January 6 and January 20 have now come and passed – two dates of great significance in the modern history of this country. Unlike other significant anniversaries, these are not national holidays or even dates of special celebration like Valentine’s Day. Rather, their greatest significance lies in the stories that are built around them and the events of those dates. Currently, these stories are called narratives – stories we are telling ourselves about the events in order to understand their significance.
Typical of our current political polarization, there are now two narratives, both with their own body of supporters, and both with their own collection of justifications and interpretations. One narrative is strongly supported by the mainstream media, as well as by many powerful figures in government and industry. For convenience, we will call it the Narrative of the Left.
View from the Left
In this Narrative of the Left, January 6 was a day of insurrection, where massive numbers of Conservatives, neo-Nazis, Republications, White Supremacists, Christians, deplorables, and other domestic terrorists descended on Washington to take over the government and establish a right-wing totalitarian government. These violent, armed, Fascist mobs attacked the Capital, breaking into the sacred house of government, and sought to force Congress to defy the will of the people expressed through the democratic process of a national vote, and install their cult leader, Donald Trump as their autocratic President. It was only through the heroic actions of a badly outnumbered Capital Police Force that the attackers were beaten back and our Democratcy was saved. Terrified Congressmen were protected and were able to resume the counting of the legitimate Electoral College votes that established Joe Biden as the true and proper President.
From that date, all the way until Inauguration Day of January 20, cult followers were spreading lies that there was significant fraud in the election, that the results were invalid, and that the wrong person had been selected. This was in spite of election officials proving that the election was the most secure and most fair election ever conducted, and despite over 81 million votes for Biden, millions more than voted for their candidate. This in spite of the fact that over sixty court challenges of the election results were all decided against Trump. Still, loser Donald Trump and his worshipful followers continued to spread his Big Lie that the election had been stolen and that he alone was the true winner.
Despite all the right-wing lies, protests, threats, and actual violence, the true winner of the 2020 election, Joe Biden, was inaugurated on January 20 to assume his proper role as President of the United States, and leader of the Free World. Under his leadership, the US would eliminate the plague of Covid, stop the climate destroying use of fossil fuels, stop our illegitimate foreign wars, end the systemic racism that was stopping black America from assuming its true role, would ensure justice and equity for all, and would create a safe space for all those seeking to flee oppression and poverty.
Prelude to the second Narrative
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There is a second Narrative, however. This Narrative is not only ignored by major media, but is actively suppressed by media, technology giants, and most government and industry officials. Yet it persists, and has even been growing in influence of late. We will call this the Narrative of the Right.
In this Narrative, January 6 has a history that goes back to before the national election held November 3 of the preceding year. In fact, it goes back for several decades, at least to the time following the end of the Presidency of Ronald Reagan. In the years following, the American people elected several Presidents, both Republican and Democrat who promised peace and prosperity, but who routinely broke promises and delivered far less than promised.
In 2015, a new candidate appeared who was not from the usual class of political elites, but was a wealthy businessman, unbeholden to powerful donors and special interests, and who spoke of the things important to ordinary people who had families, businesses, farms, and regular jobs. He spoke of excessive regulation, burdensome taxes, American businesses shipping jobs overseas, and of our dependence on foreign sources for energy, raw materials, and finished goods. He spoke of how these sources were not acting in the best interests of America, and how he intended to remedy these situations.
Although he was a political outsider, with a brash and sometimes abrasive personality, we had just gone through one of the longest sustained recessions in recent history. We had further experienced enormous expansion of government intrusion into nearly every aspect of life, all oriented to establishing a Socialist style centralization of power. The alternative candidate had coined the term “deplorables” to characterize half the population, was a fan of even larger government, and seemed unable to be truthful about her past, as well as of her future objectives.
Feeling it was time for a change, we elected him, and in 2016, he took office. From the first day, he actually seemed to be working to keep his promises. He cut back regulations, cut taxes, promoted American sources of energy, worked to reduce the size of government, and encouraged creation of good American jobs. He negotiated trade agreements that were fairer to America, worked to end our involvement in foreign wars, encouraged our allies to assume more responsibility for their own security, and consistently sought to act in the interests of America and the American people.
Of course, all this was in opposition to those who favored more government, more tax dollars funneled to special interest groups, and more centralization of power. Conveniently, in his last year in office, a pathogen was released from a bioweapons lab in China. The pathogen was not especially deadly, but it served as a global excuse for authoritarian aspirants, including authorities within our own States, to drastically restrict basic rights and freedoms, all in the name of protecting the population from disease. Never mind that those actions were hugely destructive of individual lives and livelihoods, involved unconstitutional acts, and promoted immeasurable transfers of wealth and power to a few well-connected beneficiaries.
Blame for the epidemic was laid at the feet of the new President, who was viciously criticized for not acting soon enough, for acting too quickly, for not doing enough, for doing too much, and for doing the wrong things, even though his opposition was often encouraging those same activities. Advised by incompetent but powerful medical advisors, who often made conflicting and contradictory recommendations, he did the best he could in difficult and confusing times.
