Looking forward to moving past this time of uncertainty

CONCORD, CA—As of this Dec. 1 writing, there was still noise in the country about the validity of the election – but in ever-decreasing numbers.

In our pre-election survey, I asked: Are you concerned that voting by mail could result in voter fraud in Concord?

Amongst those who said they supported President Donald Trump (about 23 percent):

Yes, 69 percent.
No, 20.
Not sure, 11.
Of those who did not support Trump, the results were:
Yes, 2 percent.
No, 93.
Not sure, 5.

Remember, the question is about voter fraud in Concord. I find the perception of local fraud very disturbing, especially since I have been on the ballot three times and have volunteered on the elections since the end of the last century. What we have had this year more than at any other time in memory is a concerted effort by a domestic group to discredit the very act of voting that has been used in Concord for decades. And people suddenly believe it.

It’s also interesting that Trump supporters consider a candidate’s political party very important 58 percent of the time, while the others say only 46 percent – which seems to support the idea that Democrats are less disciplined in their voting preference even in this highly divisive election year.

The difference is also reflected in the question: Do you think wearing face masks is an effective way to reduce the spread of coronavirus?
Trump supporters believe it by 57 percent; everyone else agrees by 96 percent.

Changing minds

While on some things the political division gives us some hope we can come to terms with one another, these areas show a significant problem that can be summed up by: “What does it take to give you an opinion and then change your mind?”

The erosion if not outright perversion of the concept of the truth and the constant barrage of opinion independent of self-reflection is horrifying. However, this is not the only time in our history we have faced this. The stories of Yellow Journalism in the late 1890s and the period of the 1860 election, when one part of the country refused to accept an election, come to mind.

While I cannot remember reading about a president claiming to reach for greatness in office turning around and declaring that the United States is a Third World country with a fraudulent election system, things have been worse. We just have to dig a lot harder before we start marching off to the new version of Bull Run or seizing Fort Sumter.

This time too shall pass, and we will bathe in the sunlight of goodwill and friendships toward all … because we all will work for it. The idea of America is worth it.

Send comments to EdiBirsan@gmail.com or 510-812-8180. You can also visit his Facebook page, Pulse of Concord. To take part in a future survey, go to www.pulseofconcord.com