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Time To Lead


December 17, 2020

It's over ... and while doubts may remain, there is no question about what happens next. Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States and Kamala Harris will be the next vice president.

Without really saying anything more than might be expected, the Supreme Court of this great nation made that very clear when it turned down Republican efforts to overturn or at least closely examine the outcome of the 2020 election. There may have been smoke but there was not enough evidence of fire. History may or may not prove that conclusion wrong but there was no way this could wait much longer.

Was there tampering with this election? Possibly. Perhaps even probably. But in the United States of America, possibly or probably isn't enough. Congratulations, President-Elect Biden. Serve well. Congratulations, Vice President-Elect Harris ... especially for making history by being the first woman to be second in command. We are likely to disagree with many things the two of you may try to do, but that doesn't diminish our respect for the offices you will hold. We very much want you to succeed.

As for the outgoing leaders, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, thank you for what you have done in a difficult situation. Mr. Trump has been a very different kind of president. Some of his behavior was, well, perhaps questionable. But a great deal - and that means a whole lot - of what he accomplished ought to be saluted ... even by dyed-in-the-wool Democrats. The awful impeachment attempt reminded us of early-television comedies. It was a dark blot on the Democrats in Congress. The Russia-Russia-Russia fiction was even worse. As for Mr. Pence, he was solid all along.

We will say this: There was some evidence of election-tampering in 2020 but not enough hard proof. Failure to give qualified poll-watchers and reporters proper access to what's going on is as wrong as can be and ought to be addressed, but does it cross a legal line? Probably but again, that's just not quite good enough. Does it need to be made good enough? In our view, absolutely ... but guess what? Journalists are watchers and wannabes. Very few ever become congressmen or congresswomen.

The basic role of journalists is to watch and report properly and honestly. A few - columnists, editorial writers etc. - may swim in the seas of opinion. Far too much journalism today - especially on the air - is slanted. That must be fixed. Reporters are supposed to write without prejudice. Editors are supposed to edit and clean up what reporters write ... again without prejudice. Headline writers are expected to reflect the story beneath their work. That can be tough. Try reducing a thousand words to five or six. See what we mean?

Editorial writers are allowed prejudice. That's their job. Years ago we worked as a reporter/editor in two markets where stealing elections was almost as common as baseball or football. As a young journalist, we started as a reporter and hung around long enough to become managing editor of a fine daily newspaper in Bristol Virginia-Tennessee. In those days (the 1960s). Tennessee elections seemed solid but Southwest Virginia was the home of "the black satchel." Qualified voters would be offered a ton of coal or groceries or maybe even money to sign an absentee ballot and shy away from the polls on election day. Somebody in the party cast the votes. We can't say for sure that the Republicans didn't do it, but we can report for certain that it was the Democrats who got caught. That was years ago and it casts no shadow toward members of any party today.

The second market was at the other end of Tennessee - Memphis. Something fishy happened in a precinct that was so heavily Democratic that the Republicans stupidly failed to assign the poll-watchers their party was entitled to. The result? Some workers in that precinct "voted" for others who failed to show up. It took a while, but it all became public after experts examined the handwriting on the ballots. The problem was dealt with.

What should happen now? If anything like that occurred in behalf of either party, it has to be stopped. But all there is now is suspicion without enough proof. In cases such as this, firm proof is absolutely necessary.

Again ... congratulations President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris. We wish you the best. Serve our nation and serve it well.



Reader Comments(1)

papgene writes:

It only takes one Awe Sh_t to wipe out 2 Atta Boys. I think this is what you have done. You bring up 50 year old voter fraud in a county in Virginia to cast doubt on the 2020 election? People just need to realize the election was fair. Biden won. People turned out in record numbers for both. Trump & the GOP didn't have any proof of fraud. Please don't push conspiracy theories. During this pandemic with hundreds of thousands of people dying, we need all to pull together.


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