I affirm professor Lynne M. Getz’s sentiments desiring a peaceful transition of power in the upcoming election.
When the Kennedy-Nixon race came close, Nixon famously chose not to contest it, citing that he did not want to sow that kind of contention in our country. When Al Gore choose to either stand for the disenfranchised voter or cherry pick his own election results through recount (depending on your view) he nudged the election into partisan legal battles in the same way that Row vs. Wade moved a non-partisan Supreme court into the central partisan battle of our day.
Joe Biden has already hired 600 lawyers in preparation to make Gore vs. Bush seem like a picnic in the park. Like Getz, I miss the days of Kennedy-Nixon.
One area where I think Getz is off is her assessment is of President Barack Obama not being accepted because of his race. The question that arose during that election was media speculation before the election asking, “Is America ready for a Black president?” I thought the question was silly. I knew we were long past the intense, unjust behavior of 1960s America. As a conservative who doesn’t look at the world through race-colored glasses, it was hard for me to comprehend those in left-leaning media who do.
Obama, to no real surprise, won handily on his excellent personality and campaigning. The only challenge to his legitimacy was around his seeming inability to produce a birth certificate which led some on the right toward conspiratorial suggestions that he wasn’t an American.
Getz is correct in that President Donald Trump is not a bastion of clarity, and his off-balancing comments tend to promote reaction. Nevertheless, the concern that the sudden ramp-up of mail-in votes will increase the likelihood of failed processes are real. Having worked in business systems for many years, I know firsthand that sudden capacity increases have a way of exposing grave weaknesses in systems we thought were solid.
While a small increase in mail-in votes for those truly vulnerable to COVID-19 is reasonable, the push to overload the system seems wrongheaded and could help precipitate the very legal conflicts that Getz wants to avoid.
David B. Sable