IN MY OPINION: Defeat of election deniers was cleansing exercise that bolstered democratic principles

 

By JOHN TORINUS

Can you hear the deafening silence about election fraud following the 2022 midterm elections?

The midterm elections, with Wisconsin as a point in case, cut both ways in victories for both parties. The same electorate put a Democrat, Gov. Tony Evers, back in the governor’s chair for four more years and gave Republican Sen. Ron Johnson the third term that he promised 12 years ago never to seek.

How could there be a “stolen election” if both parties scored wins and losses in the same set of electoral processes? It just wouldn’t add up.

Indeed, election deniers who believe that the 2020 election was rigged against Donald Trump fared poorly across the nation and Wisconsin. Tim Michels, Republican candidate for governor, was one of those deniers, or so he said publicly.

Give Michels credit for a graceful concession to Gov. Evers once the numbers became clear that he lost. There is no statistical way on earth that a scattered few defective ballots could reverse his defeat by more than 90,000 votes out of the reported total 2,653,820 cast.

Michels has credential as an Army Ranger officer, business leader, philanthropist and all-around good guy at the local level in his hometown of Brownsville.

He thought he needed Trump’s stamp of approval and got it. That connection probably cost him the election.

As with 2020, the election Tuesday was well-organized, well executed and accurate by any statistical measure.

There was one goofy incident where a Milwaukee elections worker sent three illegal military ballots to Rep. Janel Brandtjen of Menomonie Falls, who is chair of an elections committee in the Legislature. She made a big stink of the ballots sent as a protest against Brandtjen’s conspiracy theories. Unwarranted major headlines ensued.

But here’s the deal: The three ballots were never filed, and they are only three stinkin’ ballots. Three! They are grains in the sands in a desert, totally immaterial to the quality of elections in Wisconsin.

As with 2020, the effect of the small number of possibly defective or fraudulent ballots was hugely overblown.

Rep. Tim Ramthun of Campbellsport, without any substantial evidence, made a run for governor on the delusion of a rigged election. That misinformation was shouted from the podiums by former President Donald Trump. Ramthun raised significant campaign funds along the way, as did Trump, an all-world grifter.

Ramthun never produced a single defective ballot from his district.

It’s time for both of them to just go away.

The election losses of many, but not all, election deniers was a cleansing exercise that greatly bolstered democratic principles in Wisconsin and the United States. For that reason, it will go down as a landmark event in our history.

The broader message from the election was that Americans want our politicians to solve real problems and to dispense with political gamesmanship that was taken to dangerous levels by Trump, one of the biggest losers of all time in business, in politics, in life and now in history.

Rural West Bend resident John Torinus is author of a blog on business, health care and politics found at johntorinus.com.

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