Commentary: Those who went to D.C. on Jan. 6 wanted fair and transparent elections

·4 min read

I read John Broderick’s column “Make no mistake. America is broken” with horror and disgust. Rhetoric like his from the left is precisely the root of the problem that divides America.

The biggest problem with his column is his apparent inability to see that most of his assertions are rooted in what Scott Adams would call the “mind reader fallacy.” That is to say, Mr. Broderick thinks that he can read the minds of millions of people and, based on that reading, he judges and then condemns them.

Alan Forbes
Alan Forbes

He is certain that they don’t understand science, are uninformed about the Constitution, and live in a self-interested, imaginary world. He is certain that Republicans fail to speak in agreement with his world view simply because they lack the courage to do so. Did it ever occur to Mr. Broderick that many of his neighbors simply don’t agree with him, and are quiet out of a politeness that he lacks?

More: Broderick: Make no mistake. America is broken.

As one of those broken “others” who so upsets the honorable Mr. Broderick, I take serious offense to all of his assertions. Not one would stand up to even a cursory conversation with one of the people he so blithely condemns. Does Mr. Broderick even know any Republicans he could talk to about his wild theories? I doubt it.

The “Big Lie” is that those who went to the Capital on Jan. 6 did so for any reason other than that they wanted a fair and transparent election. Many states changed election rules just prior to the election without legislative approval and it is not unreasonable to ask the question of whether such rule changes substantially affected the outcome of the election or not, and whether such elections should be respected or nullified. The Constitution, which Mr. Broderick claims we are so ignorant of, grants plenary power to the state legislatures to regulate elections. The issue of whether election results are valid when the rules are changed by state bureaucrats at the last minute remains undecided, because no court was willing to take up the issue.

More: Jan. 6 committee prepares to go public as findings mount

Yes, 60% of Republicans believe that the election was stolen, myself included. It’s not just Republicans. According to a Rasmussen poll, upwards of 30% of Democrats believe it too. 51% of all voters think cheating affected the election. If a plurality of Americans have lost faith in our elections, that is a real problem that can have serious implications for national unity. Although I don’t like to lose elections, I’ll accept them when I believe it was conducted fairly. 51% of Americans think the last election was unfair, and Mr. Broderick blusters that the problem is conspiracy theories. Faith in elections is a bedrock of our democracy, and that faith has been seriously wounded.

I laughed out loud at Mr. Brodericks’ presumption as to why Republicans were celebrating the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. He’s completely out of touch on this. First, he got the most basic fact about Kyle’s gun wrong; it was not an automatic weapon, as any respectable gun owner could tell you, it was an AR-15— the most popular gun in the country, which is semi-automatic. Kyle was carrying it lawfully, and broke no laws in using it. The reason for “celebration” had nothing to do with the two perpetrators (NOT victims) who died, but rather because it was clear to anyone who has any firearms experience that his was a clear-cut case of self defense that never should have made it to a courthouse. I celebrated that the jury agreed that Kyle’s use of a weapon was in self defense because the right to self defense is a fundamental one. I was not cheering that two lives were lost. It is classless of Mr. Broderick to dismiss the circumstances of the case as if they were irrelevant; they were not; they were the essence of the case. Wasn’t this guy a judge for 15 years? What an embarrassment to his profession to make such callous statements.

Mr. Broderick concludes that silence is dangerous so I will speak up — Mr. Broderick your petty characterizations of people you clearly don’t understand at all is entirely off base. You preach unity while sowing division. Yes, perhaps Mr. Putin is smiling, but not for the reasons you think he is.

Alan Forbes is the chairman of the Portsmouth NH Republican Committee.

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Commentary: Those who went to D.C. Jan. 6 wanted fair elections