With that background, we come to the election of November 3, 2019. Claiming necessity engendered by the epidemic, several States made illegal and unconstitutional changes to their voting laws – changes that election integrity commissions had for years opposed as fraud promoting. Some of the changes involved widespread mail-in voting, use of poorly monitored ballot drop boxes, and extended voting and counting periods. These changes, coupled with poorly maintained voter rolls, and use of questionable electronic ballot handling systems, raised serious questions in the minds of many voters.
During and in the days following the election, these concerns were amplified and validated when vote totals changed dramatically overnight, legitimate observers were denied access to observe ballot handling, reports of rescanning, midnight delivery of truckloads of ballots from unknown sources, security cameras showing suitcases of ballots pulled from under tables and fed through counters after observers were told there would be no more counting for the night, and numerous other irregularities were reported. Voters watched as a candidate who had seemed a sure winner the night before when counting supposedly stopped, awoke to find that massive numbers of ballots had been counted overnight, and the opposition candidate now led the totals.
View from the Right
Finally, we come to January 6 and the Second Narrative. In this Narrative, largely of the Right, we have a large group of people who, having witnessed the irregularities of the preceding election, and who were concerned about the possibility of a coup by fraud, want to see the irregularities investigated. While they would like their candidate to be declared the legitimate winner, most had justifiable concerns that the election results could not be trusted to be accurate. For a democratic republic, this is a major concern, perhaps the greatest concern of the Nation, since trust in the legitimacy of the government is essential in a free society. If the populace cannot trust the elections that determine its leaders, it cannot trust the operations of its own government. If it cannot trust its government, then that government must rely on coercion rather than cooperation. People under such government are no longer free.
This large body of concerned citizens was invited to Washington to encourage and support the members of Congress to delay the final counting for a short period while the major irregularities could be investigated. They did not wish to overthrow the government, or force acceptance of their candidate. They merely wished an opportunity to see if their concerns about the integrity of the election were valid. From all accounts, the mood of the crowd was peaceful, and even somewhat festive. They had faith that Congress would do the right thing and delay the count by a few days In a country supposedly governed by the people, that did not seem like such a difficult request to grant.
But, sometime before Donald Trump completed his speech near the White House, certain parties initiated attempts to enter the Capitol building where the deliberations regarding counting were taking place. Some say the attempts were false flag actions undertaken by Antifa and even the FBI in an attempt to paint Trump supporters as violent attackers intent on installing their candidate by force. Others think some members of the crowd were carried away by the moment and in an excess of enthusiasm sought to enter the Capitol and a modest riot ensued. Capitol police removed barricades and even escorted members of the crowd into the Capitol building. With very few exceptions, those who entered the Capitol were peaceful and caused no damage and made no threats.
From that day until Inauguration Day on January 20, these concerned citizens sought to challenge the counts and obtain the investigations they believed would answer their questions regarding the election. Court cases were filed by individuals, groups, and even States. It was, for many, a sad day when a President was installed in office of whom it was believed by nearly two thirds of the populace that he was not legitimate, and only won through election manipulation and fraud.
A preponderance of evidence
Since that time, investigations have continued. Arizona conducted a detailed audit of one of its most populous counties. The auditors found that the ballot totals matched the totals that were reported earlier. They also found that over ten thousand of those ballots should never have been included in the counts. The first result was widely reported in the media. The second was not. Why?
Nearly every day now, new evidence is being reported of massive numbers of votes of people well over 100 years old, of substantially more mail-in votes received than were sent out, of midnight deliveries of backpacks full of ballots to unmonitored drop boxes, of addresses claimed by dozens and even hundreds of “voters” as their address of residence, of more mail-in ballots received than return envelopes…the list goes on and on. Why is this not on the daily news? Why is the evidence, if it is even mentioned, is dismissed as irrelevant, the product of sore losers, as not being of significant concern, and even being lies produced by “right-wing activists”? Why do the so-called “fact checkers” assume that the concerns are false, and work to provide rationalizations they call proof for why the evidence must be false, or a misinterpretation, or some other error that would invalidate the concern?
The Left likes to point to all the court cases around the election that were dismissed and claim that proves there were no irregularities. They ignore the fact that all the cases were dismissed on technical grounds such as standing, and that in no case was the evidence even examined. Were the cases simply dismissed by judges unwilling to deal with the ensuing controversy? Were they influenced by ideological considerations and wanted to be sure their guy won? Were they threatened or bought? Did they simply think it wasn’t important, or that some other court would act, or even that it was only a matter for the Supreme Court? In any event, dismissal of the cases only proves the cases were dismissed. Contrary to the claims of the Left, it does not prove that the concerns regarding election fraud were groundless, and that the election was secure and without issues significant enough to overturn the results.
