January 9, 2021
Washington, We Have a Problem
Last week, D.C.’s streets braced themselves for hordes of President Trump loyalists demanding to overturn the 2020 election results. They didn’t go quietly. But will Trump?
When Congress certified the Electoral College results, the question wasn’t whether Trump concedes or not.
The real question is: Does it matter?
Even if he doesn’t concede, Trump is still just one man. And from where I’m sitting, one man can’t stand in the way of the democratic system, no matter who he is. Not everything will change after the final results, though. The MAGA movement and populist thinking will live on. But I, for one, am hopeful there will be a peaceful transition of power this month.
This is not just my sunny optimism talking here… I’m taking a cue from the pages of American history.
Do these sound familiar? Voting suppression? Stuffed ballots? Electoral fraud? Unprecedented voter turnout?
They should… They were all hallmarks of the 1876 U.S. Election.
As Salon writer Matthew Rozsa details this week on the American Consequences podcast, this isn’t the first time Americans are in the wake of a contentious election.
Before we dealt with the whispers of Russian hacking in 2016 and the “hanging chads” in Florida of 2000, there was the crooked race of Rutherford B. Hayes (R.) and Samuel Tilden (D.) nearly 150 years ago.
As Matthew tells it, there was widespread cheating and voter fraud on both sides of the 1876 election, from the politicians to their supporters. In short, there were no “good guys” to be found…
And what happened in 1877? Was there a second Civil War? Did we dissolve into confederate states and chaos? We did not. We persevered like Americans always do. Just like the Spanish flu a century ago and COVID-19 now… we’ve been here before.
The difference, Matthew points outs, is that the 2020 election was a more fair, secure process and ultimately way less of a mess than Hayes v. Tilden. And if we survived that debacle, we will surely get through this one as well.
In trying to fight the election results, Trump has lost roughly 60 legal cases, and 90 (bipartisan) judges have ruled against him. As Matthew says, in the end, Trump will leave office because he has to… But this won’t be the end of democracy.
Four years ago, Trump ran hard with his immigration policy, and the issue of illegal aliens in the U.S. has always been divisive.
But another president talked about the possibility of a different kind of alien bringing us all together…
In a 1987 address to the United Nations, President Ronald Reagan spoke of how finding alien life would be a defining moment in uniting humanity.
Yes, I can hear you all snickering through your screens. But in a nation so polarized, maybe the answer isn’t on the Right or the Left… Maybe it’s in the sky. Because as Harvard Professor Avi Loeb uncovers, we may not be the only intelligent beings out there.
Avi was my other guest on this week’s podcast, and he spoke with me about the wild possibilities of extraterrestrial life in our galaxy. He points out that there are objects found in space that defy definition… If it’s not an asteroid or meteor, why couldn’t it be something made by aliens?
I know it seems odd, but if we found alien life, it really would be a uniting moment for Americans. We’d be humbled, and it would remind us that there is far more connecting us than separating us.
Avi also mentions alien skeptics in the science community, who apparently entertain wild ideas like multiverses but are quick to laugh off any proof-of-aliens talk. It’s again disconcerting that so many academics are inflexible to hearing others’ ideas, whether it’s liberal PC college professors or Avi’s Harvard peers unwilling to listen to him.
The fact is, we don’t need aliens or history books to remind us of our humanity. We need to be open to each other’s ideas, to listen to our fellow Americans, and discover our undeniable similarities as people. That… and rebuild our middle class.
If aliens are listening to earth’s radio waves, they’re so far away that they’re just getting the 2016 election results. Let’s hope that by 2024, we’ve made light-years of progress.
You can listen to both full interviews on the American Consequences podcast here.
Recommended Reading: A Massive Wave of Bankruptcies is Coming
A major shock is coming to the U.S. financial system. The election results won’t matter (but a long court battle or a wave of riots could make things MUCH worse). Months of stock gains could go up in smoke. But there’s an easy way to make sure your money and prospective gains are LEGALLY-PROTECTED. The last time something similar happened you could have seen 772% gains. A real reader explains how he does it, in plain English, right here.
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Executive Editor, American Consequences
With Editorial Staff
January 9, 2021