Myths are stories people tell themselves about themselves. We should never underestimate the power of myths, as our stories determine how we live.

For example, human survival continues to be imperiled by our collective myth that we are different from and superior to nature.

At present, a new myth threatens our society. This is the myth of a “stolen election” and widespread voter fraud. The facts are clear: the 2020 presidential election was run honestly and the votes were tabulated correctly. Dozens of court cases have failed to demonstrate, let alone prove, any systemic problems with the election. No top election official, Republican or Democrat, has documented significant fraud.

Yet the myth persists, fueled by cynical and opportunistic politicians. The myth of voter fraud is being used to excuse and explain proposed restrictions on voting rights across the nation, state by state. In no case has voter fraud been documented, nor have the changes in voting rights been designed or intended to reduce fraud.

The proposed changes appear to have a very different goal: to tilt the electoral process to benefit one political party. The myth of voter fraud is being perpetuated solely to make it more difficult for people who are likely to vote for the other political party to cast their ballots.

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Without the myth of voter fraud, the dozens of proposed voting restrictions would be seen by all, Democrats and Republicans, for what they are: political machinations by a party that appears to be morally bankrupt.

Of course, it would be refreshing to do away with the myth. Then we could talk honestly about the proposed changes, and call them by name: racist, corrupt, dishonest, cynical, and unnecessary. And we could get to work ensuring all Americans are encouraged to vote and have opportunities to do so.

Charles Gessert


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