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Wed Nov 23, 2022, 10:22 PM

This Thanksgiving, we are grateful for the wisdom of voters

God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.

These sentiments — upon which we have found ourselves reflecting before on Thanksgiving — may or may not have been expressed by the 19th-century German statesman Otto von Bismarck. But whoever uttered them, they would seem to have some relevance to 21st-century America. Much of this country exhaled a collective “Whew!” this month after its narrow escape from yet another electoral nightmare: a wave of spurious challenges to various elections, and trumped-up charges of fraud.

It wasn’t providence that repelled another reckless attack on the vitals of our democratic republic, though. It was the considered judgment of voters in states, cities and counties across the map — liberal, conservative, progressive, independent — who decided this nonsense had gone far enough.

It was a sign of a widespread movement in the general direction of common sense. And yet it also offered troubling evidence of how far we still have to go to resolve our national impasse: Millions voted for candidates who espoused outlandish and often blatantly fraudulent theories about our last presidential election. Many of those candidates ran on promises to throw sand in the gears of the electoral machinery, by putting political hacks in charge of it and by making it harder for legally eligible Americans to express their choices at the polls. In states such as Arizona, where election deniers were defeated, absurd theories about why continue to circulate on the political fringe.


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