Who Poses the Real Threat to Democracy?

Approximately a week after voters shocked Democrats by electing Donald Trump as president, Democratic donors and high-ranking officials met to discuss “taking back power,” from Trump. As noted by Politico, “if the agenda is any indication, liberals plan full-on trench warfare against Trump from Day One.” The attendees included House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. In mid-December the speaker’s daughter, Christine Pelosi, one of the electors appointed to cast a vote in the Electoral College, helped launch one of the most audacious efforts to reverse an American presidential election in history. She and many of her co-conspirators had a plan to defeat Trump by flipping the electors who performed the little-noticed but crucial task of representing actual voters to the Electoral College.

Christine Pelosi and her co-conspirators wrote the director of national intelligence to demand a “briefing” on the “intelligence” supposedly showing collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. She wrote, 

The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations. We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.

We know now that Pelosi was referring to the Steele dossier, the original source of the Russia collusion hoax. Steele wrote it while in the pay of Hillary Clinton herself. She commissioned it to smear Donald Trump with a whispering campaign meant to distract from her own legal problems and kneecap her political rival. The Steele dossier was a work of fiction and a fraud. Although the Pelosi plan did not influence the final outcome in the Electoral College, it did result in two Trump electors disregarding thousands of lawfully-cast ballots to substitute their own judgment. 

Last month, the Washington Post finally acknowledged the failure of the long running campaign to paint Republicans as a threat to democracy. Like so many other political messages, it was carried out by multiple supposedly independent news outlets. Business Insider recently wrote a headline typical of the genre, “The GOP has proven to be an even greater threat to democracy than Trump in 2021.” What’s really being said is that the very existence of a party in opposition to the Democrats “threatens democracy.” 

Yes, we could be so much more democratic if we had only one party like that Jeffersonian paradise in the People’s Republic of Korea. Business Insider went on to repeat verbatim the official talking points justifying a one-party regime. 

But are Republicans actually seeking to shut down democracy? No. Instead the article equates opposition to the highly partisan election-related legislation now pending in Congress with opposition to “saving” democracy from the bogeyman of “voter suppression.” Opposition to the bill, in the logic of the Business Insider author, is exactly the same as opposition to democracy itself. Neat trick.

The Heritage Foundation, which maintains a database recording more than 1,000 incidents of confirmed voter fraud, has challenged the central claim of this pending legislation, i.e. that it will “save democracy.” Instead, Heritage argues, “H.R. 1 is an 800-page monstrosity that would usurp the role of the states. It would not only eliminate basic safety protocols, but mandate new, reckless rules and procedures.” These new procedures include a provision that would 

force states to allow anyone to vote who simply signs a form saying that they are who they claim they are. When combined with the mandate that states implement same-day voter registration, it means I could walk into any polling place on Election Day, register under the name John Smith, sign a form claiming I really am John Smith, cast a ballot, and walk out. Not only would election officials have no way of preventing that or verifying that I am not really John Smith, I could repeat this in as many polling places as I can get to.

While Democratic Party leaders seek to eliminate, or at least disable the opposition party to “save” democracy, that message has failed to persuade independent and Republican voters. As noted by the Washington Post, “Republicans are also more likely to see fraud as a threat to fair elections than they are to see voter suppression (that is, efforts to keep certain groups from voting) in that way. More than half of Republicans identify either fraud or ‘vote tampering’ by Democrats as the biggest threat to fair elections.” The Post adds, “It’s important to point out that there is no evidence of rampant fraud in American elections. There are unquestionably isolated incidents of fraud, individual people arrested for casting votes illegally. There is no evidence of that occurring on any significant scale.” How does the Post justify its minimizing terms, “rampant,” “isolated,” and “significant scale”? The story contains a clear admission that fraud and vote tampering have been confirmed. But the Post isn’t worried because the fraud remains at an acceptable level and, in any case, helps Democrats. In the old days, the acceptable level of voter fraud was be zero. 

But the really bad news for the Democrats and others supporting the anti-Republican campaign is that the poll cited by the Post shows independent voters, by a slight edge, see the Democrats as the greater threat to democracy. 

What makes the messaging even more confusing is that Democrats are demanding COVID passports and IDs as a condition of working, dining, and traveling. Yet they remain adamant that voter ID requirements “suppress” legitimate voter participation by minority voters.

Democrats are calling for the elimination of the filibuster to pass their election legislation on the theory that they’re championing voting rights that are too important to compromise. The opposite is actually true. If one is going to monkey with election rules, it’s even more important to achieve bipartisanship in order to maintain faith in the election process. And by the way, Democrats might improve their credibility on the issue of election integrity if they had not tried to flip the 2016 election with dirty tricks. 

About Adam Mill

Adam Mill is a pen name. He is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and works in Kansas City, Missouri as an attorney specializing in labor and employment and public administration law. He graduated from the University of Kansas and has been admitted to practice in Kansas and Missouri. Mill has contributed to The Federalist, American Greatness, and The Daily Caller.

Photo: Christine Pelosi (left) at a meeting of the Resolutions Committee at the DNC summer meeting, Aug. 22, 2019.

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