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Commentary Election

Upcoming election brings unprecedented challenges to our democracy

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By James Revels

In about 100 days, the nation will decide who will lead us through the uncertain future, represented by the next four years.  For the first time, the coming elections will be held during a global pandemic, that has taken more than 140,000 lives, so far. 

Without a comprehensive, national plan of action, to curb COVID-19, states are left to fend for themselves.  As a result, confusion and disjointed plans emerge, with expected flawed results.

Jim Revels is a retired Army colonel and longtime El Paso resident.

In addition to struggling with COVID-19, its economic impact and racial unrest, resulting for continuing deaths of Black people at the hands of police officers, needs attention.  But re-election concerns have replaced leadership and effective crisis management measures. 

After downplaying the impact of COVID-19 for months, the 45th has been forced to admit error and acknowledge reality, the virus is raging unchecked in several red states that were late to implement quarantine measures.  The political consequences are clear.

But more important than the mounting crisis to the coming elections is the emerging doubt about the results and their validity.  Intelligence officials warned months ago that Russia is already engaging in disruptive efforts to undermine confidence in the election results.  The incumbent refuses to accept the election results, even before votes are cast. 

This sets the stage for a constitutional crisis, unseen in our history.  Plans are already being made to remove the losing incumbent if he refuse to vacate, and honor the vote results.

All of this amounts to uncharted territory for a democratic country that has always enjoyed a peaceful transition of power.  The only way to prevent this coming disaster is careful planning now.

The incumbent and his supporters need to know that the rule of law will prevail.  The voice of  the people will be heard and honored.  The country needs to focus on rebuilding our democracy, with emphasis on justice and economic prosperity for all.  That can only happen with new, insightful leadership.

“Being an American means you have committed yourself to some basic values and personal ethics that harmonize with eternal principles of freedom, liberty and self-government,” Paul B. Skousen wrote long ago. 

Citizenship spawns certain responsibilities, chief among them is individual behavior, to make this country the best it can be.  President Lincoln said, years ago, “If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and  finisher.  As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.” 

Thus, the enemy within is our greatest threat.  We all have a responsibility to address this threat.  The  best way to do that is careful consideration when selecting political office holders.  The coming elections could not be more important to the survival of our freedoms, liberties, and democratic government. 

Refusing to take part in this battle, is not an option.  United we stand, divided we fall.

James Revels is a retired Army colonel and former columnist for the El Paso Times who lives in East El Paso.

Cover illustration courtesy U.S Air Force, by Airman 1st Class Christina Carter

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