On Christmas Day in 1776, Gen. George Washington led 2,400 troops across the Delaware River. The weather was cold and miserable. The troops were exhausted; they had to contend with snow and ice. Their mission was to surprise the Hessian troops stationed in Trenton, New Jersey. They landed just before dawn on the 26th. They must have been desperate; recent losses in key strategic locations had led to low morale and waning spirits, but they went anyway.
They captured the Hessian troops, and though they were forced to retreat later, their victory provided hope to the Continental Army and our new nation that we could go on to win our freedom. It is impossible to know what would have happened without this victory -- our new country might have faltered and failed without this Christmas miracle.
The lessons we learned more than two centuries ago apply today. To continue to act, we must believe that our actions make a difference. If we don't, we can begin to think we are helpless, without agency, that nothing we do matters. The result is we do nothing.
During the Christmas season, it is especially important for us to dwell on miracles: the miracle of Christ's birth in a manger when there was no room for him in an inn; the miracle of his resurrection after his crucifixion; the miracle of God's love given to everyone through God's grace and not earned through the works of individuals.
Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump's trade adviser, issued a report last week titled "The Immaculate Deception: Six Key Dimensions of Election Irregularities." Though the title is clearly a play on words regarding the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, the report is deadly serious. It "assesses the fairness and integrity of the 2020 Presidential Election by examining six dimensions of alleged election irregularities across six key battleground states."
It adds that "evidence used to conduct this assessment includes more than 50 lawsuits and judicial rulings, thousands of affidavits and declarations, testimony in a variety of state venues, published analyses by think tanks and legal centers, videos and photos, public comments, and extensive press coverage."
The 36-page report includes 148 footnotes. "It is possible to infer what may well have been a coordinated strategy to effectively stack the election deck against the Trump-Pence ticket," it says. "Indeed, the observed patterns of election irregularities are so consistent across the six battleground states that they suggest a coordinated strategy to, if not steal the election outright, strategically game the election process in such a way as to 'stuff the ballot box' and unfairly tilt the playing field in favor of the Biden-Harris ticket."
In my home state of Georgia, Republican state Sen. William Ligon, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a report last week on the testimony heard by the committee on Dec. 3. The conclusion? "The November 3, 2020 election was chaotic and the results cannot be trusted," the report read. "The Secretary of State and the State Elections Board failed to enforce the law as written in the Georgia Code, and furthermore, created policies that contravened State law. As Senator Matt Brass concluded at the December 3 hearing, 'We have heard evidence that State law was not followed, time after time after time.'"
The report's recommendation? "The Legislature should carefully consider its obligations under the U.S. Constitution," the report says. "If a majority of the General Assembly concurs with the findings of this report, the certification of the Election should be rescinded and the General Assembly should act to determine the proper Electors to be certified to the Electoral College in the 2020 presidential race. Since time is of the essence, the Chairman and Senators who concur with this report recommend that the leadership of the General Assembly and the Governor immediately convene to allow further consideration by the entire General Assembly."
Two U.S. Senate runoff races are being held in Georgia, with the election day set for Jan. 5, and the media is continually reporting that there is no widespread fraud. It would be easy for us to assume that there is nothing we can do as individuals regarding the election process. But we must not give up.
We must act by voting and have faith as we continue to call for our elected officials to ensure that the law is followed and our election integrity maintained. We cannot give up. We cannot give in. Take action and have faith. It's Christmas, the time for miracles.