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Faith in system of utmost value

On Monday, Wisconsin’s governor certified the state’s 2020 presidential election results as official. By the next morning, the lawsuits had begun to fly.

President Donald Trump’s legal team is now suing the Wisconsin Election Commission, its chairperson, and others to challenge in court the legitimacy of the state’s election results. Despite a full recount in the state’s two most populous counties -- Dane and Milwaukee -- that produced no discernible changes in the final vote tallies, the President and his team continue their wild goose chase to find some way to undo what the people of this state and country have said should be done.

Of course, no one should be surprised by Trump’s post-election antics, as he continues his embarrassing fight in much the same way he governed, with regard for his own interests above those of anyone or anything else. Either he doesn’t know, or more likely just doesn’t care, that his evidence-less attempts to change the vote results are doing possibly irreparable damage to confi dence in the nation’s election system, and thus, our very democracy itself. When people stop believing the system works, then it doesn’t. Apparently, Trump wants to be best remembered as a president who thought himself to be more important than a 250-year-old system of government that has produced the greatest and most free democracy the world has yet known.

Unable to reverse the state election outcome, Trump now tries to, as Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul put it, “seek after-election changes to the rules.” Those rules regard the state’s mail-in ballot procedures, which were put in place so citizens could vote safely in the COVID-19 era. He wants that mostly in Milwaukee and Dane counties -- where his losses were large -- and, incidentally, where most of the state’s minority population lives. And votes.

“I have every confidence that this disgraceful Jim Crow strategy for mass disenfranchisement of voters will fail,” Kaul said after the partial recount was completed. Amen to that.

We fully understand that this opinion will not be received well in these parts, where Trump outpolled President-elect Joe Biden by more than a 2-to-1 margin. That’s OK, though, because someone must stand up and defend our election system from an unfounded and self-serving attack. The worst result of this entire fiasco is not that a divisive president is being ousted from office, but that citizens maybe misled into believing that our obligation to vote and our trust in the system’s integrity has been in anyway harmed.

That we can’t allow to happen.