Letter to the Editor: Why the truth matters

To the Editor:

Mr. Johnson in his letter to the editor (The Standard, April 7, 2021) asked who cares if President Trump made thousands of lies and misleading statements when he was President since he is no longer in office. We should all care.

Trump’s lies demeaned his office, led to public distrust in government, and continue to influence his followers today. A recent poll found that 67 percent of Republicans still view the 2020 election as invalid.

The reason I and others have called the misinformation about the election the Big Lie is because if it were true that the election was not an honest one in which the voters decided the winner, our democracy would be over. The evidence is overwhelming that there was no significant fraud and that the election was fair. Does Mr. Johnson really believe that life-long Republicans like Christopher Krebs, William Barr, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, John Boehner, Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney and Mitch McConnell - all who say the election was honest - are liars?

Mr. Johnson said nobody investigated the fraud claims. In reality, over 86 lawsuits have been filed in both state and federal courts and all - except one minor one - have been rejected, the judges consistently finding there was no substantive evidence to support the claims of fraud or irregularities. District Court Judge James Rusell of Nevada, for example, wrote that Trump’s campaign “did not prove under any standard of proof that illegal votes were cast and counted, or legal votes were not counted at all, due to voter fraud, nor in an amount equal to or greater than Biden’s margin of victory”.

Trump’s former campaign lawyer Sidney Powell claimed that the voting machine company Dominion was “flipping votes in the computer system or adding votes that did not exist” to decrease Trump’s vote and increase Biden’s. After Dominion filed a defamation lawsuit against her, however, her legal team admitted it was all a lie and that “reasonable people” would not have taken her claims about widespread election fraud as fact so she should not be held accountable.

The Big Lie continues to do damage to our Republic and is now being used as an excuse to pass laws in Republican-controlled states to suppress voting. Rather than celebrating the greatest voter turnout of eligible voters (66.7 percent) in over a century, Republicans have decided to restrict access to the voting booth. In 47 states legislators have introduced 361 bills with restrictive provisions.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice (a bipartisan law and public policy institute at the New York University Law School), these bills attempt to: “1) limit mail voting access; 2) impose stricter voter ID requirements; 3) slash voter registration opportunities; and 4) enable more aggressive voter roll purges.” All Americans should be appalled at this attack on the heart of a democracy.

I would implore those Republicans who still doubt the fairness and honesty of the 2020 election to leave the cozy confines of Fox News and other conspiracy-trafficking sources and seek out reputable information they can trust. A detailed examination of these issues can be found online at: www.washingtonpost.com/elections/interactive/2020/election-integrity/. Our democracy can not survive if over half of one major political party can not see reality.

Thomas Hill