By Brad Crone
Not since August 1814 have we witnessed an attack on the United States Capitol building. Not even during a Civil War, the darkest days ever in our history, did we see Confederates threaten the Capitol building.
Wednesday, January 6th will go down in history as a day our democratic republic was challenged, the Capitol attacked by domestic terrorist incited by a selfish, self-centered President – who basically refused to condemn or chastise the riot.
Yet, the rule of law prevailed. Congress in the early morning hours following the unrest certified the electoral college results naming Joe Biden as the incoming President. The system, while it was jolted, did not bend. The will of the American people prevailed. Our system based on the rule of law worked.
We witnessed great patriots like Richard Burr and Thom Tillis reject such tomfoolery. Vice President Pence and other Republican Senators rejected the total fabrication that somehow Donald Trump won re-election.
While we may not like the outcome, we have a duty to accept and respect the outcome. Just look back in recent history in 2000 when Vice President Al Gore lost the State of Florida by less than 600 votes in a hotly contested election against then Texas Governor George W. Bush. When the ballot counting was ordered stopped by the United States Supreme Court, Gore accepted the outcome and presided over the Joint Session of Congress that declared George W. Bush the legitimate victor.
In 2020, President Trump lost by 7 million votes across the nation. Trump’s failure to accept defeat in a gracious and dignified manner led to the riot and the unnecessary death of four Americans.
Are there legitimate concerns about election integrity? Absolutely. Do those concerns deserve an inquiry and debate – the answer is yes. In Georgia for example, touchscreen voting systems are a big concern. Election procedures on vote-by-mail in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania need to be clearly defined not by appointed officials or judges but by the lawfully elected State Legislature.
North Carolinians can be proud of our progress when it comes to election integrity. During the 2010s, the Republican Legislation mandated paper ballots, even on touch screen systems that are used in Mecklenburg and Guilford Counties. The voter has the ability to see their ballot before they submit that ballot to the tabulator.
As we move forward, there will be more debate about a court-approved voter identification law that will further prevent any efforts for fraudulent activities at the ballot box. With that said, we must also understand the concerns of our minority voters who see Voter Identification as another hurdle to access the right to vote. That concern must be appreciated, and all efforts must be made to accommodate the issuance of identification cards to all registered and legal voters.
Finally, we have to understand the anger that is simmering across our country. People just don’t drive to Washington to storm the Capitol building without merit. It is imperative that the political structure make an effort to understand and listen to the concerns of those who feel like their voice is not heard in the halls of government.
Trumpism exists today because government and our politicians have not listened, have not heard the voices of those who feel marginalized. These voters feel like they are ignored, and they are tired of seeing their government fail at the most basic and fundamental functions whether it is delivering the mail, sending out stimulus checks or getting seniors vaccinated.
These voters are fed-up with the inability of government to execute its core duties and responsibilities. Our political leaders and our governmental officials need to hear those concerns. They need to listen, and we really need to spend the next four years unifying our country and fixing our government institutions – so it can serve its citizens again.
Brad Crone is the former publisher of The Clayton Star and The Thomasville Times. For the past 30 years he has worked as one of the state’s prominent political consultants – operating Campaign Connections in Raleigh. Mr. Crone is a regular panelist on Spectrum News 1. Mr. Crone is registered Unaffiliated.