Will Americans make themselves comfortable with fraud in 2020?

Sometimes we make decisions not to investigate something, not to ask questions, because we do not want to deal with the consequences the answers may reveal.

I did this with regard to my parents' caregiver.  The caregiver, handpicked by my mother, took on more and more duties until my parents depended on her for everything.  When I visited with the lady, a young, divorced mother of two, she seemed loving and capable.  I was happy that she managed my parents' affairs because then I did not have to.

Although I realized that my parents were vulnerable to exploitation, I did not verify information from the caregiver, nor did I check on my parents' finances myself.  It was easier for me to trust, and I chose simply to trust.  I received calls from my parents' investment advisers, concerned with the monetary outflows the caregiver facilitated.  "Oh, yes, you can trust her," I said to one of the advisers.  "My father has had a lot of medical bills recently."  I did not know then how Medicare paid the bulk of my parents' medical expenses.

Several years later, after my parents had moved near me, and I began managing their care, I stumbled upon direct evidence that the caregiver had cashed out and stolen the proceeds from my father's life insurance policy.  Investigating further, I found circumstantial evidence that she had embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from my parents in just the last three years of her service.  To my chagrin, I knew that my lack of involvement to protect my parents had exacerbated their losses.

As a nation, we have a similar situation on a grand scale with the 2020 presidential election.  Many are complaining of widespread election fraud.  Many are dismissing the complaints, including those with the biggest voices, the major media spokespeople.  Those who choose to discount the allegations may find that it is comfortable and calming to entrust the vote-counting to the officials when their favored candidate is ahead, but not when their candidate is behind.  This should be a red flag for introspection.  There are reasons to pay attention to charges of fraud, no matter which candidate is ahead.

We would be negligent to discount the possibility of corruption in our election system.  Every human system is tainted by human sin, and the temptation to cheat and steal is strong.  We should inquire, how is our election system vulnerable to fraud?  Can people manipulate votes tallied by the voting machines?  Can people dump illegal ballots into the process?  Contrary to opinions we have heard recently, asking these questions is not tantamount to eroding our democracy.  Answering the questions honestly and facing any evidence of wrongdoing is essential to buttress the peaceful transfer of power so critical to the legitimacy of our government.

The problem of misplacing our trust — if we refuse to investigate, refuse to ask the pertinent questions, refuse to look at evidence dispassionately when it is presented — is that we potentially surrender the power we cherish as citizens of our own country to elect those who govern us.  If we empower others to steal our votes through our self-blinded inaction, what prevents them from stealing our freedom?

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