Opinion: Lies About Election Fraud Are Destroying America

Walter Rhein

Image by Walter Rhein

I’m tired of the media saying that politicians are making “baseless claims” of election fraud. There’s no need to sanitize it. Those politicians are lying. The press needs to say that they are lying.

Politicians have a huge platform in our country. Some citizens can’t seem to tell the difference between truth and authority. The lines are blurred.

Things don’t become true just because a politician says them. It’s important to maintain that separation. Whatever your political ideology, it’s important not to hold politicians above the law.

What we’re seeing now is that people are going to jail for making threats that were incited by political lies.

One of the conspiracy-infused MAGA idiots who thought it was OK to threaten Maricopa County election officials has been indicted with one count of communicating an interstate threat and one count of making a threatening telephone call against county Recorder Stephen Richer, offenses that could – and hopefully will – get the dope five years in the slammer—Feds are (finally) turning MAGA threats made to elections officials into maximum jail time

We can’t have political violence in our society. It doesn’t matter who does it. Political violence is wrong.

In my community, many of the election officials are retired ladies with gray hair. I was raised to respect the elderly.

People who call up election officials and scream threats and profanities at them are not showing respect. That’s not an acceptable way to behave.

Phone calls are bad enough, but we’re also seeing more and more instances of people attacking law enforcement.

The FBI said an armed man attempted to breach the building, but fled after an alarm went off and special agents responded. After a car chase, a nearly six-hour standoff, and unsuccessful attempts at negotiation, police shot and killed that suspect, according to an account from the Ohio State Highway Patrol—An attempted attack on an FBI office raises concerns about violent far-right rhetoric

Unfortunately, it feels as if this behavior is becoming normalized instead of denounced. You can’t attack law enforcement agents. We need to respect the lives of our fellow citizens. We have to respect the results of our elections.

In modern America, it feels like there’s a growing trend to use violence as a political tool.

On the morning of January 6th, 2021 a mob of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building during the process of congressional certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election. While the incident failed to halt the certification for anything more than a few hours, it still represents a seismic shift in American politics. For the majority of American history, the threat of a politically charged mob enticed by an outgoing president storming Congress was unthinkable, something that happened in other countries. However, the rise and normalization of extreme far right-wing views and associated acts of terror have altered the political calculus in America, and represent an existential threat to our democracy—Lucas, Nathan, "Right-Wing Terrorism in America through the Lens of the Capitol Riot" (2021). Hare & Bell Writing Contest. 6.

Today, law-abiding citizens in the United States must fear radicalized domestic terror threats. Law enforcement agents have to be on guard against assassins who have been incited to violence by political lies.

Words matter. Our politicians must recognize the impact of their words. The voting public also has to recognize that we cannot give power to politicians who incite any form of violence in our country.

Vote for the candidates that tell verifiable truths. Do not vote for the candidates that lie and incite violence. Our choice as responsible citizens is clear.

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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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