In 2020, the United States had a Presidential election that was unique in many different ways. First, it was held during a global pandemic. Second, there was likely the most polarizing candidate in the history of the country running for reelection in Donald Trump. Third, this was the first time that a losing candidate attempted to overturn the will of the voters.
What this election also highlighted were some heroes and villains within our state and national governments that need to be both applauded and booed. Here are those people and groups.
Hero: Chris Krebs
It was likely not many people knew who Christopher Krebs was before the election, but the whole country knows him now. Krebs was the Director of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and his team was likely behind the Russia-free election we had in 2020.
The same could not be said of the 2016 election where multiple security agencies and the Senate all confirmed that Russia had interfered in that election to favor Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton's chances.
The Russian hack of the Democrat National Committee and subsequent release of e-mails through Wikileaks at critical moments helped dampen news cycles that would have buried Trump such as the Access Hollywood tape. After being given the Trump Campaign's internal polling data by Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, Russian Intelligence flooded social media platforms in key areas with falsehoods with the goal to suppress African American turnout for Clinton and it definitely had the desired effect as Trump snuck out close victories in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
What could not be proven was if Trump himself had coordinated with the Russians, but there was no doubt to sane Americans that Russian had played a role in electing Trump to the presidency. In this election, that kind of interference has been an afterthought thanks to Krebs and his staff.
His hero status was cemented on November 12 when he and his staff put out a statement calling the 2020 election, 'the most secure in American history,' clearly defying the narrative Trump was sowing with his supporters. Six days later, Trump fired him via text for his loyalty to the United States and not to Trump, personally.
Villain: Rudy Giuliani
Speaking of Russian interference, during the 2020 campaign, there was collusion in plain sight by Trump's allies as his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was noted to be meeting with Andrii Derkach. Derkach was named as a member of Russian Intelligence by Trump's Treasury Department and Trump was warned that Giuliani was likely being used by the Russians to sow misinformation to assist in their goal of reelecting Trump.
Later in the campaign, Giuliani was a key figure in suspect and negative media coverage of Hunter Biden from his days working in Ukraine. Many networks questioned the veracity of the material and its origins, which left only the New York Post as an option for it's release.
Due to Giuliani's public contacts with the Russians and the dubious nature of the actual allegations, most social media networks suppressed the content, much to the ire of Trump and his key sycophants like wife-insulted Senator Ted Cruz.
It was obvious to most where the content came from, but clearly Trump, Giuliani and Cruz have no reservations about information given to them by Russia, someone most Americans still consider a hostile foreign nation to United States interests.
Heroes: Election Workers
To all the volunteers that worked the voting booths and counted the legal absentee and mail-in ballots during an election that took place during a global pandemic, thank you very much!
This election had the largest turnout in the history of presidential elections with Joe Biden winning the most votes by a President-Elect in the history of our country with over eighty-one million votes and Donald Trump amassing the most votes by an election loser with just over seventy-four million.
That kind of volume must have been a challenge and many places where one candidate was unhappy with the result actually had to do recounts. In most of those, the count did not change significantly at all.
Villains: Election Night Parties
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many voters chose to send in mail-in ballots. With Republican obstruction to changing laws that would allow the states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan to count those mail-in ballots prior to election night, it became clear that there would not be a final result of the 2020 election until days after the actual election night.
That didn't stop Trump from attempting to declare himself the winner late in the morning of election night, which most people dismissed. What was not dismissed were the cases of Covid-19 that were traced back to Trump's election night party, including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.
Heroes: United Postal Service Workers
Villain: Louis DeJoy
After a pretty clear attempt by DeJoy to modify the United States Postal Service so that mail-in ballots would be undermined, the workers ended up delivering without much of a hitch.
DeJoy's attempts to affect the election were so clear, that members of the judiciary ordered the Postal Service to sweep for ballots in the days after the election. Staying true to their corrupt intent, DeJoy ordered the Postal Service to disregard that order.
At the end of the day, it became clear that the mail-in ballots did not suffer a delay from the tampering of Trump's sycophantic appointee.
Villain: Donald J. Trump
Even before the actual election began, Trump was attacking the idea of mail-in ballots as well as large turnout. He directed his supporters to vote in person on election day with the hopes of declaring himself the winner on election night when vote totals would favor him.
Immediately after election day, he began to attempt to create a reality for his followers and sycophants that mail-in ballots were fraudulent - an idea not based in any form of truth. As those mail-in ballots were counted and keys states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and even Georgia swung to Biden, he ramped up his attacks.
As states began to be called by the media and it became clear that Biden had won the 2020 election, Trump's inability to concede the election due to his narcissistic personality disorder made it clear that he would be stomping on yet another norm of United States democracy - the peaceful transition of power.
