If Donald Trump is right, and his disciples stand guard at the polls to make sure nobody votes twice or three times or thirty, and if Rep. John Lewis is right in asking President Obama to send out thousands of federal election observers to make sure things go well, think of the size of the gathering outside the voting booth. Could be dozens out there watching.
Trump thinks the thing is rigged, although he hasn't been saying that lately, at least not as often or as loud. "Folks, the whole system is rigged," he'd say in the olden days. You remember.
That's why he told his people to hang around the polls and make sure none of those frauds sneak in a half-dozen times. If good people don't take the law into their own hands these days, you know what'll happen.
Yes, we do.
You heard him say it. "The whole thing is rigged." His trainer has him on a leash now, looking more presidential. But if you ask, he'll still say it: "Get out there and supervise, you second-amendment people." You know Trump.
Now Rep. John Lewis, who marched in Selma a lifetime ago, is asking Obama to send election observers out because he doesn't trust the polls either, for opposite reasons. He's sure there'll be intimidation, sure some potential voters will be sent away without having filled out a ballot, as is their right. He may well be afraid of Donald's disciples.
Now we got a situation. Of course
There Are Nearly 300 Cases of Voter Fraud in America
or so said the headline in a right-wing website last year. 300. That's right. Think of it this way: if I gave you a bowl of Skittles, and 300 of them were bad, would you still count the Skittles? You know.
Amazing, isn't it? Amazingly silly. Real-live studies show voter and voting fraud is almost non-existent.
No matter. Donald says the whole thing is rigged, even though conservatives have been rewriting suffrage laws to make sure those 300(!!) cases don't surface again. The purpose of all that legislation is to counter all that voter fraud.
No matter, I guess. Still rigged, Donald says.
Last week I watched forty-some brand new citizens swear allegiance to the United States of America. Never before had I witnessed a real naturalization event. The American Legion marched in the colors, opening remarks were given, four politicians sent staff to read their congratulations.
Then a silver-haired woman sang a medley of patriotic hymns--"America the Beautiful," "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," a chorus or two of some old faves like "Yankee Doodle Dandy." She had a great voice, walked among those brand new citizens as if wooing them. National anthem too.
Finally, the presiding judge, in his robe, delivered a bit of a homily and had all forty stand, raise their right hands and solemnly swear allegiance to the United States of America, which they did. Many had family standing and watching.
I couldn't help noticing that only one of the new citizens was white--from Eastern Europe. The rest--all of them--were people of color: African, Mexican, Central and South American.
When it was over, the judge sent them all to a voter registration table set up just outside the room, where they formed a line.
I doubt President Obama will do anything with Rep. John Lewis's request, but when I think about what I watched just last week, I can't help thinking, like Mr. Lewis, that maybe, come November, we'll need more people at the polls.