dropping mail-in ballot in ballot box
dropping mail-in ballot in ballot box

Election Integrity Is the Core of America’s Hope and Strength

Originally published at Townhall

With reflection and renewal that comes with Holy Week, we are reminded of the importance of what it means to live truthful lives, as individuals, as families, as citizens and government officials in the United States. 

We all tend to underappreciate and even forget how fortunate we are to have been born or become U.S. citizens. The United States is the only country in the entire history of mankind that was specifically founded on the recognition and principles that all people are created equal in value and that they have unalienable rights to life, freedom, and protection from government abuse. As these are God-given rights articulated in the Bill of Rights, they cannot be infringed or denied by the state. 

The U.S. Constitution, drafted in 1787 and ratified in 1788, is the first governing document in history that established the primary role of government was to uphold and protect citizens’ unalienable rights. Second, the Constitution established for the first time in human history that government solely derives its legitimacy and power from the consent of the governed. 

With the legitimacy of the government being singularly established by the consent of the governed, it follows that elections are both critical and sacrosanct. What has set America apart from so many other countries in the world up until recently has been the honesty and integrity of our electoral system.

Actually, there are many significant examples of vote fraud in America’s past. For instance, in the 1844 election in New York was invalidated because it was found that the vote count was 135% of eligible voters. Lyndon Johnson’s 1948 Senate election was characterized by massive irregulaties. The 1997 Miami mayor’s race was overturned because of more than 5,000 fraudulent absentee ballots. In 2005 a state senate race in Tennessee was also overturned because of vote fraud. 

Vote fraud has happened and defending election integrity starts by accepting the fact that voter fraud occurs. What is both surprising and disturbing about getting a hearing and trial on the evidence of massive voting irregularities in the presidential election of 2020—much of which includes vast amounts of sworn testimony and camera video records—is how difficult that has been. That alone suggests our country is in deep trouble from corruption, payoffs, and compromise—that it is deep and broad, making some states’ judicial institutions and political machines so impenetrable as to make correction and adjudication impossible. 

Truth and trust go hand in hand and the trustworthiness of our election system has been considered the backbone of our political system—providing a sense of national identity connected with our freedom, rights, and equality under the law.

Evidence keeps growing that massive irregularities took place in multiple states in the 2020 national election. That has had huge ramifications. In fact, the primary cause of our most pressing problems today can be traced back to the 2020 election of Joe Biden: 

– The open southern border, resulting in a record surge of illegal entries—including criminals, terrorists, and human, child, sex, and drug trafficking, which has directly contributed to the lawlessness that is growing in America is the result of the Biden administration policies.

– Biden’s cancellation of pipeline projects, mandated restrictions on oil and gas exploration and extraction, and huge  draw down of the U.S Strategic Petroleum Reserve, ended America’s energy independence, weakened national security, and has been the chief driver of inflation.

– Biden’s foreign policies have been a disaster. The  abrupt pullout from Afghanistan that unnecessarily cost American lives, abandoned, and lost $80+ billion in advanced military hardware severely undermined U.S. global stature and the trust factor with U.S. allies. A failure to pursue diplomacy with Ukraine and Russia has left us on the brink of World War and an unthinkable nuclear missile exchange. Biden has so offended Saudi’s crown prince that Saudi Arabia has done an about face on the Abraham Accords and is following Iran in joining China and Russia’s Security bloc. Saudi Arabia, UAE and other OPEC countries are now abandoning the 50-year petrodollar agreement in their acceptance of Chinese yuan for oil and gas sales.

– On the domestic front, the Biden Justice Department has politically weaponized law enforcement. War has been declared on parents who disagree with what’s happening in their local schools. The FBI raided the former President’s Mar-a-Lago residence. It has also methodically hunted down Trump confidantes and many members his former administration team, arresting some and seizing their computers and cell phones. And most of the prominent people investigating vote fraud and election irregularity have received similar and worse treatment by Federal law enforcement. 

In so many ways America has become a banana republic, with the people’s unalienable rights being violated in unprecedented ways. Corruption and political weaponization of the Biden Justice Department has effectively cancelled the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution for half of the American people. Without correction, America will cease to be America.

It is a tragic day in America when corruption, payoffs and compromise within some states judicial institutions and political machines become so impenetrable as to make adjudication on the integrity of  an election— the sole mechanism providing the nation’s legitimacy—impossible. 

The second president of the United States, John Adams, said: “Liberty once lost is lost forever.” We desperately need a turning point in the trajectory of political corruption in America. Let us hope and pray that will soon come, perhaps with Kari Lake’s lawsuit exposing vote fraud and election polling place organized crime that subverted Arizona’s gubernatorial election. 

Scott S. Powell

Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Scott Powell has enjoyed a career split between theory and practice with over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and rainmaker in several industries. He joins the Discovery Institute after having been a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution for six years and serving as a managing partner at a consulting firm, RemingtonRand. His research and writing has resulted in over 250 published articles on economics, business and regulation. Scott Powell graduated from the University of Chicago with honors (B.A. and M.A.) and received his Ph.D. in political and economic theory from Boston University in 1987, writing his dissertation on the determinants of entrepreneurial activity and economic growth.