In the NYT photo above, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is comforted by her mother Ruby Freeman during the fourth hearing held by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. “Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?” Moss asked the committee.
The television networks and cable channels should be showing as much of these hearings as they possibly can in prime time. Maybe then — maybe then — some of the supporters of Donald Trump will see what he hath wrought with his Big Lie about the 2020 election: For one thing, he’s made miserable the lives of men and women who served their states and the nation by running sound elections. Trump and Rudy Giuliani did this with lies and intimidation, setting loose the #MAGA to make threats against those who refused to accept their bogus claims about voter fraud. (Dana Milbank has a good take on this in the Post today.)
Tuesday’s testimony by officials from Arizona and Georgia, and a mother and daughter who worked the polls in Georgia, left me with this: No one who claims even a fingernail of decency can justify supporting Trump. There is no way to rationalize another dollar much less another vote for such a dangerous creep.
Where would we be without men and women willing to run our elections with integrity?
Reporters across the country know elections officials. We spend time with them, talk to them every couple of years, and sometimes between elections. In my experience in Baltimore and Maryland, I’ve always found them not only sharp but prideful.
They know the election laws. They devote hours and hours in preparation for primaries and generals. Ask them a question and they usually have a ready answer. But, perhaps more than other civil servants, they exude pride in a flawless election — or in fixing an unexpected problem.
For Trump, who never spent a day at hard labor, much less one running a city- or county-wide election, to accuse them of wholesale fraud, to damage the reputation of election officials — that’s one of his ugliest accomplishments. If they resign under duress, what does he care?
The documented withdrawal of elections workers and officials from service compares to all the resignations we’ve seen among public health officials during the pandemic: Why stick around to serve your town, state or nation if people under the influence of Trump are going to harass, abuse and intimidate you?
Sadly, that’s likely part of the Republican plan — vanquish competency and integrity among public employees and dumb down the government, opening the door for kooks and crooks.