Since January 6, We have Seen Two Types of Leaders Emerge
January 20, 2021
This country accepted my family as refugees when we were escaping a genocidal political regime. My gratitude for being here includes the moral obligation of seeking clarity and upholding truth. It requires weighing ideas like common good and democracy, distinguishing between nationalism and patriotism, and identifying racism and fascism.
We have seen in the days that have followed the attacks of January 6 two types of leaders emerge, those who can swiftly name and repudiate domestic terrorism and justly call for accountability and those who failed.
People who have long been silent are now compelled to lend their voices in bipartisan outrage, and to call for leadership that can meet this moment. Many of us refute the dangerous false equivalency in drawing comparisons when none exist. Violence on both sides rhetoric is weaponized to appease those who would incite it rather than those who are victims of it.
Now that we have endured insurrection, some wonder if the moral fiber that connects us has been too weakened to hold us together.
The strength of our communities has never come from the power outside of us. The source has always been within; it’s what we dedicate to the collective good and worth getting into “good trouble” for. We must again find our way to a better world for all of us. We must require nothing less of those who lead us, even if that means embarking on that path by ourselves.
Stanislaus County does not have a Voter Fraud Problem
January 20, 2021
Ever since Donald Trump started trumpeting charges of election fraud, people who believe his every word have complained.
Ever since witnessing the operations of the Stanislaus County elections office first hand, I have no doubt about the integrity of county elections.
On the winning side of a local sales tax initiative, I spent an entire day as an observer of the interaction of now retired County Elections Clerk Lee Lundrigan and advocates for a recount. I watched as protestors grilled Ms. Lundrigan about every aspect of the voting process. I was amazed at how securely votes were held and how precisely operating procedures were adhered to.
As votes were recounted, no one could find flaws of any kind.
Towards the end of the day, it became evident that the election outcome had been flawlessly determined. To recount the vote would take several more days and would require the protestors to pay the cost.
At that point, I said to the group that wanted to challenge the outcome, words to the effect: “You have been here all day and the elections clerk has run a flawless operation. Do you really want to spend your money on a recount where a change in outcome is unlikely?” The protestors gave up and went home.
Anyone who doubts the integrity of Stanislaus County or national elections has fallen prey to phony proclamations of sore losers. Given the intense scrutiny of the recent election and the failure to find substantial defects, the election process is the least of our worries.