By Ryan McMaken
There’s at least one good reason to support Donald Trump’s ongoing lawsuits challenging the election results in several states: the US foreign policy establishment doesn’t want you to.
As Newsweek reported last week, “A group of more than 100 national security experts” from Republican administrations have condemned the president’s challenges to some states’ vote-counting process. These “experts” are claiming these legal efforts “undermine democracy” and “risk long-term damage” to the nation’s institutions. The signatories include people like Michael Hayden, John Negroponte, and Tom Ridge. These are the usual sort of “deep state” technocrats—for example, James Comey and John Brennan—who chime in to defend the status quo in the United States and insist it is an outrage that anyone (i.e., Donald Trump) departs from the usual way of doing things.
Regardless of how one feels about Donald Trump, anyone who values fair play, honesty, and the votes of legal voters should want thorough audits and investigations. The question: “how much was this election affected by fraud?” warrants serious consideration and serious investigation into how the election was conducted. After all, whenever political power is at stake, there is no reason whatsoever to assume honesty and integrity are guiding the actions of all involved.
Fraud occurs with every election, of course. Anyone who claims any election contains no fraud lives in a fantasy land, or is lying. Voter fraud exists anywhere that votes are cast. Anecdotes of fraud in this election are plentiful, from backdated ballots in Pennsylvania, to “coaching” voters in Detroit. The question is whether or not this sort of thing is widespread enough to change the outcome. In a number of lawsuits, the Trump campaign has suggested that it has been widespread.
And there’s no harm in allowing the legal process to proceed. After all, in legal and constitutional terms, the US election process is still very much on schedule.
Contrary to what various reporters seem to think, it is not the case that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris “were declared the election’s winners more than two weeks ago, after Fox News, the Associated Press and other television networks called” it. The outcomes of presidential elections aren’t declared by infotainment performers working at Fox News.
Rather, federal statutes and constitutional provisions stipulate that the Electoral College will meet in December, and the Congress will declare a winner shortly thereafter. This process is in no danger of being derailed.
It’s too bad that people like Michael Hayden don’t respect this constitutional process, but that’s just par for the course coming from someone who has been director of the CIA.
For those who actually care about some measure of accountability and transparency from government institutions in charge of running elections, there should be no problem with any presidential candidate demanding a wide variety of legal challenges. This in itself won’t solve the problem of election fraud, and it won’t make the regime respect anyone’s human rights. This wouldn’t make government by majority-rule any less problematic. But it would be helpful to gather more information on how much of a gulf lies between the perception of “free and fair elections” and the reality. And it is the very least that should be done in the wake of an election where the outcome is close, messy, and conducted by politicians who are very unlikely to have the average Americans’ interests at heart.