Today’s article is ripe with personal stories but has much wider and dangerous implications.
The other day, as I’m given to do occasionally, I decided to visit a few right wing websites. I ran into the usual, long debunked, right wing mythology about Trump having actually won the 2020 presidential election. One in particular struck me. It had a Trump won type comment questioning the integrity of elections from someone what had written an opposing view op-ed to mine in a local newspaper several years ago.
Note: This person seldom notices politics beyond his county’s borders which went for Trump with 55.96% of the vote in 2020. In fact the last Democrat to carry that county was Bill Clinton in 1996.
That led me down a rabbit hole where I read some of the “recent” articles on his website. It took me back to one from 2014 where he accused me of leading a Democratic voter registration effort that refused to register people who declared they were going to vote for other than my chosen candidate(s). Let me state the (inconvenient for him) facts.
I did lead a voter registration effort at the time in question and it largely operated out of the county’s Democratic headquarters. During that time an application for voter registration (the most anyone other than an official of the county’s Board of Elections could legally do) was completed and submitted (in a timely manner) to the county Board of Elections for all but one person. I personally handled that person so this is not hearsay. The person in question could not tell me what county they resided in. That is not a typo; they literally could not declare what county, let alone any more specific location, that they lived in. I therefore informed them that I could not complete the form. (Which I couldn’t. I literally could not fill in the required information on the form.) They had told me that a candidate for office (at that time a registered Democrat and the last time they ran, they ran – unsuccessfully in a red county -as a registered Republican) had sent them to me, would meet them there and that I would take care of them. I told them I knew of no such arrangement and could not complete the form sans a county of residence. I suggested they go back to that person (who of course was a no a show; the “promise” was consistent with their behavior) or better yet to the Board of Elections office (which was within walking distance).
My “opposition writer” stated that he had the names of several people refused registration (his verbiage). Well, he may have been told so and believed them but I know for a fact they did not exist because I was there and during that time period seldom left the building while it was open. My staff was all volunteer and it wasn’t exactly massive.
As a side note the writer in question publicly stated that he had changed his voter registration from Republican to no party affiliation so that he could vote for the candidate in question in the primary. He also urged others to do the same. He subsequently reregistered as a Republican after the primary election.
My personal stake in this is irrelevant. Anyone who knows me knows I operate truthfully and with critical thinking skills. I’ll just leave it there and let you draw your own conclusions.
This instance is meaningless in the greater scheme of things but it does illustrate the problem posed by belief. The writer in question is typical of the MAGA force. He is a nice guy. I actually like him personally. However, he has not had many of the educational opportunities that I have had and is not what most of us would call particularly bright. Yet he can be an influencer to his peers and his vote counts just the same as mine.
He believes what he believes and that is the problem. Lies (a/k/a alternative facts) are the truth in his mind and the minds of millions of others similar to him.
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