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Vigliotti: Why election integrity matters | COMMENTARY

In the Gospel of John, Jesus stands before Pontius Pilate prior to the Crucifixion, and speaks with the Roman governor. Pilate, intrigued by the Son of God, goes so far as to attempt to engage Jesus in something of a philosophical discussion with Him, asking, “What is truth?”

Nearly two millennia later, Ray Bradbury would illustrate Christian truth through his fictional short story “The Man,” in which an adventuring American space crew lands on a planet where a messianic figure has appeared to the population. All signs indicate this is Jesus Christ, but the crew’s captain, ultra-skeptical, will not accept what he has not seen — and so chases after the figure for what he demands be incontrovertible proof.

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The core component in each of these centers itself on truth.

The American republic is drawn from moral, natural truths articulated in the Declaration of Independence and which formed our Constitution and our way of life. Our biblical and natural rights inheritance has made the valuing of truth not merely a hallmark of our civilization, but a core component of our national character and our identity as Americans. Truth helps sustain other cherished values, such as honor, honesty, and integrity.

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Likewise, the exercise of our freedoms and the existence of our republic depends upon the practice of truth. A republic functions only because of the trust of the public that comes by way of truth. We must have trust in our system of government and laws, as well as those we entrust with overseeing them.

Stability, continuity, and the rights of all citizens in such a republic are protected and upheld. In such elections, voters are disappointed in a political loss, but do not doubt the very process of elections because there is trust in the law and those charged with their administration.

The call for the renewal of law and order that originated amid summer riots, and continues to this day, was not merely only for safety in communities, but the very existence of our nation. Citizens resorting to street violence is a complete undermining of law and the violation of the rights of others. For a nation founded on natural rights and moral truth, such violations are existential threats. That includes the election process.

In the past two weeks, allegations, whistleblowing, and affidavits concerning voting and election fraud have not diminished, but have multiplied in scope and number. Each day, there are more issues and problems arising relating to the election. (The website EveryLegalVote, for example, has been compiling such reports and evidence, some of it on film.)

It also became widespread public knowledge that the voting system relied upon in at least 28 states, Dominion, was not American in origin, but Canadian. If there is one thing that everyone should agree on, it is that no single part of the American election process should ever be outsourced or exported anywhere beyond our borders — or entrusted with a foreign company. Americans must always be the safeguard of their own legitimacy.

Citizens must have the reasonable and verifiable, expectation that their participation in a consensual system for determining the future of their country is legitimate. History demonstrates what happens when there is enough mistrust in longstanding institutions, such as with the rise of Julius Caesar and the transformation of the Roman republic to empire. The danger is not that democracy dies in darkness, but in plain sight.

I am not claiming the same for us. History is neither force, nor fate. It is composed of human choices and human action. We are not bound to an irreversible course.

There’s a reason why there is time between elections, gatherings of the electoral college, and inaugurations — in part, for situations such as we currently find ourselves embroiled in. Our Founders perspicaciously understood that challenges to elections required both time, and a mechanism, to resolve. This is what is currently underway. Tens of millions of Americans, including Democrats, harbor credible concerns about the election and they are justified in wanting reform — as well as the truth.

But one must be open to seeking it. Bradbury’s captain will forever chase after something which eludes his grasp, because enough evidence is never enough, and he is not genuinely seeking. The irony of Pilate’s conversation with Jesus, is that Pilate questioned the nature of truth while the very incarnation of truth stood before him.

If investigations, audits, and legal challenges determine there was no wrongdoing, then Joe Biden is the 46th president and the debate becomes not one of political veracity, but political disagreement.

The contesting of this election is about much more than competing ideology or who the president will be in January. It is about national integrity.

Joe Vigliotti, a contributor to The Flip Side and a Taneytown city councilman, writes from Taneytown. His column appears every other Friday. Email him through his website at www.jvigliotti.com.

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