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The Biden Administration Faces a Legitimacy Crisis

A substantial number of Americans believe there was systemic election fraud. That isn't conducive to national unity.

On December 14th, the Electoral College of the United States convened and voted to confirm Joe Biden as president-elect of the United States, achieving a major milestone on the path to the Oval Office. 

Around the same time, at least two national polls (CBS and FOX) came out indicating that the substantial majority of Republicans, and somewhere between 35% and 40% of all voters, believe that the election was stolen and should be contested. This represents over 60 million Americans. Half of Trump voters, and a quarter of all voters, believe that Trump should not concede. These statistics, and the convictions they represent, should be of serious concern to all Americans, whether Republican or Democrat, Trumpist, Never-Trumper, or the Moderate Middle.

Roughly three-quarters of Trump voters (and 25% of independent voters) believe that the election was systematically and criminally flawed–“stolen” as it was described in one of the polls. Cutting through all of it, the allegations take two forms: 1) traditional political-machine vote-rigging in large cities in battleground states, a long history of which we’ve had in this country, and 2) software- and/or hardware- enabled through the voting machines, a relative novelty for America, but experienced elsewhere around the world in this decade. This group comes to this startling conclusion from the sum total of what appears to them to be overwhelming evidence.  

This evidence includes: hundreds of signed affidavits by Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike attesting (under oath and penalty of perjury) to witnessing various frauds; statistical analysis of the voting pattern data in the wee hours showing impossible probabilities; unconstitutional last-minute changing of the rules of the game by certain states (the basis for the Texas plus 18 supporting states suit which SCOTUS ultimately declined to hear, arguing that Texas lacked standing); and potentially damning video evidence such as what was recorded on CCTV after hours in Atlanta and Detroit. 

None of this is particularly evident to the casual observer. The large social media platforms and mainstream media are refusing to cover any of it, other than in the most arrogant, mocking and belittling of terms, carefully avoiding the substance of the arguments and instead writing about typos in lawsuits and sweaty hair dye. This is consistent with the strategy employed by these same media outlets in refusing to report on the criminal investigations into the Biden family’s alleged corruption with foreign powers … at least until after the elections. 

This “denial of service attack” happened even though FBI investigations into Hunter Biden were going on for nearly two years. There was a major break in the Biden family story in October from the New York Post, our nation’s oldest daily with one of its largest circulations. This bombshell was immediately blocked by Twitter and similarly buried elsewhere (imagine if the equivalent had anachronistically happened to the Washington Post during Watergate). The media’s rationale? The Russians did it. Obviously. That storyline was getting a bit old, and so the investigations are now being reported as accurate by these same media platforms. Conveniently, this volte-face only occurred several weeks after the elections, with most Americans unaware of the investigations when casting their ballots.

How is this democracy, by the way, if the First Amendment is only selectively applied by those powerful interests with an oligopoly on our news, which hold the power to censor dissenting views? There is not even room for debate on these questions, as individuals and venerable institutions alike are booted from Twitter and Facebook for even daring to ask, “What exactly happened?” 

Democrats should be equally interested in understanding what happened, if for no other reason than to de-bunk any falsehoods or unfounded conspiracies, and to regain some confidence and a legitimacy that is clearly missing now. Election integrity is not a partisan matter. All Americans should want to know if there were systemic flaws in the elections, whether intentional or accidental, and take steps to improve the process before the 2022 election cycle.

This clarification could be aided by congressional hearings on the 2020 election process. This is happening to a limited degree at the state level in key battleground states, and the US Senate is holding hearings beginning this week. As Americans invested in the future of our democracy, we all have a shared interest in shining the full light of day on what happened. If there is nothing to hide, these Senators should be more than happy to confirm it, and to challenge those witnesses who say otherwise.  

Mr. Biden has said, “it’s time to turn the page” and move on. This would be unwise even if it were possible. If these questions remain unanswered, and upwards of 40% of Americans believe that there was systemic fraud in the election process, the new Administration risks a lack of legitimacy from day one. This will seriously undermine any efforts, no matter how vigorous and sincere, to “build back better.”  

The suggestion has been made that Americans will look past this contentious period and come together, much as we did following Bush v. Gore in 2000. I am much less confident that people will just “move on” this time around. Unless there is a willingness on the part of the legislature to have transparent hearings on the matter, I think we may yet have a real crisis on our hands. Lincoln’s famous recitation of the gospel quote, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” remains just as applicable…and as urgent…for America today as it was on the eve of the Civil War. 

Michael Wilkerson, author of Stormwall: Observations on America in Peril, is Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Africa, a publicly-listed company with a mandate to invest in high-quality African businesses.

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