“Cowardice asks: Is it safe? Expediency asks: Is it politic? But Conscience asks: Is it right?” William Morley Punshon, 19th century British Methodist minister.
Because many Americans do not have a working acquaintance with their country’s history, today’s Alice-in-Wonderland feel of soft footings and graded ethics may seem new. It is not new. The same three questions asked by Reverend Punshon apply to every person, corporation or business, and to every elected and appointed person in the nation’s history. We the People, for the Republic to endure, must be able to know “Is it right?” and when it is wrong, hold those responsible accountable.
The question is often stated as a choice between two “evils” and the selection of the lesser evil as right. In World War II it was thought that selecting a personification of evil in Stalin was better than the personification of evil that was Hitler. President Truman thought losing men in an invasion of Japan was a greater evil than dropping an atomic bomb on civilians – not once but twice. Many Americans have come to think that choosing a lesser evil defines rightness. Miss Constitution thinks not.
In the world of politics, it is sometimes incredibly hard to sift through deliberately created complexities and come to a conscience-driven conclusion. That is why difficult political decisions by Congress are often hurried, last-minute, no time to read, think, or study – often commanded to be made on December 24 or December 31 of a given year. Just vote – your vote will be hidden; if it is not hidden a case can be made that it is a choice between two evils – a graded ethic is still an ethic in the world of Alice in Wonderland.
Our last Presidential election, 2020, was affected by the COVID pandemic unleashed upon the world by research in China funded, in part, by the United States. Unelected bureaucrats brought death and destruction to their own country and these same bureaucrats created mandates that changed how the Presidential election was carried out. Some of these state election-procedure changes violated their existing state election laws and brought doubt about the validity of the election.
That a Presidential election was challenged as corrupt is not new. See The Best and Worst of Times @MissConstitution.com. The circumstances were new. Outrage after the 2020 ensued. Political protest turned into a riot. There was unfathomably no security at the nation’s Capitol. The Electoral Count Act of 1877, meant to clarify how electoral votes for President and Vice-President were to be collected, counted, and certified, was unclear. Opinion varied on what options the President of the Senate (the Vice-President of the United States) had under the circumstances where it was thought real fraud had taken place and emergency court cases were not heard.
Senators Susan Collins (R) and Joe Manchin (D) decided to create bi-partisan support for a hurried revision of the Electoral Count Act of 1877. Republican Senators Roy Blunt, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Tom Tillis, Shelley Capito, Todd Young, Ben Sass, and Lindsey Graham, and Mitch McConnell co-sponsored the Senate bill. Republican Senators Rand Paul, Chuck Grassley, Patrick Toomey, John Thune, John Cornyn, and Richard Burr, in addition to the above, all voted for the bill to become law. No Democrat Senator voted against the Senate bill and no Democrat House member voted against the House bill, though nine House Republicans joined with Democrats on the House vote. That no Democrat voted against the proposed legislation should give pause.
There was little televised debate on the merits of the revisions to the Electoral Count Act of 1877. The public was not informed of the provisions of the former law compared to the new law. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Improvement Act was signed into law as part of an Omnibus spending bill of 1.7 trillion dollars on December 29, 2022. So, mixed in with necessary military spending, federal government pay raises, some infrastructure spending, some rules regarding pregnant workers, etc, and billions for Ukraine, was quietly tucked one of the most important pieces of legislation regarding contested Presidential elections.
The law was passed right before Christmas in an emergency spending bill to keep the government running. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham stated in an interview that between not funding the military/government and rushed legislation he would take the lessor evil and vote for the Omnibus bill – graded ethics shared by seventeen of his fellow Republican Senators.
Here are some of the questions Miss Constitution has regarding the new Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Improvement Act of 2022:
- A requirement that 20% of both the House and the Senate must agree concerning allegations of election irregularity is a standard that is next to impossible to meet. Courts, including the US Supreme Court, are reluctant to take political question cases. See Willful Blindness @MissConstitution.com.
- There is no mechanism within this new law to address legitimate concerns of fraud and therefore illegitimate slates of Electors being submitted to Congress for certification.
- There are no provisions within this new law to protect voter integrity such as proper identification of a legal voter, legitimate addresses of a legal voter, the integrity of voting machines, etc.
What, then, Miss Constitution, is the right thing to do now regarding what happened in 2020 and what we can look forward to in future Presidential elections?
- We need ALL the facts about the 2020 Presidential election revealed to the public so that the public may know what really happened. The January 6 House Select Committee was not an impartial hearing.
- Congress must go to regular order. Omnibus bills must be eliminated. The federal budget must be created, debated, revised, and presented for a vote in a timely manner.
- A special Commission of persons with known integrity and no conflicts of interest must be selected to convene immediately after a Presidential election, hear allegations of voter fraud with sufficient evidence, and report to Congress within days regarding whether the Commission recommends 20% of the House and Senate vote to take a look at the alleged fraud.
Finally, rightness is not the lesser of two evils. It is to be found in our Rule of Law, particularly our Moral Law; it is to be found in our founding philosophies; and it is to be found in the consciences of every American. “Is it right?” is similar to “Does it have honor?” and represents the two questions We the People ask of every elected and appointed public servant. Revising an 1877 law regarding contested Presidential elections without all the facts strikes Miss Constitution as safe and politic only.