What We’re Up Against

by Glenn on January 12, 2022

This is not a political rant. I’m not trying to take a side, here, but this is what’s going on. This is what we’re up against.

By “we” I mean people who want to think independently and thoughtfully and are interested in the truth of things. This is a hard time to be one of those sorts of people.

This past Sunday, a United States Senator named Mike Rounds (SD) went on ABC News’ This Week. The host, George Stephanopulos, asked him about his thoughts about January 6, 2021. Here is the answer Senator Rounds gave:

“As a part of our due diligence, we looked at over 60 different accusations made in multiple states. While there were some irregularities, there were none of the irregularities which would have risen to the point where they would have changed the vote outcome in a single state.

“The election was fair, as fair as we have seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency. And moving forward — and that’s the way we want to look at this — moving forward, we have to refocus once again on what it’s going to take to win the presidency.

“And if we simply look back and tell our people don’t vote because there’s cheating going on, then we’re going to put ourselves in a huge disadvantage. So, moving forward, let’s focus on what it takes to win those elections. We can do that. But we have to let people know that they can — they can believe and they can have confidence that those elections are fair. And that is in every single state that we looked at.”

Senator Rounds appears to have some political independence as a Republican, but was largely  supportive of the President. According to one news source [1] Rounds “is neither a Never Trumper not a MAGA devotee. He broke with the former president on policy grounds a handful of times—on a bipartisan immigration deal in 2018, on Trump’s trade war with China in 2019—but voted in line with Trump’s position 90 percent of the time, generally did his best to avoid weighing in on the various scandals of the past five years, voted against conviction in both impeachment trials, and said on January 5, 2021 that he was going into the next day’s proceedings with an open mind. (He ultimately decided against objecting to the Electoral College vote counts.)”

Here is how former President Donald Trump responded:

“‘Senator’ Mike Rounds of the Great State of South Dakota just went woke on the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020. He made a statement this weekend on ABC Fake News, that despite massive evidence to the contrary, including much of it pouring in from Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and other states, he found the election to be ok—just fine. Is he crazy or just stupid? The numbers are conclusive, and the fraudulent and irregular votes are massive. The only reason he did this is because he got my endorsement and easily won his state in 2020, so now he thinks he has time, and those are the only ones, the weak, who will break away. Even though his election will not be coming up for 5 years, I will never endorse this jerk again.

“It’s RINOs like this that are allowing the Democrats to destroy our Nation! Our Borders, our Military, our Economy, Inflation, the horrible handling of the China Virus and Afghanistan, and rampant crime throughout our Democrat-run cities are ripping our Country apart. We are a laughingstock throughout the world when we were respected and even feared just 1 year ago. There were no thoughts of Russia with Ukraine, China with Taiwan, Iran with nuclear weapons, or North Korea with nasty statements.

“The Radical Left Democrats and RINOS, like ‘Senator’ Mike Rounds, do not make it easy for our Country to succeed. He is a weak and ineffective leader, and I hereby firmly pledge that he will never receive my Endorsement again!”

Not sure what the scare quotes are about. Senator Rounds is a senator and not a “senator.” But leaving that aside, here is the problem: Two prominent politicians give two completely different accounts of the 2020 election.

Again, not taking a side at this point. Just pointing out there is a major discrepancy in views.

I am going to say that a thing cannot both be and not be. If there is such a thing as a principle of non-contradiction and assuming I understand that principle and that it should be in operation in the world, then what are we to do? How do we make sense of all of this?

It could be that one party is misinformed. Both parties are telling the truth as they understand it, but one party is not in complete possession of the facts.

It could be that one of the parties is lying. (This goes along a spectrum from, say, a spin on the one end to something darker on the other—delusion or worse.)

I suppose there is a third alternative—they are both misinformed or both lying.

Is there another possibility?

It’s clear both parties understand the truth of the situation very differently. For Senator Rounds there were “some irregularities,” but none which would have changed any outcomes. For Mr. Trump, the election was not only fraudulent but it was “the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020” (like the chapter of a book) and there is “massive” contradictory evidence.

What is remarkable to me is the way the two parties respond to each other. Let’s assume that Senator Rounds is not in command of the truth of the situation. But let’s call it ignorance and not a lie. Senator Rounds is not in command of the facts. That can happen. What should be the response of the other side?

I guess I would want the other side to explain what was wrong and to give correct facts. Here there is no correction. Instead it’s ridicule.

The tone of the two statements is so different. Mr. Trump has insults:
“ABC Fake News”
He says what Senator Rounds has done makes him “crazy or just stupid.” Are those the only two choices?
Senator rounds is a “jerk.”
“He is a weak and ineffective leader.”

Senator Rounds issued a response to the President’s response. He said,

“I’m disappointed but not surprised by the former president’s reaction. However, the facts remain the same. I stand by my statement. The former president lost the 2020 election.”

Can we believe either of these men? Is one of them correct and the other not?

Beyond this dispute, there is the efficacy of masks and masking requirements, there are vaccines—recommendations and mandates. There is so much that is contradictory.

How do we know what is true? How do we live in the truth?

This is what we’re up against.


[1] The Dispatch: January 11, 2022.