Time to move forward, not spread baseless claims
The year was 2008.
Sen. John McCain had just suffered his most agonizing political defeat in his second, and what he knew would be final attempt at the presidency.
As he spoke to supporters and the nation during his concession speech, he was first quick to recognize the historic achievement of Barack Obama’s presidency.
“In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance,” McCain stated very early in the speech. “But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans, who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president, is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.”
McCain then concluded his speech, arguably one of his most memorable of his career albeit in defeat, by stating: “Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Sen. Obama. I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.”
Never has that speech seemed more relevant than today, when instead of embracing the humility of Sen. McCain, President Trump has instead chosen to propagate lies, misinformation and falsehoods while undermining the most important element of our democracy: free elections.
President’s Trump address to the nation from the Oval Office Thursday night was an embarrassment to the country. Our president stood in front of the world and without any evidence whatsoever, called this election a sham. A hoax. A fraud.
Why? Because of legitimate evidence indicating such? No. Because Republicans maintained control of The Senate? No. Because Republicans flipped several seats in The House? No. President Trump said this election is rigged, simply because he’s going to lose.
And this is no surprise. This is who President Trump is. He has told us this is exactly what he would do if we didn’t re-elect him. Heck, he said in 2016, weeks before the election he “would accept the results only if he won.”
So we really shouldn’t be shocked now. The president is a man of moral fortitude who has always been more likely to attack than accept blame or in this instance, defeat.
What’s most disappointing though is how many of us are willing to buy into this malarkey, starting with our leaders.
On the national level, Sen. Mitch McConnell has refused to comment on Trump’s claims of election malfeasance. Maybe Sen. McConnell realizes that he was re-elected in this sham of an election, and by casting doubt on its legitimacy, he’s by association casting doubt on his own fortunes.
However, other Republicans have been sadly in lock step with their party’s leaders, repeating his claims, including Minnesota’s newly elected Congresswoman, Michelle Fischbach.
Fischbach appeared on Fox and Friends Friday morning to largely tout her victory over DFL incumbent Collin Peterson. However, when given the opportunity to truly lead and voice assurance and confidence in the election that gave her a job, she chose repeat Trump’s claims.
“You know, I pray it will be handled correctly and that President Trump will win, because I believe he did win,” Fischbach said. “They (Democrats) did not win the votes of the American people, they are just finding votes at this point.”
This is not the kind of leadership we need right now. We need assurances every vote will be counted. Not baseless claims. And if there are legitimate indications of any kind of treachery, it should absolutely be investigated.
But until then, stop with the wild accusations and baseless claims.
As the Sen. McCain said “It is natural tonight to feel some disappointment, but tomorrow we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.”
Truer words have never been spoken.