Today’s violence sets back the conservative cause
“After an election with significant allegations of voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law, I share the concerns of millions of Americans about the integrity of the election.” – Mike Pence
This is a dark day for America. It’s a dark day for the West.
Many of us are focussed on the US Presidential election because what happens in America affects Australia.
It goes without saying but still needs to be said: Nothing justifies the violence many of us awoke to on our Twitter feeds this morning.
Trump supporters storming the Capitol building, perhaps with some level of incitement by nefarious elements (judging by some of the images online), have disgraced their cause.
They have also set back the policy agenda represented by the Trump movement and supported by so many conservatives around the world, in spite of our misgivings over Trump’s character and style.
Standing up to the Chinese Communist Party, securing the US border (as Australia has done), lifting the real wages of the poorest people through successful economic reforms, promoting the pro-life cause, pushing back on the Left’s cancel culture and promoting the Westphalian order over the UN’s globalist agenda have been correct policies.
These will all be unwound under a Biden/Harris administration.
The significant minority of people (probably numbering in the thousands) of the 250,000 plus crowd at today’s rally who stormed the building and desecrated the legislative chambers have done terrible damage.
It is not fair to say that Trump incited the violence. He is entitled to question the results of the election and lay out the allegations of fraud and illegality as he did today.
Even Vice-President Mike Pence, who announced on social media during Trump’s rally speech that he would not be using his presiding power over the joint sitting of Congress to pause the certification, believes there is evidence of illegality and fraud.
The letter Pence released today said:
“After an election with significant allegations of voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law, I share the concerns of millions of Americans about the integrity of the election.”
This is not the ranting of someone wearing a Make America Great Again cap, this is the adult in the room of the Trump administration.
Pence clearly disagrees with the mainstream media, Big Tech and our cultural elites who assert the claims are “baseless”.
Imagine if Australian Electoral Commission officials stood accused of setting aside electoral laws.
Imagine if scrutineers at an Australian election were not allowed to scrutinise vote counting (as occurred in Pennsylvania and other states).
It’s not just “crazy people with their hair on fire” questioning the integrity of the election.
In an interview for former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson’s Conversations podcast aired shortly after the November 3 election, academic Victor David Hansen made the same observations Pence is making.
“I truly believe that if there had been a fair vote count according to the rules established by the State legislatures, Donald Trump won that election,” Hanson told Anderson.
Anderson has subsequently opined that he believes Trump lost the election because of his mishandling of the Covid crisis.
Nonetheless, if you watch the interview, Anderson gave Hansen’s concerns an airing and did not dispute his claims as “baseless”, like so many elites have done.
And this is the point. Clearly the allegations are not baseless but they have been supressed by an incurious mainstream media colluding with Big Tech.
It has now emerged that Twitter and Facebook poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Democrat-aligned get-out-the-vote campaigns in the key swing states.
Big Tech and the mainstream media have egg all over their faces for supressing the New York Posts revelations about Biden’s lies about his son Hunter’s dealings with the CCP and the Ukrainians.
Why should we trust their un-investigated assertions that the allegations of electoral irregularities are “baseless”?
Pence in his letter says these allegations will be aired in the joint-session of Congress which counts the Electoral College votes.
Whether the 24 hours of debate triggered by objectors on the floor of Congress, allowing the American people (and the people of the world) to hear the allegations free of media censorship, will now go ahead remains to be seen.
With the Capitol building cleared, the Congress is sitting again tonight (today our time) to continue the election certification process.
Where Pence has angered Trump and his supporters is with his refusal to address the question of whether or not he would be willing to send the contested results back to the state legislatures of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona where the most egregious allegations exist.
He says in his letter that he is not willing to overturn the result of the election “unilaterally”.
That is not what he was being asked to do.
Constitutional experts such as the President’s lawyer Don Eastman believe the responsibility of sending untarnished Electoral College votes to Congress lies with the state legislatures.
This is most likely why the courts have ducked and weaved at Trump’s legal suits. More on that shortly.
Sadly state governors have refused to exercise their power to call special sessions and investigate the allegations and if necessary, re-certify the outcome of the Presidential elections run in their states.
Pence has decided not to exercise the power it seems he has to request they do this, even if it meant a further delay to ensure confidence in the election outcome.
He may well have good legal reasons.
Australian media keep reporting that the courts have thrown out all of Trump’s legal contestations of the election and that he is engaged in a dangerous and frivolous vanity project.
It’s true the courts have in almost every case declined to hear his complaints but this has been done on procedural grounds. The substance of the allegations have not been tested.
Provided today’s violence doesn’t sap the resolve of Congressmen and Senators to debate the allegations, they should be given a fair airing for all to see over the next couple of days.
However, any evidence presented will not change the result, no matter how egregious it is, because Joe Biden’s win will be cemented along party lines and reinforced with the help of “Never Trump” establishment Republicans.
Put aside the personality and even flawed character of Donald Trump. The significance of today is that the broad policy agenda (perhaps minus some of the American nationalist schtick) of the wider conservative movement in the West has received a major setback.
A disruption of the system was needed and Trump certainly threw a big rock in the swamp.
The challenge now will be for new leaders – hopefully statesmen and stateswomen – to rise, rebuild and take the movement forward.
The so-called “Progressive Left” are dancing on Trump’s grave. Twitter has today locked his account in a shocking suppression of free speech.
The CCP, as they round up dissidents in Hong Kong, are popping champaign corks.
The stakes are high.
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Lyle Shelton is director of campaigns and communication for the Christian Democratic Party, and is seeking party nomination to stand for election in the NSW Legislative Council at the next state election. He started his career as a rural journalist before being elected as a member of the Toowoomba City Council and serving the Australian Christian Lobby for 10 years. Half of that decade was as ACL's managing director, and was a spokesman for the No campaign during the postal survey on legislation to redefine the meaning of marriage. He also blogs here.