Go to the Arlington National cemetery in Washington and look at the testaments to freedom. White stones lines up, row upon row as far as you can see. It is a humbling sight and experience.

The men and women who rest under those stones gave their lives for all Americans, not just for conservatives or liberals or pro-lifers or pussy hat wearing people, but for all of us. 

One of the many reasons they fought and died was to protect our fundamental American rights, including the right to vote and choose our own destiny. This simple act, pulling a lever or marking a ballot to choose our future is so powerful, and yet so common place that many of us take it for granted. 

Several years ago, after many of these same American soldiers died trying to bring freedom to the people of Iraq, we saw the Iraqis in their first free election holding up their fingers stained with purple ink to show they voted. Many of those people paid with their lives for voting for their candidate of choice and not the candidate they were told to vote for, an act not common to that country.  

This example reveals the power in self determination and the lengths to which people will go to exercise it. 

In America we have elections all the time, for everything from President of the country, to school board member to mayor to dog catcher. With all that voting there is one common belief; for the most part the elections are fair and honest. Without that belief our system would crumble.

A belief that our elections are fair and honest is taken for granted. We believe that if enough like-minded people vote for a candidate that represents their beliefs that candidate will win, and their beliefs will be advanced. This act of voting in a fair election and honest and the self determination that results is one of the many things that make the United States exceptional. 

In recent times though we seem to have hit a snag in this process. We are seeing more and more incidents of what clearly appears to be tampering with our elections to throw the result one way or another. 

The fact that is has become the punch line of a joke that “Dead People” vote in elections reveals the hidden truth behind this statement. Because the joke referred, originally, to Chicago is what kept it a joke. It affected people in Chicago and if they were OK with it, then it was their problem. Unfortunately, it seems many parts of America are becoming Chicago as it relates to elections, especially on the national level.

The 2000 presidential election was one of the first major examples of this “Chicagoisation” of the election system. The voters in Florida held the key to the outcome and it looked like George Bush had defeated Vice President Al Gore by a slim margin. Then, suddenly, missing votes began to materialize in places like Palm Beach County and Broward county. 

The entire process was thrown into chaos as the chant “Count every vote” became the clarion call to keep looking for more missing votes and change the results of the election. 

Lawyers descended on the state and the entire system was politicized as the left tried every trick, legal and otherwise to get the result they could not from the actual vote.

We had new terms to deal with like “Hanging Chad” and “intent of the voter” determined by a small group of partisans. The courts of Florida became a ping pong table of back and forth rulings as they dug in to move the democrat agenda and change the result.

No one cried foul as the Florida Supreme court sided with the liberals to overlook the existing law and change the practice to advance the desired result, Al Gore winning Florida and ultimately the presidency. 

It wasn’t until the United States Supreme Court intervened and put an end to the process and the shenanigans, that we had a result over a month after the election.  

This obvious attack on the rule of law and the political actions of the courts were shocking to many people who saw the election used as it was in the old Soviet Union, as a tool to take and keep power, the people be damned. 

The controversy of the US Supreme Court ending the political battle for that election was roundly criticized on the left, we heard the accusation that the court gave the presidency to George Bush when Al Gore clearly won or would have if they had kept counting the mystery boxes of votes that appeared randomly, or made more determinations of intent of voters who seemed to have a hard time actually voting, almost exclusively in favor of Al Gore of course.

That attack on our confidence lasted for a long time before it faded. We thought we had moved past that ugly episode and the system was fixed and the officials would be prepared in all future elections to get it right and fair and honest. 

Wrong.

The specter of corruption jumped up again in the 2016 elections. This time it wasn’t just dead people voting in Chicago, it was an all-out assault from the left on the process. Hillary Clinton and her party set up rules that pushed Bernie Sanders out of contention, even though he seemed to win more votes in many primaries. No one was incensed over this, in fact it was celebrated. 

The we saw the media in full participation to push the democratic candidate to victory, not simply report the events of the campaign. We saw one sided reporting and then we found out that the power of the government was apparently focused and used against an America citizen, Donald Trump, who chose to run against the power boss’ candidate.

The power of our intelligence services was used to attack and damage Trump, lies were concocted and spread through a government-media network that sought to destroy him. Like him or not, he was a just a citizen at the time and he was attacked by the power of a corrupted government. 

After the election, when Trump won, we saw a call to abolish the Electoral college so that only a few select large population centers in New York and California could decide the fate of the nation in the future. This was a clear move to disenfranchise voters in the other 48 states and manipulate the system. 

Since the before election actions didn’t stop Trump, we saw the continued use of the government to try and destroy him and have him removed from the office the people elected him to. This was based on lies, deceit and corruption and continues to this very day. Amazingly, half our population seems fine with that as long as it serves their desires. 

This is very bad and does not portend well for our future, no matter where you stand on any of the issues. If we allow the system of voting to be manipulated, corrupted and used to create a result then we are no longer a free nation. 

Then comes the 2018 Mid-term elections.

Have we learned our lessons, have we corrected our system? No. We are back to Florida and a few other places where the system seems to be being used to overturn the will of the people yet again.

We see two counties in Florida, the same two that had problems in 2000, causing chaos and damaging the system of elections once again. We see boxes of “Missing votes” appearing on a daily basis, we see the chant of “Count every vote” used to stir people into thinking that their votes are being disregarded. In fact, we have no idea where these missing votes are coming from, the counters are being secretive. The courts have to step in to make them follow the law. The person in charge has been cited in the past for destroying votes and not following the law. And we are supposed to have confidence in the results here?

And if we watch how these missing votes are affecting things we see, almost exclusively again, that they are all going to for the Democratic candidate, by the thousands. Isn’t that odd we never see boxes of votes for the Republican candidate just appear at the right moment? Isn’t that convenient? 

Isn’t that corrupt.  

We are all watching our republic be destroyed, our system of elections bastardized, our confidence depleted and ultimately our freedoms taken away.

When we allow that to be destroyed, we leave our country to the dust bin of history. When election results must be overcome instead of celebrated, we are in a bad place in time.

The first step to Justice and Liberty are fair elections.

Joseph Pangaro is a retired Police Lieutenant from the Township of Ocean, Monmouth County, NJ. During his 27 year career, Lieutenant Pangaro served in many capacities. After nine years as a patrol officer, he was transferred to the detective bureau where he served for 12 years. During that time, Lt. Pangaro prepared and executed hundreds of search warrants, testified in numerous high profile criminal court cases and excelled in the area of criminal investigations including; homicides, sexual assaults, drug crimes, fraud, burglary, juvenile investigations, economic crimes, vice crimes, quality of life crimes and other crimes of violence. He has acted in undercover capacities and worked with numerous local, county, state, and federal agencies. Joseph Pangaro served as a sergeant in the detective bureau, supervising a group of highly motivated and active officers in the unit as well as the “Quality of Life” unit.