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I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH IN OUR ELECTIONS...
The 2020 election was chaotic in every way – regardless of who you were rooting for. After 4 divisive and partisan years with a populist president, every side of the aisle has found ways to foster more distrust than ever in our democratic system. Conspiracy theories coupled with eyebrow-raising events like Jeffrey Epstein and his connections with the Clintons, Bill Gates, and other prominent people of power. Evidence that the Democratic National Committee meddled in the Primaries to secure a nominee who they felt was safe in the face of Trump. All the while, political officials on both sides of the aisle participate in insider trading, making millions while the American People struggle with inflation, a pandemic, and uncertainty. How can we fix this distrust and corruption? And let's be clear: None of this sentiment began or ended with Donald Trump. Of course, he was bombastic and unconventional – but that was his draw. All the issues I just listed are what led people to vote for Trump. He was refreshingly candid and didn’t act like a groomed and polished robot running for office. Unfortunately, as with most celebrities or populist figures – a cult like following forms, and cult followers tend to dismiss any criticism or nay-saying about their “thing or person”.
Let's be clear: None of this sentiment began or ended with Donald Trump.
Prior to the 2020 election, Trump himself – alongside many allies – casted doubt on the integrity of our democratic process. They tried to portray the Democratic party as incompetent and that it would be impossible for them to win without rigging the system. Fast forward through the COVID-19 pandemic where emergency authorizations were used in many states to allow the use of mail-in ballots to further promote social distancing and mitigate the spread of illness. The Trump wing of the Republican Party used these changes to signal more doubt and claimed the Democrats were attempting to steal the election before voting even occurred. Without going too much more into the weeds – we all know what led up to the fiasco at the Capitol on January 6th and to this day Trump and his supporters claim election fraud – with some even claiming that he still is the president, and that President Biden is illegally in the White House.
While we’re going to discuss 2020 as the foundation for this conversation, Grant and I are interested in looking at ideas and solutions to help repair the distrust that exists with our modern elections. Are there ways to ensure our most sacred democratic process remains impartial and secure from fraud? More importantly, are there solutions and updates we all can agree on without making election reform and accountability partisan? How would you change our election process for the better? There's a larger issue here than partisan politics. Both parties need to understand their command of the debates and media have fostered resentment among independents who don't fully conform to the labels of "Democrat" or "Republican". The Libertarian Party has come the closest to being the most viable third party option with 2020 Presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen getting on all 50 state ballots but failing to make the arbitrary 12% polling needed to join Biden and Trump on the debate stage. Perhaps there should be parameters to weed out joke candidates, but the optics of the RNC and the DNC manipulating what they want the public to consume is destroying our trust in the process. Its hard to blame those who believe this nation's elections are rigged against the common good. This has always been a problem in our elections, but its come to a boiling point with January 6th. Now, more than ever, it is important for us to discuss how to solve these issues rather than point the finger at any particular politician or party and whine about it. Election reform can be a difficult and tedious lift, but it must be at the table to help ensure our most sacred process remains.
We know you'll love these two episodes in which we further flesh out all things concerning Election Integrity. Part 1 is available November 8th and part 2 November 29th.
Let us know your thoughts!
WHAT WHISKY GOES WELL WITH THIS CONVERSATION??
Its no secret that I am a massive fan of peated scotch. Grant, not so much - but I won't hold it against him! This blended of 100% Islay single malts from the distilleries of Caol Ila, Bowmore, Ardbeg, and Port Ellen is bottled without added color or chill-filtration at 46% ABV. Established in 1948, Douglas Laing is a proudly independent, family owned Scotch Whisky business in its third generation and offers numerous expressions of their "Big Peat" line, blending all the peaty goodness of the best distilleries around. This is one of the best out there for its low price point.
The name is a bit deceiving as its peat isn't actually that intense, nor is it's ABV anything special. Regardless, this bottle is a perfect introduction to the classic Islay brine and smoke that all of the distilleries are so well known for. It isn't my favorite by any means - but its an worthwhile purchase for the price and the Islay blending experience. Cheers!
SHAMELESS PLUG TIME!
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LISTEN TO OCTOBER'S TOPIC NOW!
For last month's topic, we discussed the current state of Afghanistan with the Panjwai and Boardwalk Podcasts and were happy to hear their views on what led up to the chaotic Afghanistan Evac and their perspective on the how and why of everything from accountability to strategic misfires. Their perspectives are just a few of many out there coming from veterans who have served in our nation’s longest war. It’s important to understand what is going through the mind of those who have watched Afghanistan crumble to the Taliban. Were these last 20 years were a waste, or if there are glimmers of hope we can hold onto? Check out our 2 part discussion with the incredible veterans behind Panjwai and Boardwalk.
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