Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Why Are We So Slow to Act?

             Families, communities, and nations are stronger when responsible adults stay alert for possible problems and prepare to overcome them. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints emphasizes the need for members to practice preparedness. Part of being self-reliant is to be prepared for emergencies and to avert catastrophes. The same should be true of communities and nations.

            The United States of America is currently going through a contentious election, but it did not have to be this way. In 2005 a bipartisan commission prepared a report and submitted it to the federal government. The co-chairmen of the Commission on Federal Election Reform (known informally as the Carter-Baker Commission) were former Democratic President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, a Republican who served in the George H.W. Bush administration. The report submitted to the George H. Bush administration had 87 recommendations for securing American elections.

            According to Fred Lucas at The Daily Signal, the “commission was created to address voting and election integrity raised by the tumultuous 36-day postelection battle of 2000, which was settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.” The decision awarded “Florida’s 25 electoral votes and the presidency to Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore.” Lucas continued:

Had Congress and state governments adopted many of the panel’s recommendations, the 2020 postelection mess between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden might have been avoided, said Carter-Baker Commission member Kay C. James, now the president of The Heritage Foundation.

“So many of the problems we’re now hearing about in the aftermath of the 2020 election could have been avoided had states heeded the advice of the Commission on Federal Election Reform,” she said.

James continued: “Simple protections against fraud, like voter ID and updated registration lists, make perfect sense if we truly believe that every vote must count. Election officials should take another look at the commission’s recommendations and make sure they’re doing everything possible to protect the integrity of our elections.

            Several states adopted aspects of the recommendations, particularly voter ID proposals.” It appears that Congress did not like the report and did nothing about it. Now we are in a terrible fix with 70% of Republicans believing that the 2020 election was not free or fair. The 74,000,000 people who voted for Donald Trump are not happy about the situation.

[The commission] called on states to increase voter ID requirements; to be leery of mail-in voting; to halt ballot harvesting; to maintain voter lists, in part to ensure dead people are promptly removed from them; to allow election observers to monitor ballot counting; and to make sure voting machines are working properly.

They also wanted the media to refrain from calling elections too early and from touting exit polls.

Lucas continued by discussing further many of the suggested items that could have averted the current electoral mess. The alleged fraud in this election is costing millions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of manhours. The effort and cost are necessary now to ensure election integrity in the nation now and in the future – but the changes could have been made at much lower costs fifteen years ago.

Many times, families or communities do the same thing. They ignore advance warnings until it is too late. Instead of replacing a few shingles or reshingling the entire roof, some homeowners wait too long and are forced to replace much of the roof and supporting timbers. Instead of taking the time and making the effort to read to preschool children, some parents wait until a child brings home failing grades in school before they act.

Communities are just as bad in that equipment breaks down completely before being replaced, or major work must be done on schools instead of regular upkeep. The only way families, communities, and nations can stay free from serious problems is to regularly take stock of the situation and make necessary changes early to avert total disasters.


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