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Have Faith in Americans

Dear Editor: 

Like David Roffe, I have enjoyed our lively exchange of ideas in The Wave. He and I can continue to disagree on the notion of America being a banana republic. We are not.  This week is proving my point. 

We had an enormous turnout for the Presidential election. None of the feared violence or intimidation materialized – nor could it have deterred Americans from voting.  As expected, the outcome is not settled and, unfortunately, may end up in court.  There will be recounts and legal challenges – both of which are lawful.  People may demonstrate and protest but I have faith that violence will be limited.  The only ones who want violence are the fringe groups who cannot sway popular opinion with their weak ideas. 

What was said of America a long time ago is still true: “As the election draws near, intrigues multiply and turmoil spreads…as soon as the result has been announced, this passion is dispelled, all returns to calm.”  In our current highly partisan environment, we won’t calm down very quickly but life will return to normal.  The majority of Americans will wish our inaugurated President well, even if we did not vote for him.  Pitched political battles around issues will continue, but that is what we do in a democracy. 

Mr. Roffe expressed concern that Trump will mobilize the military if he loses. Our men and women in uniform are not “sworn to follow the president’s orders.” Their oath is to support and defend the Constitution. I have faith that our military leaders are not going to send soldiers and armor into the streets. Even if they did, I have faith that the average soldier would not turn his rifle on a fellow American in support of a coup. If I am wrong, then Mr. Roth right – this is a banana republic.  I am not wrong. 

Regarding the Supreme Court, I completely agree that Merrick Garland got the shaft. That does not justify destroying the institution (and by extension our system of government) via court-packing. Let’s face it, if Hillary had won in 2016, the court would currently have 6-3 majority on the liberal side. Certainly, liberals and progressives would scream “banana republic” if the next Republican president tried to pack the court to “balance the scales.”  Of course, conservatives would not do that.   

Speaking of the Court, it would be unfortunate for national unity if the election ends up there but I also have faith the Justices will be guided by their honest perspective on the law, not their preferred choice for President.  If this does go to the Supreme Court, don’t fall for the false claim that the Court handed George W. Bush the presidency in 2000.  It’s a fact: Bush beat Gore in Florida and won the Electoral College.  The Court merely stopped the political shenanigans by both sides. Gore didn’t like it, but he accepted it.  That’s what we all need to do.  Watch the results closely to assure fairness then accept the just result.    

Have faith in your fellow Americans.  And don’t worry, another election is just four years away. 

Paul King