S. E. Williams |
“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”
― George Orwell, 1984
When the Riverside County Grand Jury released its 2020-2021 Civil Grand Jury Report on July 2, among the several issues it explored during the recent session was election fraud.
It appears the issue was taken up to assuage the maniacal blatherings of high-level Republicans in local leadership and their minion-minded followers still clinging and perpetuating the “Big Lie” of the former president, Donald John Trump.
The Grand Jury grappled with the following question, “Was the Riverside County November 2020 Consolidated General Election Administered Fairly and Impartially?”
The question I ask is, why are we wasting tax dollars to investigate something we know is a charade? Especially when we have already learned that doing so, regardless of the outcome of the investigation as we’ve witnessed from municipality to municipality and from state to state around the country—the response remains the same—Republicans continue to perpetuate the Big Lie.
After all, that is the point, isn’t it . . . to keep the lie alive? To fuel the maddening hysteria and illogical anger of those driven nearly mad by the idea abdicating White privilege for the sake of realizing American ideals?
As French philosopher Alexandre Koyré explained, “The mob believes everything it is told, provided only that it be repeated over and over; provided too, that its passions, hatreds, fears are catered to. He said, “Nor need one try to stay within the limits of plausibility. On the contrary, the grosser, the bigger, the cruder the lie, the more readily it is believed and followed.”
Koyré died in April 1964 in Paris, France but reading this excerpt one would think he had penned it as a commentary on what is happening in America today.
Now, thanks to the seeding of the Big Lie by Trump and the sinister enabling by Republican leaders, taxpayers across the country are absorbing untold costs to chase an illusion to placate the delusion of a weak former president, undergirded by the scheming desires of power mongers, and fueled by the hatred of racists.
The Grand Jury (Jury) explained that it undertook the investigation in response to several politicians and media personalities who claimed the changes in state election laws would increase the chances of election irregularities and fraud. And those disingenuous trepidations were soon followed in the wake of the November 2020 General Election with many of these same individuals and/or groups claiming election irregularities and fraud had occurred in Riverside.
In exploration of these concerns the Jury began its work by conducting what it defined as an extensive series of interviews from which it identified several concerns and controversies. Subsequently its members met with election officials from all 28 Riverside County cities, county office holders, county department officials, county political party leaders, and individuals employed to conduct the election. In addition, the Jury conducted extensive document reviews and several in-person site visits.
What was the bottom line to all these efforts and associated costs? To most of us who remain grounded in reality it was no surprise to learn the Jury declared the abundance of evidence led it to conclude, “[T]he November 2020 election within Riverside County was administered fairly and impartially and there is no evidence of fraud.”
In the final analysis however, will this conclusion make a bit of difference to those who either believe in and/or are perpetuating the Big Lie?
No. As we ourselves continue to witness and as Koyré wrote, “Nor is there any need to avoid contradictions: the mob never notices.” He further stressed how it is, “[N]eedless to pretend to any truth: the mob is radically incapable of perceiving it. The mob can never comprehend that its own interests are what is at stake.”
Yes, California is a Blue state and yes, here in the inland region our elected officials purportedly take office as non-partisans. However, many Republicans in local leadership positions are unabashedly doing all they can to perpetuate the Big Lie at the expense of unwilling taxpayers for their own self aggrandizement and the future of their party.
The Big lie has broken through the barriers of normal partisan disagreements and struck at the core of the nation’s quasi democracy. The Big Lie threatens to cut off America’s fledgling democracy at its core. Though what happens at the national level is important, what happens at the local level is directly impacting and begs the question: Do the actions of the elected officials who persist in perpetuating this lie in Riverside County represent the majority of its citizens?
If you do not subscribe to the Big Lie, do you know whether your local city councilmember, county supervisor, sheriff, district attorney, police chief, school board member, state legislator or congressional representative does?
Officials are elected to represent the interest of the people—not their own. If they fail to meet this test by mindlessly following the pied piper of racism, misogyny and nativism in pursuit of their own interests, they do not deserve to be reelected. It is never too soon to double local efforts to remove them from office the next time they appear on the ballot.
Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.
Serve and make a difference in Riverside County. Apply to be a member of the 2021-2022 Grand Jury.
S. E. Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News.