Alice Williams-Root: Facts matter
I’m writing in response to Don Rogers’ commentary of Nov. 13, “Claiming the high ground.” The essence of it seemed to be a milder version of “good people on both sides,” and that the people who profess peace and tolerance (presumably the Biden supporters) should practice it and be nicer.
I have several issues with this column, the first of which is that this is not a valid comparison. It is like comparing apples and oranges. He compares our response to losing in 2016 to the Trump supporters’ loss this year.
When we lost in 2016, we were terribly upset, but we almost immediately accepted the fact that Trump had won the Electoral College and was a valid president-elect, though we were never happy about it. Hillary Clinton conceded once Trump was declared the winner (by media analysis, before votes were certified), and the transition was authorized. Our resistance Women’s Marches were not a denial that Trump had won, but rather a presence to say that we were not going to accept having women’s rights pushed back into the Dark Ages.
My father, a member of the Greatest Generation, had wise words about working through differences. He said, that in order to have a fair argument, the opponent had to first describe their counterpart’s position in terms that person would accept, and the other person had to do the same. Only then could a respectful discussion begin.
To that point, I don’t accept Rogers’ characterization of the progressive response in 2016. Rogers said that “Democrats similarly lost their minds … marching with ‘Not My President’ signs.” Again, I disagree with his characterization of this activity. We were not denying that Trump was validly elected. We were expressing the fact that he didn’t represent our views. He was the president, but he wasn’t our President.
I can certainly understand that Trump supporters are disappointed and upset. We’ve been there. But many Trump supporters have gone beyond being upset, “horn-honking and flag-waving.” As of the 15th of November, when I’m writing this, many Trump supporters refuse to believe that Biden has won in a legitimate election. He won the Electoral College in enough states to top 270 easily (at the same level Trump called a landslide in 2016), but also by over 5 million popular votes.
Trump can file all the lawsuits he wants, with flimsy to no evidence, but it is a very dangerous precedent to refuse to authorize the transition. Authorizing the transition won’t invalidate or stop the lawsuits. Some experts have said that the delay in transition in 2000 may have contributed to the lack of preparedness for 9/11. This is a matter of national security that must not be delayed. It was gracious of Joe to give Trump and the nation a little space to adjust, but that time is up and it’s time to move ahead with the transition.
It is very disturbing for our country and democracy to have people refusing to believe basic facts. The definition of a delusion is — “a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.” In our country we have a premise of “innocent until proven guilty,” yet some Trump supporters continue to believe there was widespread fraud, despite flimsy to no evidence, and many officials saying this was the smoothest and most well-run election to date.
If we can never get these people to believe that the election was valid, Joe and all of us have a big roadblock to moving forward, no matter how magnanimous we are in victory. Is it really so hard to believe that the American people have spoken, in a free and fair election, and chosen Joe Biden as president? That is not gloating, just stating a fact.
Alice Williams-Root is a registered nurse who has lived in Rough & Ready for over 30 years with her family.
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