We Hold These Truths
We Hold These Truths
Do you trust the election news coverage on your social media feeds?
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What is it?
- Midterm elections on Tuesday, November 8th, served a dual purpose: a vote for Congress and a referendum on American democracy. After years of mis-, dis-, and mal-information (MDM) about electoral integrity and with many election deniers running for office, election officials feared that regardless of the outcomes, the midterm elections would be riddled with refusals to accept democratically achieved results.
- Thus far, the midterm election results have been accepted more widely than anticipated in the aftermath of former President Trump’s bid to overturn the 2020 elections. Accounting for the calm, election officials are referencing increased transparency measures such as live cams at polling locations and in counting rooms in addition to consistent public statements and communication from state officials.
- Nonetheless, following tight elections in Arizona and Nevada, election lawyers around the country are preparing for significant challenges to election results. Talk of challenging electoral results has already begun to grow in Arizona and Michigan.
Why does it matter?
- Questioning electoral integrity in the United States has led to prominent acts of violence that harm the entire nation, such as the January 6th, 2021, storming of the Capitol. Establishing trust in the electoral process and reducing MDM is key to lessening the likelihood of political violence.
- Everyone who chooses to vote must have their vote counted to give them an equal voice in determining the outcome of elections for their representatives. To ensure that all votes can be cast and counted, we must promote trust in our electoral system and raise awareness of the MDM that interferes with this process.
What can you do?
- Fact-check the election news you consume to ensure that you are not consuming or spreading election-related MDM.
- Learn about the safeguards in place protecting election integrity across the country.
- If you are a Georgia voter, register to vote in the December 6th runoff elections between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker. The runoff is a chance for your voice to be heard!
Authored by Anna Cohen
In the months before the election, I became frustrated and disappointed in what the pundits were predicting, i.e. The Big Red Wave. It was upsetting because of the MDM which has been prevalent from the time on the escaltor when: DJT rode down to announce his candidacy while spewing lies about Mexicans; he villified the press, called them "fake news," and pointed out where they were seated at his rallies potentially endangering them; DJT's verbal, muscle-flexing, encouraging rally attendees to eject dissenters from their midst and promising to pay for their attorney and openly encouraging violent behavior, were more than dog whistles to his supporters; DJT's bravado showed how much he thought of himself while disrespecting others with his ego assaultive language and monikers for his opponents; and these behaviors didn't change after his election. They were simply signs of what was to follow. The escalator descending with him on it was a metaphor for his beliefs and behavior: he was at the top and didn't care whom he put down or took down with him. The destructive behavior was like a malignant cancer that grew during his reign in office.
I hoped that some of the media attention to him would dissipate after Mr. Biden won, but: DJT's base had been taken in by his lies; his sycophants continued to protect him by repeating the lies; the Democrats weren' good at sharing info on what they were accomplishing or at countering his MDM; and worst of all, DJT successfully slipped out of being held accountable for any of his behavior. That lack of accountability empowered him, making him a bigger threat to all of us.
Hearing the media and pundits prognosticating the coming of The Big Red Wave was scary because I saw so much of what had happened in listening to DJT and watching his behavior as a destructive path, taking us closer to becoming an autocracy. It was at this juncture that I became actively involved in an AZ campaign as part of the phonebank, calling registered voters. Initially, I spoke with people in Pima County for a few weeks and to Maricopa County folks in the last week or so.
What I discovered in these contacts with people whose registration status as R, D, I, were unknown to me is that other people were dissatisfied with the status quo and wanted things to change. Men who were vets of various wars didn't like what was happening to narrow the freedoms for which they had fought; women were concerned about having their agency restricted; others told me they'd voted R all of their lives, but no longer could and wouldn't until the Party changed its behavior; and the young folks who were voting for the first or second time raised my hope about their impact on our system because we were decades apart in our lives, but sharing common wishes and dreams for our country.
My involvement in this campaign moved the needle for me very quickly towards ignoring the pundits. What I don't think they put enough attention to was that we are living in a time like no other where our lives are threatened. Most of our enemies and threats to our quality of life have been external, not domestic. People of color have had the KKK in their history, so they're very familiar with the threat they pose. The January 6, 2021, attempted coup d'etats was a wake-up call to many of us. The insurrectionists, DJT and his supporters brought us into awareness that our democracy, Constitution, and way of life is at risk in a domestic war. The election is a reflection of that and evidence that people have voted to preserve our democracy. We now have to continue moving forward, maintaining the path of freedom, equality, and justice, working together in peace and truth, confronting lies and countering them. I still have a dream that we can be the beloved community and live together in peace as brothers and sisters