Must We Respect a Fraudulent President?

In Georgia this past week, Joe Biden rallied a handful of voters in support of Georgia’s Democratic candidates for the United States Senate.  The venue was an Atlanta warehouse parking lot that could have passed for scenery from The Walking Dead (in fact, part of the post-apocalyptic “Hunger Games” trilogy was filmed at Pullman Yards).  The man who claimed more votes than any other presidential candidate in history was speaking to a bare crowd amid a graffiti-festooned depot.  Meanwhile a considerable pro-Trump gathering amassed outside, many bearing signs reading “Where’s Hunter?”

In the long months leading up to the election there was little doubt as to whom the people preferred.  Donald Trump’s rallies drew tens of thousands, while  Biden’s mustered up a few dozen, if that many.

And then came the election itself.

By now the allegations of voter fraud -- and accompanying evidence -- are well known.  There are the statistical impossibilities arising from late-night ballot dumps.  The official observers who were prevented from watching.  The corruption was made possible by mail-in balloting.  And then there is the matter of Dominion Voting Systems machines.  One district in Antrim County, Michigan had 660 votes cast -- but there are only six registered voters there.  And of those six, three cast ballots.  The error rate allowed by the Federal Election Commission is 1 in 250,000 ballots: 0.0008 percent.  The error rate of Antrim County machines was a whopping 68.05 percent.  There is no reason not to suspect that Dominion’s ballot counting in other states had such “features.”

The matter of unjust measures is brought up at least nine times in the Old Testament.  “Divers weights are an abomination unto the Lord; and a false balance is not good,” reads Proverbs 20:23.  Absent reverence for holy writings, it still is to be noted: the ballot box is sacred.  To violate it is to breach the contract that countless Americans have fought and suffered and died for.

And so circumstance not seen for a century and more has come about.  We are faced with someone who will be sworn in as President of the United States… but has not earned true authority.

Scripture deals greatly with the matter of authority.  Jesus’ famous teaching from Matthew 22:21 about “render unto Caesar” is one requiring some context.  It has little if anything to do with taxation.  The Pharisees and Sadducees arose from the rampant strife of the Hasmonean era, the end of which saw civil war before the arrival of Roman order under Pompey.  Jesus was merely reminding the religious leaders of His own day: “Because you did not render unto God, you are made to render unto Caesar.”  They wanted Him to attack rightful authority, and He would not fall into their trap.  Later in Romans 13:1 the apostle Paul wrote of authority also.  “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

There is an authority that those of Judeo-Christian ethic are obliged to respect.  There is authority which every citizen must heed.  The Founders decreed that authority in America would rest upon its people.  Its mandate drawing from, ideally, collective wisdom practiced in republican democracy. 

America’s history has been a tale of succession.  Forty-five times the mantle of president has been placed upon someone new.  It is likely the most peaceable and successful transfer of such a thing in the history of the world.  However much it can be argued that the American people have at times misappropriated authority, it still should be noted that even the most mediocre of presidents had authority properly entrusted to them: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama. It has been a nearly unbroken chain of command from George Washington to Donald Trump.

Biden will be the first to come to office without the mantle of authority.  He has not earned “the mandate” that commands support and respect.  But that does not matter to Biden.  He has obtained what he believes is a throne.  But in the minds of 70 to 80 million Americans he will be a fraud who merits no respect at all.

Yes, Biden will have the power.  All the power that the media and big tech and celebrities and lobbyists and foreign financiers could possibly grant a single man.  But if he is sworn in as President of the United States come January 20th on the basis of a sham, he will do so lacking respect from arguably the vast majority of Americans.  He will be a president with a complete paucity of authority.  Neither can Kamala Harris brag about having divine anointment.  Yes, she will have power too: very nearly the power she has almost certainly craved for her entire political life.  But she lacks authority even more so… and should she succeed Biden through resignation or misfortune, the issue facing America will become even more compounded.

The question is not so much “must Americans respect a fraud?” but instead is, “how can Americans respect a fraud?”  And specifically, how can those of the Judeo-Christian heritage heed such a person?  To respect falsely assumed authority is to disrespect the authority God, if our understanding of scripture is correct.  And if the President of the United States cannot have favor in the eyes of the people he claims to be serving, how can America’s rivals on the world stage esteem him?

It is almost as if there is not going to be a president at all.  “Sede vacante,” American style: the Oval Office chair is empty.  There is but a pretender to the throne.

Christopher Knight is a freelance writer and mental health professional.  See his blog at theknighshift.com and find him on Twitter (for now) @theknightshift.

Image: AnnaliseArt