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Can the 2020 Election be Morally Legitimate?

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There are various philosophical theories about the legitimate basis of political authority. The United States has largely adopted a Lockean style approach developed during the Enlightenment. The gist of this theory is that political authority rests on the consent of the governed. As a practical matter, voting seems to be the best method of determining this consent (or lack thereof). As Locke argued, there should be majority rule—although this is not without problems. If we accept voting as the means of determining consent, then a legitimate election would require meeting two main goals. The first is that every citizen must have the opportunity to cast their one vote without any difficulty and have confidence that each vote will count. If voters are suppressed or votes are not properly counted, then the legitimacy of the election is reduced because the consent of the voters will remain undetermined. The second is that the election is secure. This involves preventing non-citizens from voting, preventing citizens from casting multiple ballots, preventing changes to the results, and so on. To the degree that an election is not secure, its legitimacy can be justly questioned. Since I accept that the moral legitimacy of authority rests (in part) on the consent of the governed, I support effective and ethical efforts to meet these two goals. I oppose efforts to interfere with these goals—especially when lies about efforts to meet the second goal are used to interfere with the first goal. This leads to the critical question of whether the 2020 presidential election will be morally legitimate under these standards. After winning the 2016 election, Trump lied about massive voter fraud. In the lead up to the 2020 election, Trump has  engaged in  a torrent of lies about voter fraud. Attorney General Barr has echoed Trumps claims, repeatedly lying about voter fraud. While voter fraud does occur, it is extremely rare and states are quite good at combating it. If you believe. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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