Protesters hold letters that spell Count Every Vote as they cross an overpass while marching in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, following Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Column: Attacks on democracy warrant reflection on November 11

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

Watching Donald Trump attempt to undermine the U.S.’s already fragile democracy is several steps beyond concerning.

Watching it happen so close to Remembrance Day suggests what little regard Trump truly has for the sacrifices made by veterans to defend the democratic rights of Allied nations.

Predictably, as votes were still be counted following the Nov. 3 U.S. election, and after falsely claiming victory, Trump released a volley of tweets containing absurd allegations and demands. One, “STOP THE COUNT!” was repeated as states continued to count legally cast mail-in and absentee ballots. In early October it was estimated more than 66 million mail-in-ballots had been requested by Americans, largely believed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Interestingly, after Trump prematurely claimed the win, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell commented, “claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

Trump has also repeatedly claimed wrongdoing would occur, and is occurring during the vote counting process. A tweet in which he claimed leads in key states were suddenly “magically” disappearing as “surprise ballot dumps were counted,” was one of several to be blocked by Twitter for being “misleading about an election or other civic process.”

Though foreseeable, to witness the 45th U.S. president, once described as the embodiment of vulgarity and naked self-interest, attempt to undermine democratic process with bogus claims and assertions is still abhorrent, and perhaps something to reflect upon during the two minutes of silence on November 11 when we pause to reflect upon and honour those who gave their lives for what many now appear to take for granted.

Just as important, it is an opportunity to reflect on the nonsensical political divisions that currently exist, even in Canada, and how they might be a slap in the face to those who we’re honouring.

In a letter dated July 14, 1940, Lt.-Col. Gerald Smedley Andrews, who was awarded the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia and the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his service to his country, wrote the following:

“It is interesting to dream how this war is causing all people who cherish democracy to forget their individual differences – and bond closer together to defend & preserve their common ideals… If we can maintain our stand – and hold off the menace & even crush it, we must try to maintain & preserve the benefits of this experience – so that we shall have a very real gain to show for the terrible cost in lives – and material.”

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