Imagine a typical class of students taking a test. The students are working while the teacher monitors their progress. He imagines the students will do well: they have had plenty of time to prepare, everyone is cooperating, and most people say this test was easy.
Once their time is up, a majority of students dutifully turn in their exams. However, a few students ignore the teacher and continue working. When the teacher asks them to turn in their tests, they plead for more time. They complain about the virus, the shutdowns, distractions in the room, and all the anxiety they have. Hoping to be fair and minimize the fuss, the teacher allows them to take their test home.
The next day, those students who took their tests home return to class and turn them in. To the teacher’s surprise, some of the students earn perfect scores while some earn scores just above the average. Although the teacher immediately suspects cheating since most of those students normally struggle, he accepts their grades. It just so happens that these students are popular among the principals, counselors, and the PTA. Even if he suspects them of cheating, it would just be a needless headache to pursue the charges.
Unfortunately, the students who turned in their test late openly brag about scoring higher than their peers. When other students accuse them of cheating, they laugh and accuse them of being sore losers. In response, the other students who followed the rules and received an honest grade appeal to the teacher, demanding that he investigate the scores and check for cheating. They remark how unfair it is that these students took their tests home, how they never scored this high before, and how many of them have a history of cheating.
The teacher tries to dismiss these accusations and hold off on investigating, and even threatens punishment for students who keep complaining. But he soon hears from parents, who start demanding that he look into the matter. If he refuses to do anything, they threaten to appeal to the superintendent and school board and pursue legal remedies—which still might not lead to any real action.
Most people looking at this situation would probably think how much easier it would have been if the teacher just administered the test fairly and equally for all students. Others, however, survey the scene and think how much easier it would have been if all the aggrieved students and parents simply stayed quiet and let it be. After all, they argue, who can say what’s truly “fair” or what qualifies as “cheating”?
This analogy illustrates where Americans are with the current presidential election. While most states tallied their votes last Tuesday, some states, specifically the ones that would swing the election, had delays in their counting. As votes were first counted on Election Day, Donald Trump seemed to lead in nearly all of these states. Then the counting mysteriously stopped. When counting resumed the next day, Biden appeared suddenly to have taken a narrow lead that would allow him to win those states.
Even if some of the reasons for pausing the count were plausible—such as starting the count of mail-in ballots on the next day or extending the voting deadline—none were satisfying. Everyone knew there would be far more mail-in ballots this time, and Chief Justice John Roberts and the liberal members of the Supreme Court had little reason to extend deadlines for mail-in ballots.
This situation clearly outrages those who voted for President Trump or those who just wanted a relatively free and fair election. In order to prove that cheating has occurred, they now have to rely on famously unreliable institutions for conducting investigations and providing updates: legacy media, social media platforms, Democratic government officials, and federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI.
This means that with the exception of a few alternative conservative media outlets, independent journalists, and outspoken politicians, the people hoping for justice in this election must look to themselves. Fair or not, it ultimately falls on them to organize and uphold accountability. They need to protest, take legal action, support reporters uncovering fraud, and put pressure on politicians to take action.
The sheer size of the task has already caused some conservatives to give up. Instead of confronting the challenge, they are more willing to cut their losses, celebrate keeping the Senate and winning a few seats in the House, and take comfort in the fact that the polls and media were wrong after all.
But a stolen presidential election tends to negate most of this. True, most limits to unbridled Democratic power, like the current size and makeup of the Supreme Court, the number of states currently in the Union, and keeping the filibuster, will remain. Yet so will the forces that rigged the election in the first place. A Biden-Harris presidency effectively would be the first step in making the whole nation a one-party blue state like California.
By contrast, if Trump fights this and wins, his administration can work to fix this system and would have every reason to do so. As Jeb Bush tweeted to someone wondering why Florida could count their votes on Election Day while smaller states struggled, “Because we learned our lesson after 2000 and changed our laws.” The same could happen in the rest of America where this year’s election showed the overwhelming stupidity of universal mail-in ballots, legalized ballot harvesting, early voting weeks before the election, and not requiring voter identification. These simple fixes to the voting process would go far to ensure greater trust in the system and might allow a real choice for American voters.
It’s not an overstatement to say the outcome of this election will determine all foreseeable future elections. The country’s democratic system is at stake. If Democrats win this election through cheating and fraud, all future elections will become meaningless and the country’s political leadership will be determined by an oligarchy of progressive and socialist billionaires.
And all of this is plainly visible with each new update. The oligarch-owned Washington Post needs to change its motto, “Democracy dies in darkness.” As it stands, American democracy is dying in the daylight, and normal Americans need to save it before it’s too late.