Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 14, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 14, 2020 







Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

 Well, I know it’s not 1961. I am writing this 
column at 5:00 a.m. on November 3, 2020. It’s 
Election Day and I can’t sleep anyway. Really 
I should wait until tomorrow and write an article 
about the election results assuming that we will 
know the results by tomorrow. Probably we won’t 
know and if Trump is the winner or even in the lead 
I fear that I won’t be able to pull myself together to 
write anything. Anyway, we just did that stupid 
clock change which I can never get used to and they make us do it every year. 
But it feels like we have no choice. It feels like we’re being pushed around but 
there are some decisons we must make for ourselves and often it feels pretty 
risky. That’s the scary part of freedom. What is important and what is not? How 
do we live our lives?

 In all seriousness, right now everthing feels pretty unsafe.. I followed 
the rules and put on the mask. I said hello to this big tall, unmasked guy 
standing in front of a house. He acknowledged my hello and in a very soft civil 
measured tone said, “Would you take off your mask, it personally offends me 
to see such weakness.” Okay, maybe he didn’t say the weakness part but I knew 
he was implying it. I took a couple of steps towards him and made an impolite 
suggestion. He said something, like “Old man I didn’t risk my life in Iraq to 
protect cowards like you. I don’t know about the coward part but isn’t it better 
to be an old man with long hair and a beard,(which is my silent protest against 
Covid restriction), than to be a short-haired clean shaven old guy unnecessarily 
risking his life trying to act tough and hide his own fear from himself? 

 Somehow, this whole 2020 reminds me of 1961. I was 17, threatened by 
the draft which I was sure would lead to my premature death. The only way out 
was to go to College and why would I want to do that? College would require 
that I work fewer hours as a bus boy at Bob’s Big Boy and earn less money. 
Also, the truth was that I wasn’t a very happy bus boy so I went off to college. 
Before you knew it I became a lawyer and got old and became a grandpa. It all 
happened so fast. 

 Right before I started writing this article I picked up my old copy of Catcher 
in the Rye which I read in 1961 right when I was graduating High School. The 
book is sort of about how tough it is to be 17 and having to go out into the world 
and just being all confused and not knowing what to do and being kind of crazy. 
Well, that’s exactly how I feel now—but I know now what I didn’t know then. 
Life would go on. I would go to College and not have to be a bus boy anymore. 
( I was a Liquor Store Clerk throughout Law School) and I would grow up more 
or less, and deal with life and be pretty happy most of the time even though it 
wasn’t very easy. I can do it again—Trump or no Trump. I’m ready to face life 
but I won’t go outside without a mask. 

 I am old enough to realize now that my life, and your life, and the ex-Marine’s 
and even Trump voters’ lives are precious gifts no matter what the time is or how 
old we are. if some Marine or some some other rule maker tells you to do what 
is wrong just keep on walking. No matter how cowardly we feel, it is all of our 
continuing responsibility to do our own right thing. It’s not just about masks. It 
is about preserving the great gift of having the freedom to choose. 

Be brave! 

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It’s been a very long 
and weird week 
since Joe Biden 
won Pennsylvania 
and its 20 Electoral 
College votes, 
making him the 
projected winner 
of the White House 
and the president-
elect of the United States.

Since then, President Donald Trump’s 
re-election campaign has filed a blizzard 
of lawsuits entirely devoid of evidence, 
including one seeking to block 
the certification of election results. 
Trump himself has unloaded a barrage 
of falsehoods and misinformation on 
his Twitter feed – none of which will be 
repeated here.

So it only makes sense that Trump is 
moving to his next line of defense, Republican-
controlled state Legislatures, 
including battleground Pennsylvania, 
where the Electoral College will meet in 
December to vote on a slate of electors.

Last Saturday, newly re-elected Pennsylvania 
state Sen. Mike Regan seemed 
to give the game away during a massive 
pro-Trump rally behind the Pennsylvania 
Capitol. There, the Republican told 
a largely maskless and very angry crowd 
that “I’ve been told, in no uncertain 
terms by the state party, by our leadership, 
that they are coordinating with the 
Trump campaign.”

Regan continued, saying that “so far, 
Pennsylvania has done everything the 
Trump campaign has asked them to do. 
So we are working hard to make sure 
that this is fair and free. Look, no one 
wants a president that is disregarded 
by 50 percent of the population. It is so 
important that we have every legal vote 

Which is nonsense on its face. But it did 
not prevent the MAGA faithful from 
eating it up.

Pennsylvania House Majority Leader 
Kerry Benninghoff, a Republican as 
well, says that he has not spoken with 
Trump’s re-election campaign. Still, 
House Republicans have asserted that 
they’ve been deluged with calls about 
alleged improprieties.

This is where I’ll pause to note that, so 
far, no credible evidence of fraud has 
been found anywhere. Even Republican 
Sen. Pat Toomey, a frequent Trump loyalist, 
has said that Trump’s assertions of 
“large-scale fraud and theft of the election 
are just not substantiated.”

Meanwhile, as the investigative news 
site Spotlight PA reported last week, 
Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader 
Jake Corman, a Republican, claimed 
during a Fox News interview that 
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration 
was trying to “tip the scales in 
favor of Joe Biden,” even as he conceded 
that he doesn’t “have any evidence of 

Corman had previously pushed back 
against a blockbuster story in The Atlantic 
in September, suggesting that 
GOP-controlled legislatures might install 
their own slate of electors, undoing 
the will of voters.

