Dear Fellow Radnor Democrats,
THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIME – REALLY!!!
Please join us tomorrow, Wednesday, October 28th at 7:00 p.m. for our final Radnor Democrats Zoom meeting before the “most important election of our lifetime.” The Zoom link is below. We hope to have Delco DA Jack Stollsteimer, other elected officials, and candidates in attendance. Most of us see next week’s election as the most important of our lifetime - and this time it really is. But it’s not the first “most important” election.
In 1960, “the most important election of our lifetime” I was two years old. My dad carried me into the voting booth in our South Philly neighborhood so I could pull the lever for JFK, who defeated Nixon. In the 1967 Philly Mayoral Election, at age 9, I started my now 53-year run working at the polls in every election. At age 10 in 1968, I worked the polls for Hubert Humphrey in another “most important election of our lifetime.” Nixon won that one. But in 1974 Watergate proved that our system works. Nixon’s Attorney General Eliot Richardson resigned rather than be compromised, setting off the “Saturday Night Massacre.” Back then, a president could not get away with politicizing and destroying the impartiality of the U.S. Justice Department. Principled Republicans and Democrats in Congress came together in 1974, along with a unanimous 9-0 ruling by our Supreme Court compelling Nixon to turn over the tapes and forced out that ‘criminal’ president. There was a peaceful transfer of power. The rule of law was alive and well in the United States. Since then we have had a couple more “most important election of our lifetimes.”
In 2000 at age 42, after working the polls in Radnor, a week later I ended up as one of the lawyers in Palm Beach County Florida on the “Butterfly Ballot Case” – check out this one-minute video from CNN with me on the steps of the Palm Beach County Courthouse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gqvkhaht-9w.
It was breathtaking and I’ll never forget it, but we lost that one. Ultimately, in 2000 a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court vote “selected and installed” GWBush even though he lost the popular vote to Al Gore; and sadly, even though he likely lost Florida to Gore too. The Supreme Court stopped the count so we will never know for sure.
Defeating Nixon, or Reagan, or GWBush was important; had we succeeded in any one of those “most important election of our lifetimes,” we would now be in a much better place. We would have had universal health care by now, not be saddled with over $20 trillion in debt, be way ahead in our struggle with global climate change, and millions of people around the world, including thousands of American troops, would still be alive. Those Republican administrations were damaging for sure, but neither Nixon, Reagan nor Bush posed the threat to the very existence of our nation posed by Donald Trump.
Trump makes Richard Nixon look like a choir boy; he is essentially a mobster, leading his organized crime syndicate from the Oval Office. Unlike the principled Republicans in 1974 who ultimately stood up for the rule of law, Trump has been enabled by compliant, complicit, amoral Republicans. Attorney General Barr’s “justice” department betrays its very name. Mitch McConnell, who has inflicted more damage to the legislative branch than any person in history, puts up with the mobster so he could ram through deficit-explosive tax cuts and pack the courts with ultra-right-wing lifetime-appointed zealots for decades to come. May the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation be the last gasp from these feckless elected Republicans.
Next week will be an election like no other. Radnor will produce a massive Democratic turnout, but we will be joined by an unprecedented number of our Radnor Republican neighbors in voting for Joe Biden. We must run up the numbers enough in our corner of the state to counteract the vast areas of Pennsylvania who will vote for Trump. As horrible as the last four years have been, the silver lining has been the number of patriotic Republicans who have joined with us. They were our friends and neighbors, the “friendly opposition” in the past. But now, with the rule of law and a peaceful transfer of power at stake, many of them are joining with us to support Joe Biden. Our RDC “big tent” has gotten bigger and hopefully we can help unite our nation after this nightmare ends on January 20, 2021.
Chair, Radnor Democratic Committee