If you use those words in a sentence with someone today, it's hard to say what reaction you will get. One thing is certain: Those words will initiate a download of images in the person's mind with whom you are conversing. Images of "far-right winger" and "conspiracy theorist" may be among those images. Others may download "insurrection" or "political nerd."
It's certainly not a trendy topic that makes for enthusiastic engagement. Quite honestly, it sounds a bit boring. But there may be no larger foundation stone in our republic (remember, we are not a democracy) than the principle of free, fair, transparent and, above all, trustworthy elections.
Integrity is defined by Webster's Dictionary as "a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values; an unimpaired condition; the quality or state of being complete or undivided; soundness; incorruptibility." (We can still use his dictionary, I believe. The woke mob has not cancelled him yet due to his yet-to-be-named sins.)
Synonyms for integrity include words like character, decency, goodness, honesty, morality, uprightness and virtue.
But perhaps we can gain more insight by examining the words that stand in opposition to integrity. These are words like evildoing, immorality, iniquity, sin, villainy and wickedness.
Now let's interject the idea of elections to this value of integrity. Certainly, we would all desire for our voting process to be unimpaired, moral, honest and sound, wouldn't we? That desire is not particular to any person's gender, religion, race or socioeconomic status. None of us would be thankful for and supportive of an election process that was characterized by villainy, evildoing and corruption.
While the results of elections may not be the desired outcome of many in any given election, American citizens have historically accepted both victory and defeat. The group that wins often gets lazy, and the group that loses gets busy. The cycle is repeated; the system is trusted, and the process has set our great nation apart from countries where tyranny and corruption have long interfered in the peaceful transition of power.
At this hour in our history, election integrity is under attack. Those who wish to gain power and institutionalize their power are willing to use any divisive tactic to win the debate. They seek to create false premises to put their opponents on the defense. They attempt to define the terms so as to confuse the issues and divide constituencies. Furthermore, they attempt to create a narrative that their opponents are "conspiracy theorists" and "dangerous to democracy." Such rhetoric is not only unhelpful in the conversation; it is indecent and dishonest at its core.
As someone who loves this country, it is my hope to engage the culture by aggressively using all the tools at my disposal to help those who align with me (and hopefully those that do not) to understand the implications we are facing with HR 1 and S 1.
The bill is deceptively called the "For the People Act." Nothing could be further from the truth.
Its true title should be "For the Corrupt Establishment Act."
Yes, you read that correctly, and I wrote what I meant. You may not agree or disagree with me. Most reasonable thinkers will agree when they become aware of what is in it. But these days, speaking and writing unapologetically is refreshing to me. I want that. I want someone, especially those representing me—the ones that work for you and me—to say what they mean, mean what they say and let the chips fall where they may. I don't appreciate someone saying something to me in order to "get my vote," and I definitely don't enjoy being patronized.
So what does this bill advocate? What is in it? I don't have the space to scratch the surface in this particular article, suffice it to say. But I will be discussing these and other significant issues in the weeks to come on the Charisma News Podcast.
It is imperative that we become committed to being aware of what is in the bill, able to communicate why this is dangerous to our republic and what we can do to protect the integrity of our elections in the days, weeks and months heading into the all-important midterm elections of 2022.
You're not a nerd if you talk about election integrity. I'm not sporting a tin foil cap as I write this. I have no pitchfork in my hand—nor should you. But I do love this country. I am grateful for my freedoms. And it is incumbent upon us all to ensure that we steward these liberties for our children and the generations behind them. When people say "elections matter," it is because of an important, unstated premise that makes them matter: election integrity.
Paul Isaacs is the vice president of national outreach at MyFaithVotes.
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