That’s illegal under current state law. 
Though it’s fair to note laws can be 
changed, whether the Legislature would 
try something that transparently brazen 
is another matter entirely. Wolf would 
almost certainly veto it in any event.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Bryan Cutler 
put veteran Republican state Rep. 
Seth Grove, in charge of a wide-ranging 
review of state election law. That action 
came as a cadre of House Republicans 
held a reality-beggaring press conference, 
where they called for a legislative-
led audit of the election results to determine 
whether the election was “fairly 
and lawfully conducted.”

Republicans in Pennsylvania’s state 
Senate got in on the act on Wednesday, 
announcing that they, too, were launching 
their own review as a “as a way to 
restore trust in the vote,” they said in a 

Wanda Murren, a spokeswoman for the 
Department of State, which oversees 
elections in Pennsylvania, told PennLive 
that the election was “free, fair and 

“Millions of Pennsylvanians followed 
the rules allowed by the [U.S. Supreme 
Court] and each voter, regardless of 
political party, must have their voice 
heard,” Murren said. “Allegations of 
fraud and illegal activity have been repeatedly 
debunked and dismissed by 
the courts. Those attacks against the 
core values of Americans are intended 
to undermine our democracy, and we 
must reject them.”

With his refusal to concede, and to allow 
Biden access to the resources he 
needs to pursue his transition, Trump 
is taking another sledgehammer to 
our Democratic norms. Pennsylvania 
Republicans, who so often wrap 
themselves in the cloak of the Constitution, 
are abetting that effort. And it’s 

The birthplace of American democracy 
deserves far, far better.


If anyone out there 
still thinks voting 
is a waste of 
time, I can quash 
that canard with 
two words: Vivek 

Rather than focusing on the demagogic 
loser’s pathetic attempts to 
bandage his eggshell ego with bogus 
lawsuits, let’s look on the bright side 
of life. Thanks to President-elect Joe 
Biden and the eleventh-hour wisdom 
of the voting majority, the pandemic 
will be fought not by incompetent 
quacks, but by seasoned public health 
professionals who actually know what 
they’re doing – starting with Murthy, 
who will co-chair Biden’s coronavirus 
task force.

The name may not ring a bell. In 2014, 
Murthy was nominated by President 
Obama for the post of U.S. Surgeon 
General, putting him in charge of the 
nation’s 6,700 federal public health 

It was easy to see why Obama wanted 
him. Murthy, an Indian-American, 
was a Yale-trained internist at the top-
notch Brigham and Women’s Hospital 
in Boston, and a Harvard Med School 
teacher. He was endorsed by (among 
others) the American Public Health 
Association, the American Cancer 
Society, the American Academy of 
Pediatrics, the American College of 
Physicians, the American Academy 
of Family Physicians, and American 
Hospital Association. He’d co-founded 
a nonprofit group that had worked 
since 1995 to fight HIV/AIDS, and he 
launched a software technology company 
that aimed to improve the efficiency 
of clinical drug trials.

The only hitch: He had to be confirmed 
by a Republican-controlled 
Senate, which proceeded to block 
him. Care to guess why? Because the 
NRA didn’t like him.

Murthy, in his stints as an ER doctor, 
had treated lots of gunshot victims, 
and believed that gun violence was a 
public health issue. (With 30,000 annual 
gun deaths and 80,000 annual 
gun woundings, I can’t imagine where 
he got that idea.) Senate Republicans 
–fearful as always of the NRA, along
with some red-state Senate Democrats 
– ganged up on Murthy and
put his nomination in limbo for nine 

Long story short – I’ll skip the parliamentary 
maneuvers – Murthy was 
finally confirmed during the lame-
duck session after the 2014 midterms,. 
While serving as Surgeon General, he 
fought the spread of Ebola and the 
Zika virus, among other public health 
challenges. He was safe in the job – 
until April 17, 2017.

That’s when Trump fired him.

No reasons given, but we all know 
that his Obama taint was sufficient 
cause. So Murthy had to wander in 
the wilderness, so to speak, taking his 
expertise into exile. But this year, as 
soon as Americans started dying from 
COVID-19, he started to surface in 
public forums. Way back in March, 
when Trump was babbling that “we’ve 
done a great job” and that COVID 
“will go away,” Murthy was a tad more 

He told NPR, “This is an all-in moment 
for America and for the world. 
And every now and then, these moments 
come about in the world’s history, 
where we have to come together 
to overcome a challenge that’s bigger 
than any one of us can take on alone. 
And this is one of those moments. 
This is a serious pandemic.”

Another long story short: Murthy 
joined the Biden campaign as an in-
house medical advisor. Now he’s back 
on top – propelled, at last check, by a 
record 76 million voters – and he’ll be 
working with Biden task force member 
Rick Bright, a vaccine development 
expert who blew the whistle on 
Trump and got fired from his prominent 
federal job. He’s back on top, too.

That’s why we vote.

So put your hands together for science 
and competence. As Vivek Murthy 
said in August, “We have the talent, 
resources and technology. What 
we are missing is leadership.”

Now we’ll get it. Thanks, democracy.

Dick Polman, a veteran national political 
columnist based in Philadelphia 
and a Writer in Residence at the 
University of Pennsylvania, writes at 

Mountain Views News

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