“I now fear that what we have fought so hard to achieve globally — the right to free, fair elections, unhindered by strongman politicians who seek nothing more than to grow their own power — has become dangerously fragile at home.”— President Jimmy Carter
Jeremy Binckes – Market Watch – 06 January b2022
“One year after protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol building while Congress was counting the Electoral College votes that would ultimately lead to Joe Biden being elected president, Jimmy Carter delivered a warning — and came close to calling out the Republican Party for stoking anger.
“I now fear that what we have fought so hard to achieve globally — the right to free, fair elections, unhindered by strongman politicians who seek nothing more than to grow their own power — has become dangerously fragile at home,” Carter wrote in The New York Times Wednesday.
Carter also alluded to Republicans who have pushed the untrue theory that Biden was not elected president as a result of a free and fair eleciton.
“Politicians in my home state of Georgia, as well as in others, such as Texas and Florida, have leveraged the distrust they have created to enact laws that empower partisan legislatures to intervene in election processes,” he wrote. “They seek to win by any means, and many Americans are being persuaded to think and act likewise, threatening to collapse the foundations of our security and democracy with breathtaking speed.”
The 39th president, who has made human rights his post-presidency agenda, pointed to his work in Asia and Latin America, writing, “I have also seen how new democratic systems — and sometimes even established ones — can fall to military juntas or power-hungry despots. Sudan and Myanmar are two recent examples.”
Carter alluded to the Jim Crow-era south, pointing out an instance when, in 1962, “a ballot-stuffing county boss tried to steal my election to the Georgia State Senate.” That year, his opponents registered “fictitious voters in alphabetical order and [recorded] the votes of persons long diseased,” as referenced in a 2015 article on WABE, an NPR affiliate based in Atlanta.
On Thursday, President Biden is expected to deliver remarks about the attack. “Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm?” Biden will say, according to remarks released by the White House. “Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people? Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth but in shadow of lies? We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation. The way forward is to recognize the truth and live by it.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also responded to the anniversary, but called out “Washington Democrats” who “try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan party goals that long predated this event.” He added: “It is especially jaw-dropping to hear some Senate Democrats invoke the mob’s attempt to disrupt our country’s norms, rules and institutions as a justification to discard our norms, rules and institutions themselves.”