We Delawareans, as a united community, need to condemn anyone who contemplates committing violence or voter intimidation. The arrest of 13 men in a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan, including one man from Delaware, Barry Croft from Bear, brings home the notion that the possibility of violent voter intimidation is a real concern. The unwillingness of high-visibility politicians to denounce white nationalist racist groups bent on violence and terror is one of the most shocking developments of the 2020 election season.
In the past, denouncing and ostracizing white nationalist terrorists was a simple and automatic nonpartisan exercise as easy as saying the Pledge of Allegiance. The overwhelming majority of our citizens, both left and right, agree that domestic terrorists need to be denounced and called out for what they are: un-American.
In America, we believe in free elections. In America, the pathway to power is through the ballot, not bullets. In America, voting is not mandatory and people can decide not to vote for many reasons, such as being busy, lazy or apathetic.
But fear should never be a reason not to vote. Not voting because you do not want to die from coronavirus is a fear people have because our response to the virus has been so poor, despite the fact that ours is the greatest technological society mankind has ever known. An election system that scares people, especially vulnerable seniors, into not voting because they are afraid of dying is un-American. Citizens not voting because they fear their vote will get not counted because of political malfeasance at the post office is un-American.
And people not voting because there are white nationalist militias standing outside their polling places with AR-15’s and AK 47’s is un-American. Politicians and public officials failing to denounce anyone who would seek to deny their fellow Americans their constitutional right to have a say in their democracy is un-American.
We call on politicians, public officials, clergy, business leaders — to use whatever forums and influence they have to say that here in Delaware, we defend everyone’s right to vote, whether we agree with them or not.
This is a non-partisan issue. All citizens should feel safe and free when it comes to voting. We call on every Delawarean to re-affirm these powerful and defining words in the Pledge of Allegiance: “One Nation Under God with Liberty and Justice for All.”