the destruction of property and violence without any evidence of wrongdoing.

Video evidence from the attack shows many who disrupted the peaceful transfer of presidential power on Jan. 6 believed false claims that the 2020 election in states like Pennsylvania was rife with fraud and malfeasance--Sam Dunklau

While there have been plenty of accusations of voter fraud in the 2020 election, these accusations have not been substantiated by evidence.

The Justice Department has found no evidence of widespread fraud in this year's election, Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press on Tuesday in remarks that directly contradict the President Trump's baseless claims that the vote was rigged--RYAN LUCAS

Why were so many people willing to take action based on nothing more than an accusation?

In other scenarios, it would be obvious that this represents poor decision-making.

For example, imagine a twelve-year-old boy who comes home to find his bicycle stolen. Perhaps his unemployed uncle with gambling debts lives next door. The boy goes to ask him if he’s seen anything.

“Uncle, somebody stole my bicycle, do you know who did it?”

The uncle says. “Yes, I think it was your loving, retired grandfather.”

“My grandfather stole it?”

“Yes.”

“The guy who always takes me fishing? The guy who always gives me presents? The guy who loves me more than life itself?”

“Yes, it was him.”

“Do you have any evidence of this? Do you have photos? Do you have a video?”

“No.”

“Well, that’s good enough for me,” says the boy.

The boy then goes and grabs a Confederate flag. He grabs a spear. He grabs some bricks. A moment later, he’s marching toward his grandfather’s house. He smashes a window. He breaks into his grandfather’s study and writes a note. “I know what you did grandpa, you can’t escape justice!”

Meanwhile, back home, the boy’s unemployed uncle has sold the boy’s bike for $50.

The sad truth is that the bicycle scenario is not too far removed from the controversy surrounding the 2020 presidential election.

People still insist, without any proof, that there was voter fraud. When you ask them to elaborate, they recite a litany of disproven theories.

Everyone who lives in objective reality understands that Donald Trump did not win the 2020 presidential election. He lost by 7 million actual votes and 74 electoral votes. His claim that the election was rigged has been debunked by numerous Republican state elections officials, and rejected by judges in both state and federal courts in more than 70 lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and its proxies--Stephen Stathis

At some point, the American public will have to accept that accusations of election fraud are taken very seriously. These accusations were investigated and disproven.

Election security is a bipartisan issue. Both Democrats and Republicans have looked into these claims. The Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on much. This means that they keep an eye on each other. This is exactly how the system is supposed to work.

If the Democrats did something wrong, the Republicans would call them out on it.

If the Republicans did something wrong, the Democrats would call them out on it.

That’s exactly how we have election security.

Something doesn’t become true just because a president says it. That’s the beauty of the United States of America. Rule of law means that truth is held in higher esteem than the word of the president. All Americans should know this and act accordingly.

The insurrectionists that marched on the Capitol on January 6th did so without proof that they were right. We know this because such proof has not yet been produced.

Every American should know that marching on our Capitol with violence in your heart shouldn’t even be a choice. It’s certainly not a choice before you’ve even come into possession of credible evidence of wrongdoing.

Trump was still in office on January 6th. He could have pardoned all the insurrectionists on January 7th. He didn’t. As a result, many of the insurrectionists are sitting in jail or awaiting trial.

In the final days of his presidency, Donald Trump seriously considered issuing a blanket pardon for all participants in the Jan. 6 riot, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter--TARA PALMERI

Every American citizen needs to know that there are consequences for every action. We all have a responsibility to make sure we are acting on truthful information. It’s foolish to throw your life away over innuendo and unsubstantiated claims.

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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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