Why did a major news magazine publish an article claiming that the election had indeed been manipulated by a combination of tech giants, political activists and business leaders to ensure that Biden won? Why weren’t their claims investigated as a confession of Federal election fraud?
Given all the concerns with the 2020 election, shouldn’t the States be taking action to implement fraud prevention measures that have been recommended multiple times over decades? Mail-in voting has been identified repeatedly as one of the most vulnerable and fraud prone activities in an election. In nearly every country where it has been tried, it has been discontinued because of concerns over fraud. Shouldn’t the States be acting to abolish it except in very special cases where nothing else will serve? If voting is a right and privilege reserved for citizens, shouldn’t prospective voters be required to provide some proof that they are legal citizens entitled to vote? When voting in person, shouldn’t there be some provision to check that the prospective voter is who they say they are? If audits are useful in business to detect errors and intentional illegal activities, shouldn’t there be audits of something as important as an election?
All these things and more have been proposed in State legislatures across the country. Nearly all of the proposals have been blocked, usually by the Left. They use excuses that mail-in voting is necessary to protect people from disease, that requiring proof of citizenship or identification acts to suppress legal votes from minority populations, that audits would give opportunity for vote manipulation and fraud…. and the excuses continue. As a result, very few of the protections have actually been implemented, leaving future elections vulnerable to the same activities observed in the 2020 election. Why is the Left so opposed to election integrity measures? Is it just because they aren’t the ones proposing them? Perhaps it’s because they find the status quo somehow to their advantage?
If it walks like a duck…
Assume for a moment that there really was a coup, but that it hadn’t been fully consolidated. Wouldn’t those who had illegitimately assumed control be working hard to consolidate their power and eliminate potential opposition? After all, Stalin, after taking power in the Russian Revolution set about systematically eliminating anyone who might pose a threat to him. He even went so far as to send an assassin to Mexico to eliminate Leon Trotsky, who was killed with a climber’s ice axe through his temple. There was even a saying that the greatest threat to a revolutionary was another revolutionary. Is that what is happening here now?
Consider that we have a January 6 Congressional investigation by a committee with only members of the Left. Only a small percentage of their activities to date actually involve investigation of the events of January 6. The rest seems to be a combination of intimidation and fishing expedition to try to find anything that can be used to condemn and suppress conservatives.
Consider, too, that many people who attended the January 6 rally in Washington have been hunted down like violent criminals, rousted from their homes in midnight raids by squadrons of heavily armed FBI agents, thrown into solitary confinement in federal prisons with appalling conditions, denied bail, contact with family and even with attorneys and held for extended periods under the most trivial of charges like trespassing. When I was much younger, I would hear stories of how such things happened to political dissidents in the Soviet Union. I never expected our own government to be guilty of such things.
Couldn’t the perpetrators of a coup work hard to stop investigations into the coup and how it was accomplished? After all, if they didn’t have full support of the people, investigations could uncover sufficient evidence that might turn the populace against them. They would need to keep such activities suppressed to avoid exposure.
All these activities and more seem like consolidation activities to intimidate those who might oppose a coup, and to neutralize those who might be in a position to gather support for opposition. Meanwhile, the installed administration is working to impoverish the population, to distract them with concerns of inflation, possible war, economic disruption, and many other issues to keep them from organizing to resist.
I can’t say for sure that there has been a coup, but I can’t rule it out, either. I do know that those who seek power do not give it up easily. An animal is most dangerous when it is cornered. Our entire system of government is based on the idea that power will be voluntarily surrendered to legitimate successors based on the winners of valid elections. Our first President set the example that has been followed for over 250 years.
We now have people in office who are working hard to ensure they never have to give up their power, because they will never permit another election to go against them. Later this year we have another election of National scope that many feel will remove many of those responsible for the rapid decay of our country and eliminate the possibility of any further consolidation. Yet the mechanisms that gave them a 2020 victory are still largely in place, and they have been working feverishly to fix the holes in their methods that allowed the Right to find so much evidence.
Why have they been working so hard to enact their “voting rights” laws and assume Federal control of elections? Do we really want Federal officials deciding what votes are legitimate and which to discard? Wasn’t it Stalin who said that it doesn’t matter which votes count, only who counts the votes? Are they working hard to protect our Democratcy?
They are also working to expand the methods that were so successful before and add new ones. There are many avenues available to those who do not wish to give up their power. Even though right now it might look like they will be forced out, remember the cornered animal. We can only be sure in retrospect. We cannot let our confidence lead us astray nor relax our vigilance. History will cast the final ballot.
By David Robb
David Robb is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a practicing scientist who has been working in industry for over 50 years. One of his specialties is asking awkward questions. A large part of his work over the years has involved making complex scientific issues clear and understandable to non-specialists. Sometimes he even succeeds.
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Featured photo <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0> courtesy of TapTheForwardAssist via Wikimedia Commons.