Opinion: Insurrection Apologists Are the Opposite of "Patriots"

Walter Rhein

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It shouldn’t be controversial to say that when a politician tries to overthrow the government, he or she is no longer entitled to the support of the people. Today, America is so divided that even treason is considered an issue of political debate.

Are American citizens truly ignorant of what it would mean if a politician succeeded in eliminating elections?

I don’t think you can say, “Let’s agree to disagree” about treason.

Over the last few years, I’ve cut a lot of people out of my life. These are people who insist that it’s okay to make up lies about election fraud. These are people who refuse to condemn a politician for organizing a riot.

I won’t have people like that in my house.

I won’t have people like that talking to my children.

I don’t like the attitude people are taking about restricting voter’s rights. Yes, it’s true that we need to have fair and secure elections. The media has not spent enough time establishing that we already do have fair and secure elections.

In any election, you’re going to find a few mistakes. However, studies have shown that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

A study of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states between 2000 and 2012 found the level of fraud was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million voters registered over the 12-year period—Study Finds No Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud

Yes, occasionally you’re going to have a couple of errors. Human beings aren't perfect. Sometimes those errors are malicious, but sometimes those errors are nothing more than honest mistakes. Nevertheless, there’s a significant portion of the United States that wants to punish every lawful voter in the country by restricting voter rights based on the actions of an insignificant few.

Most Americans are hard-working individuals who have other things to do in a day beside vote. We shouldn’t be putting more obstacles in their way that might prevent them from getting out to the polls.

Why are we punishing every American because of an insignificant amount of natural human error? It seems to me that it's just an excuse to erode the foundations of our society. The discussion about voter fraud is a dishonest course of action because there are always going to be a few discrepancies in any election.

What’s really going on is that people are mad when their candidate loses and they want to blame everything except for the failures of their candidate. This philosophy goes beyond the realm of polite discussion.

The poll workers in my community are silver-haired retirees who take their responsibilities very seriously. I find it highly offensive that a whole political party is inciting its base to rage and suspicion against innocent people.

It would be one thing if you had evidence of voter fraud, but that evidence does not exist. At this point, I can’t look a supporter of any lying politician in the eye. I can’t respect them. How can adult Americans continue to support a politician that tried to overthrow our government?

What will happen if American citizens are stripped of the right to vote? What will happen if we are no longer able to choose our leaders? What will happen if there is no longer a peaceful transition of power?

If you are against the idea of career politicians, then you have to be in favor of the concept of elections. If we don’t have elections, you’ve just turned every politician into a career politician. Eroding confidence in elections allows politicians to stay in power forever.

A politician who stays in power forever is called a dictator.

In my lifetime, I’ve never seen the United States more politically divided. We are no longer at a point where we can respect the political positions of our opponents. When our opponents want to establish their candidate as a dictator, then their political position is fundamentally un-American.

The time for polite political discourse has passed. When politicians engage in acts of treason, we must call them out. Anyone who wants to throw elections out the window and allow one candidate to stay in office forever is, in my opinion, a traitor to the country.

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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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