America a rock in unstable world — we hope

Published 7:01 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Whatever the flavor of your politics, Americans all have a common interest in protecting the perception of the United States as a rock of stability in an uncertain world.

It is that perception which allows us to print seemingly unlimited amounts of money. In the past, the world has shown a huge appetite for dollars. As long as that appetite persists, Americans will enjoy an exceptional standard of living.

Think about it: If you accumulate wealth in an unstable country with unpredictable powers that be, you will want to buy American dollars and assets. That’s the best way to protect your money from confiscation by corrupt rulers.

Email newsletter signup

The United States, far and away, has been the logical choice for decades. The dollar is the de facto world currency.

That means when Covid-19 damages our economy, our government can print as much money as necessary to weather the storm. There seems to be an almost unlimited demand for dollar assets.

In the last year, the U. S. has issued trillions of debt, yet interest rates on Treasury bills are barely above zero. It is an incredible luxury that only Americans enjoy.

This could all come crashing down if the world loses faith in America as a bastion of stability. If demand for U. S. Treasuries declined, interest rates would skyrocket and our country would be hard pressed to pay the higher interest charges. Inflation would skyrocket and Americans’ standard of living would drop significantly.

The physical damage to the U. S. Capitol Building caused by the recent riot was horrible. But the far greater damage was done to our country’s reputation. This is not just damage to our pride. It could be real damage to the pocketbooks of every single American.

Most Americans know that our country was never in any real danger. The rag tag group of crazy hooligans and conspiracy nut cases was never going to bring down our government. Not even close.

But they did damage our world image and that could have huge financial implications. For that, every American should be angry at Donald Trump.

There is a reason that for hundreds of years, the losing presidential candidate quickly concedes to the election victor. It’s good for the nation. It presents the world with a steady image of the most powerful country in the world breezing through convivial transfers of power from one political party to the next. It’s impressive. It keeps the dollar strong.

Granted, Al Gore rescinded his concession the day after the 2000 election when the Florida results were only a few hundred votes apart.

But Trump lost by tens of thousands of votes in the key states. He lost the national vote by seven million votes. Not conceding in the wake of this level of victory was unprecedented in American history.

The final vote should not have been surprising. Dozens of polls were predicting a Biden victory of about that amount.

Trump claimed voter fraud, both blatant and subtle. The blatant was a claim that the Dominion voting machines were deliberately manipulated electronically. The subtle was mail-in ballots being forged.

Certainly the huge increase in mail-in voting raised eyebrows. But this was a direct result of Covid. It was just bad luck for Trump. Ballot harvesting, though vulnerable to fraud, is legal in half our states.

There were 17 percent more votes cast, which is a huge increase. It was definitely an unusual election.

Our Constitution provides for checks and balances when a presidential election is disputed. Trump took advantage of this, but lost in every court.

At least 86 judges — from state courts to the U.S. Supreme Court — rejected at least one post-election lawsuit filed by Trump or his supporters. Thirty-eight judges appointed by Republicans were among the 86 judges who had rejected lawsuits.

When a president cries fraud, you expect there to be some basis for the claim. So Americans waited patiently for the evidence. But there was none. It was nothing more than the bluster of a sore loser.

God himself set up the system of judges to decide facts. Deuteronomy 16:18-20 states: “Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
For thousands of years, human civilization has used judges and courts to determine complicated issues of fact. It’s not perfect, but it sure beats chaos. One great strength of our country is the integrity of our court system.
A month after the election, Trump was still pushing the idea of software manipulation of voting results. The Republican Georgia Secretary of State put it best when he pointed out that five recounts by hand confirmed the computers every time.

Finally, the state legislatures, several of which were Republican dominated, also dismissed Trump’s claims and certified the election results. Trump lost every single time. He had exhausted his appeals, yet still he would not concede.

Then he and his supporters organized a massive rally down the street from the U. S. Capitol to pressure Congress as they certified the electoral college results. Trump was defiant, using inflammatory language. We all know how that ended.

We live in the greatest country in the history of the world — a beacon of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, a shining citadel of freedom and democracy. How dare he even think to threaten that.

Trump did not tell the crowd to trash the U. S. Capitol. But he whipped them up to a point of frenzy. As President, you own that. It’s your crowd. Your responsibility. Trump should be held accountable for his actions. We don’t want this to ever happen again.

As Republican Chris Christie said, “I think if inciting to insurrection isn’t an impeachable offense, I don’t really know what is.”

For years, I dismissed claims of Trump’s mental instability as just politics. But the claims were dead on. I was wrong.

Let’s hope our country learns from our Trump experiment. We elected a businessman with zero political experience to run our country. He did indeed achieve many good results, but in the end his lack of political experience caused the worst ending to a presidency our nation has ever seen. It has hurt our nation.

We should require every presidential candidate to assure voters that they will concede the day after the election. And we don’t need anymore tweeting presidents.

That’s a horrible practice for a sitting president. It lacks dignity and confuses the world.

Say what you will about the average American voter, they got this right. They saw something scary in Trump and did not return him to office. Good call.

This is not about Democrats or Republicans. This is not about left wing or right wing. This is about our country. Character matters. We need to quit following our political instincts and put more weight in the character and integrity of the candidate.

The rise of social media has debased so many of our fine traditions. Our country is going through a learning curve on how to handle this new medium. Let’s hope the Trump Presidency taught us some valuable lessons about what not to do.

Wyatt Emmerich is president of Mississippi-based Emmerich Newspapers and is publisher of the Northside Sun.