Oregon wise to warn Big Brother not to spy

A house somewhere in the area may or may not have been burglarized recently, but the Neighborhood Watch commander has a plan to keep everyone safe nevertheless. He wants all the neighbors to provide him with duplicate keys to their homes, as well as their bank account numbers and internet passwords.

What could possibly go wrong?

This logic only makes sense within the rubber walls that line the topsy-turvy realm of the Trump administration’s fevered imagination. Thank goodness Oregon — and most other states, all but six at last count — are refusing to apply this unhinged approach to America’s electoral process.

When it appeared he was about to lose the presidential election, Trump began claiming the system had been rigged against him and pledging action in response. When he ended up losing the popular vote, but pulling out an electoral college victory, he created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity via another in a long series of executive orders.

As per his M.O., Trump never produced a scintilla of evidence to back up his accusation that the election was rigged against him. But it has become an indisputable fact that Russia’s Communist government tried to influence the election in his favor.

If there is some question about electoral integrity in this country, that’s where it lies. The fact that a foreign power meddled at all should be of intense concern.

So far, however, Trump seems intent on instead chasing a phantom menace that he either cooked up as a campaign ploy or latched onto through genuine paranoia.

The commander in tweet actually suggested July 1 that 46 states and the District of Columbia were being deliberately definant by refusing to turn over the names, addresses, birthdates, political affiliations and Social Security numbers of everyone who had voted in their jurisdictions since 2006. “What are they trying to hide?” he tweeted — ironic, considering his refusal to release his tax returns.

This near-uniform reaction is not the work of liberal Democrats trying to stymie the president’s agenda. After all, Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and many of his colleagues across the country are Republicans. It is the work of officials who recognize the administration’s actions as an egregious overreach of executive power.

In his June 30 refusal letter, Richardson pointed out that elections are best governened and administered by the states.

Having a de-centralized voting system limits any attempts at widespread tampering and should make sense to an administration constantly carping about the importance of states’ rights, he argued.

Voter fraud is not the bogeyman the administration makes out. In Oregon, only 15 people have been charged with voter fraud so far this century. And the numbers are equally low across the country.

Are there forces out there trying to manipulate our elections? Yes. Look toward Russia — and possibly the White House.

Harvesting and collecting people’s private information will not remedy that. It represents nothing more than yet another of this administration’s unending attempts to scare Americans, quite literally, out of their wits.


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