July 21, 2024

A question of truth and integrity

Recently I attended a town hall meeting hosted by Senator Joni Ernst, and I asked whether she believed the 2020 election was stolen. To me it is the central issue of the upcoming presidential election. Not because I want it to be, but because Donald Trump and his allies have made it so. To me, the 2024 election is about truth and integrity.

I thank the Senator for taking the question and engaging in somewhat of a discussion. I was pleased to hear her say, “I said from the beginning, the election was not stolen”. I told her that I appreciated that, but reminded her the presumptive nominee still claims it was, and in fact makes it a centerpiece of his campaign and a badge of loyalty.

Senator Ernst then equated it to Democrat claims of stolen elections, alluding specifically to Hillary Clinton. I told her that claim is comparing apples and oranges and that no Democrat has incited an attack on the Capitol. She said: “Those people are idiots”. But I reminded her the man she supports for president calls them patriots and heroes and promises to pardon them. Ernst did not give a substantive response but merely reiterated that Democrats have contested elections too.

I left it there. However, my apples and oranges reference does not go far enough. It is more like comparing a petulant child to an armed intruder. Hillary Clinton made her allegations in 2019, three years after graciously conceding to Trump. And, by the way, she was not running for president. Her claims are nothing compared to what Trump and his allies did and continue to do.

One hundred thirty-nine Representatives and eight Senators objected to the certification of Biden’s victory (election deniers makeup ⅓ of Congress). We know plans to contest the election were discussed months before the election. Trump filed over 60 cases of alleged voter fraud. His legal team made ridiculous claims outside of the courts and lost all but one case. He incited an attack on the Capitol that included groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. There were plans to install fake electors, phone calls pressured officials to find votes, and many threats and actual violence were/are committed in the name of a “stolen election”.

I call on Senator Ernst and all Trump enablers, to repudiate his lies. If we allow him to regain power, how far will he go to hold on to it? It is a question of truth and integrity, Senator.

Mel Miller

Osceola