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Op-Ed

COULD IT COME TO THAT? Maybe the UN will watch over U.S. elections for citizens

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“PEACEKEEPERS and ELECTION MONITORS NEEDED- UNITED NATIONS. No experience necessary. Apply online at careers.un.org. Travel outside USA not necessary.”

Imagine picking up encore or a copy of “the failing NY Times” and seeing that advertisement in the coming weeks. Instead of “Operation Legend” seeking to dominate the dangerous streets of America’s apparently war-torn cities, imagine French and Belgian soldiers wearing blue helmets monitoring the interactions of WPD and peaceful protesters in front of Wilmington City Hall.  Imagine Australian election monitors at Bellamy Elementary and other local polling places. “G’Day Mate! One vote apiece, mate. One vote apiece.”

Could it come to that?

Representative Barbara Lee of California suggested the United Nations monitor the fairness of our 2020 elections as early as October 2019. She cited concerns about the suppression of minority votes and documented foreign interference in the 2016 election.

A year ago, I thought Barbara Lee calling for the UN to step on our sovereign soil was way out there, even for California. After all, we’re not a Third World country, right?

Today, trees are exploding all over Barbara’s home state. California is burning. Eminent felon Roger Stone is calling for martial law because of the fatally flawed election system, and Ol’ 45 publicly and persistently questions the fairness of the upcoming election. Ol’ 45 decries rampant voter fraud but has urged his supporters to vote twice to test the system. He has threatened not to leave office even if he loses the initial count. Political advertisements and some pseudo-news propaganda portray American cities as if they are battlefields in a new Civil War. That’s not even counting twenty-seven million unemployed and the two hundred thousand Americans that have died from COVID-19. In only eight months, COVID-19 has accounted for more American deaths than from the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

Last year I thought Barbara Lee was out there. But this year? Maybe Representative Lee is not so out there after all. Representative Lee was in the news again recently for finally convincing the House to repeal the law giving a president power to wage endless wars. She was the only person in Congress to vote against the Authorization to Use Military Force back in 2001, an act giving the President an almost unlimited power to send our military anywhere as long he put the word “terrorist” in the order somewhere. The law was intended to temporarily expand presidential power and allow quick response to the groups behind the September 11th attacks. According to Rep. Lee, “Under the auspices of two laws that are now nearly 20 years old, the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, the United States is militarily engaged  in 80 countries, outside of the public eye and with little congressional oversight.”

Sure sounds like ending the ‘temporary’ expansion of presidential power to wage war is a good idea.

Maybe Representative Lee has another good idea in asking the UN’s help to ensure fair elections. Honestly, if Ol’ 45’s leadership is so lacking he that can’t maintain election integrity then he should ask the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs to monitor our elections this chaotic year. If his leadership is so lacking that our streets are erupting in firefights there is still time to invite French and Belgian troops to keep our protests peaceful. (According to a Princeton study, the more sophisticated members of the world community should have plenty of time for wine and cheese at Caprice Bistro. 93% of social protests since the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have been peaceful.)

We’re no longer in the Obama era where trees didn’t explode, climate change was real, and science was respected. We are not yet in Biden and Harris’s America. We are attempting to navigate stormy seas on Ol’ 45’s rudderless “MAGA” yacht.

I’m not enthusiastic about the UN overseeing New Hanover County polling places or French peacekeepers brunching at Caprice Bistro, but unless we stop acting like a Third World country with nuclear weapons and Satellite TV, that may be what it takes to ensure the American experiment continues.

It could come to that. I hope not.

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