Speaking to the American Premise

By Gordon Hill

In 1960, I cast my first vote for president. Whether it was for Kennedy or Nixon is less important than that I voted. It counted.

Since then I have voted every two years and at other times in county or city elections on different schedules. My success in voting for winning candidates is likely similar with others, even those who always vote Republican or Democrat. That the 12 presidents since 1960 have been equally divided between Republicans and Democrats may say more about American’s than political punditry.

Today we are experiencing turmoil surrounding the 2020 election which Joe Biden won, yet President Trump has refused to concede, claiming massive voter fraud, an assertion he made before the first vote was counted, an opinion without confirming evidence. Is it possible there were millions of fraudulent votes? Could be, but highly unlikely. Here’s why.

Voting is administered and processed at the county level, more than 3,000 of them, mostly headed by Republicans who, in my experience hire staff and select volunteers on a nonpartisan basis. These thousands of employees and probably millions of volunteers focus on conducting fair elections. Questioning their fairness is insulting.

Whether this assault on the 2020 election will be detrimental or advantageous for American democracy is to be determined. That some state legislatures are passing bills giving them the right to overturn voting results should cause outrage among voters of every perspective. America is resilient because our votes count. The flip-flopping of Republican and Democrat Presidents is a clue.

Why these changes? That would be speculative and I am game for it. In my view it’s because the framers of the Constitution brilliantly created a document more catalytic than prescriptive, forcing its interpreters to winnow its meaning. Consider its premise:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union…”

That’s it; all we need to know. The rest is illustrative: “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare” closing with “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…” and more. Amended 27 times.

Our continuing challenge is deciding how this will be achieved. Today’s politicians and pundits continue the historic trend of characterizing their view as the better way. We vote our acceptance or disapproval every two years. Currently there are trends in most states to limit who can vote, how and where they can, even with some state legislatures able to change the results if they disagree with voters. This threatens the Constitutional premise, “We the people of the United States…”

In 15 months, we will know who Americans have chosen to guide the country for the next two years. At issue is whether every vote will be cast and counted.

That’s how I see it and I’m sticking to it… until I change which I have and will. Until next time, here’s wishing you all the best in your quest for success.

Gordon Hill, a retired internet technologist, is seeking a master of arts in English at Northwest Missouri State continuing his quest for success.