Seven things we learned from this election
Seven things we either learned, or were reminded of, from this election cycle:
*Foreign interference in our elections is not the most pressing problem. Domestic interference is a problem, however.
Social media giants Twitter and Facebook, acting as agents for one candidate or another, routinely block and/or censor free speech of Americans that does not conform to their own views.
It was evident in this election cycle that Twitter and Facebook wanted Democrat Joe Biden to win the presidency.
Negative stories about Biden’s son, Hunter, and his lucrative business dealing in China and Russia, and Joe Biden’s involvement in it all, that originated with The New York Post newspaper, were shielded from mass circulation when Twitter shut down The Post’s Twitter account for several weeks.
Clearly, Twitter and Facebook are acting as publishers picking and choosing which expressions of free speech they wish to allow and broadcast, and which ones they want to censure.
It’s time for the big social media business monopolies to operate with the same rules as newspapers and other media outlets.
Imagine if you were on the telephone and Ma Bell would have decided to cut off your connection because the telephone company did not agree with what you were saying on the phone? There would have been outrage about that, of course. The social media monopolies are the biggest threat to our democracy today.
*If there is not a federal law preventing family members of a U.S. senator, U.S. Representative or U.S. President or U.S. Vice President, or the elected officials themselves, from entering into business deals with foreign-owned companies or foreign governments, there should be.
Also, the family members of all the federal elected officials, and the federal elected officials themselves, should all be required to make public all of their domestic business dealings,too.
The buying and selling of influence with the federal government must stop. Certainly, there is a threat of compromised national security if this is being allowed.
*There needs to be more transparency about polls. It is not enough for this poll or that poll to tell us which candidate leads in their most recent polls.
For Americans to better understand polls, we need to know the political leaning of the pollsters themselves. We also need to know how the polls are conducted - telephone or other. We also need to know the party affiliation, if any, of those responding to the poll.
What good is a poll conducted by a firm owned by Democrats that polls only Democrats and tell us that the Democrat candidate in a particular race is leading in their polls?
*Presidential candidates should share copies of their federal and state income tax returns for the last five years - no exceptions.
There’s been a lot of grumbling about current President Donald Trump not making his tax returns public. It is not an unreasonable request and no one running for president should be able to dodge it.
*Like tax returns, the medical check-ups and medical exams that presidential candidates get should be pretty much all be matters of public record, too.
For example, voters need to know if a presidential candidate has suffered a heart attack or stroke or has ever been treated for cancer or any other major health issue. Likewise, if a presidential candidate has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, voters need to know that, too.
*Advance voting is okay but post election voting should not be allowed. Any ballots received by election officials after the election day should be tossed out. No exceptions.
Likewise, it’s okay for registered voters to request a ballot so they can vote by mail, in advance. But if they don’t mail back their completed ballot by election day, those late votes should not be counted.
To mass mail ballots to every registered voter, whether they request one or not, should be illegal. There’s too much risk of voter fraud with the mass mailing of ballots.
In small communities like ours, the local funeral homes and local families routinely inform county election officials when a family member - registered voter - has died and that name is taken off the active registered voter list. It is an ongoing process. Even in small communities like ours, however, it is a lot to keep track of.
Imagine what that task is like in big cities and other heavily populated areas. There’s a risk that mass mailed ballots could get into the hands of someone other than the intended registered voter. That’s how voter fraud can occur.
*Finally, no matter who is elected president, we must all pledge to come together and support the president.