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No, Don’t Delay The Election

Last Thursday, news broke that President Trump had floated the idea of delaying the 2020 presidential election. This is a horrible idea for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that it hands Trump’s unhinged critics “proof” of his desire to stay in office beyond his term. While we’ve all enjoyed laughing at Trump taunting the Left with memes about multiple terms, it isn’t funny when we start contemplating actually extending a sitting president’s time in office.

If Obama had suggested such at thing, I’d have been losing my mind at the prospect. A man who delighted in the power of his ‘pen and phone’ — a man who had no problem abusing executive authority to accomplish unconstitutional goals in the name of “fundamentally transforming” a nation he clearly hates — would have jumped at the opportunity to suspend elections. That’s what “delaying” an election is, after all. It’s a suspension of the democratic process that would be, by definition, indefinite. If they can do it once, if they can set a new date, what’s to stop them from doing it again and again? What’s to stop those in power from rendering our elections utterly meaningless, jumping from one contrived emergency to the next?

The single greatest argument we’ve seen in support of this contention — that of of a slippery slope toward dictatorship — is that we’re now in the fifth month of “14 days to flatten the curve.” A government that can forbid you to go to work, that can put a gun to the head of our economy and pull the trigger, that can place every American on limited house arrest without a vote and without representation, is a government that can do literally anything.

Have we forgotten that before our government started looking the other way during civil unrest, riots, looting, arson, and widespread Antifa assaults on American citizens, people were arrested for surfing alone in the ocean and for playing with their children at otherwise deserted public parks? During the pandemic, every single state and local government has revealed just how close each and every one of us is to totalitarian, authoritarian oppression.

Every Democrat state governor has gone mad with power. Every Democrat mayor has become an autocrat, his or city a personal fiefdom, his or her constituents just so many powerless serfs. If you wanted to protest the lockdowns, you were told that, sorry, you don’t have permission to protest government oppression today. Only in the last two months have we seen just how much more equal some animals are compared to others, as it’s not okay to go to church in defiance of government orders, but thousands of people marching to fight imaginary racial injustice is okay.

Compare and contrast this to Trump’s generally federalist attitude toward the pandemic. He has — laudably so — resisted the urge to take more power for the federal government during the pandemic. Instead, he has deferred to the state governments to conduct themselves as they saw fit, even resisting nationwide mask mandates and other calls for what would be federal power grabs. He has received no credit for this, but he should; had this pandemic happened under Obama or, God help us, Joe Biden, the executive orders would have been fast and furious.

For all the talk that Trump is a “fascist” and a would-be dictator, he has governed (overall) as anything but. Is he an isolationist? He tends to be. Is he a populist? Most certainly. Is he the most conservative president to hold office since Ronald Reagan? Surprisingly so.

Despite the perception of chaos that I attribute to his lack of political experience, despite the rancor elicited by his often bellicose, aggressive demeanor, and despite the confusion sown by his often reckless and ill-thought-out public statements, he’s done a decent job as president. He’s also handled the pandemic as well as any president could — the one exception being the confusing, contradictory messaging coming from D.C. for the duration of this plague.

There is scant evidence that Trump would not “accept the results of the election” (and ample proof that it is the Democrats who have not been able to accept the results of 2016). It’s even understandable that any other person might suggest delaying the elections, given that every other feature of American life has been delayed, suspended, left in limbo, or permanently altered by the utter disaster that is 2020. This is true even before we consider the potential for rampant Democrat voter fraud if we move to ballots by mail.

We cannot, however, delay the 2020 elections. It’s bad enough that all our civil rights can and have been suspended at executive whim in the last half-year. The only hope the people have that this problem can be addressed is their faith that an overwhelmingly unpopular authoritarian leader can be ousted in an inevitable election. This is true of mayors, it is true of governors, and yes, it is true of presidents.

No matter the challenges, we cannot afford for a people already beleaguered by multiple infringements on their rights to lose hope that every government official can be voted out.  We must not delay the election… for if this one can be delayed, every election can be suspended. That is not how a free society is supposed to work. If we cross that line, we cannot come back.

1 thought on “No, Don’t Delay The Election”

  1. On the other hand, Trump is right about how sudden all-mail voting is going to be corrupted. There are already many examples of how such a system is manipulated in close elections, and democrats are gaslighting everyone by insisting that it either can’t or won’t happen.

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