It went from a full on denial that he had lost to attempting to fabricate fraud in an attempted coup of the duly elected President in Joe Biden.
Heroes: Brad Raffensperger and Al Schmidt
The Georgia Secretary of State and the Philadelphia Election Commissioner are both Republicans and both need to be applauded. Raffensperger expertly defended the work done in Georgia that ended with a Biden victory and stood by those results in the face of criticism from Trump, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, and both his state's incumbent Senators who wanted him to intervene and overrule the voice of the people of his state.
In Schmidt's case, the Republican was one of the first to stand up and debunk the malarkey being spewed by Trump and his followers pertaining to accusations of fraud in the Philadelphia area.
Both dedicated public servants put truth above partisanship while many others chose loyalty to party over loyalty to their country.
Villains: Transition Obstructionists
Another relative unknown prior to the 2020 election was Emily Murphy of the General Services Administration. Heck, most Americans probably didn't know much about the transition until Murphy decided to obstruct President-Elect Joe Biden's for three weeks after it became clear that Trump had lost the election.
On November 23, she finally relented and allowed the transition process to begin. That hasn't stopped other Trump lackeys from limiting access or destroying documents to protect the actions Trump has taken during his term that make be suspect, legally.
In the ultimate sycophantic move of them all, GOP Congressmen Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy and Roy Blunt voted against what is usually a perfunctory resolution that informs the American people of the incoming President's upcoming inauguration. This complete denial of reality was a head scratcher for those supposedly educated enough to understand that Biden had clearly won the 2020 election by over seven million in the popular vote and by a 306-232 margin in the Electoral College.
Heroes: Swing State Governors
Another group that needs to be congratulated are the Governors in swing states like Georgia (Brian Kemp), Arizona (Doug Ducey), Pennsylvania (Tom Wolf), Michigan (Gretchen Whitmer), and Wisconsin (Tony Evers). They withstood intense pressure from Trump and his sycophants in state legislatures to put partisanship ahead of the law.
It had to be especially difficult for Kemp and Ducey as they are both close allies of the outgoing President. It also made that viral moment when Ducey was in the middle of certifying his state's vote for Joe Biden, and Trump called him at the same moment, forcing Ducey to send Trump's call to voicemail as he continued signing off on Biden that much more entertaining and heroic.
A special shoutout has to go out to Pennsylvania's Lt. Governor and Thanos look-alike, John Fetterman, who has been unrelenting on the various television channels in calling out the fabricated reality Trump is trying to create.
Villains: Trump's Strike (Out) Force Legal Team
Congratulations to Rudy Giuliani for showing up twice in this article as a villain, this time as the person tasked with selling Trump's ridiculous voter fraud narratives. Joining Giuliani in villainhood are Jenna Ellis, Sydney Powell and Joe DiGenova. This is the crew that has basically been laughed at and laughed out of courtrooms all across America.
First, Rudy held his infamous press conference at the Four Seasons Landscaping Company between a sex shop and crematorium. Then, he gave a presser as his hair dye ran down both sides of his face. There were flatulence issues during another appearance and finally, he came down with Covid-19 and shut down many state legislatures where he had been making maskless appearances.
Not to be outdone, Ellis also came down with Covid-19. Powell was jettisoned from the team when the conspiracy theories she was peddling were so laughable that even Tucker Carlson of Fox News couldn't credibly report them. DiGenova ended up making a death threat against Chris Krebs and is now being sued by him.
The phrase train wreck is not strong enough to describe Trump's legal team during the month after the election as they went a staggering 1-for-57 in lawsuits, with the one being a procedural win shortening the arrival of mail-in ballots from nine days to six in one state.
Heroes: The Judiciary
This group had us a little concerned because Trump has instilled such blind loyalty in the face of overwhelming truths that if judges could become partisan, the country was gone.
Despite all the appointments made under McConnell and Trump, time and time again, the judiciary has demanded actual evidence and stood firm on the legal principles that have governed the country for centuries.
They tossed frivolous lawsuits in every swing state, with the harshest rebuke coming from a Trump appointee in Pennsylvania noting that 'Calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.'
In the two cases that made it to the Supreme Court for consideration, both were smacked down unanimously. The first being a case from Pennsylvania by State Rep. Mike Kelly that aimed to overturn mail-in ballots after the fact, even though it passed their Congress unanimously when it was originally passed. The second was a laughable attempt by the Texas Attorney General to overturn the election results in four other swing states. The Supreme Court ruled that Texas did not have standing to dictate how other states conduct their elections.
Villains: Trump Sycophants
This is going to be a large group and it starts with the one hundred and twenty-six members of the United States House of Representatives and total of seventeen state Attorney Generals who signed on to that Texas lawsuit against four other states to get their vote results nullified.
Many of these men and women are lawyers. Even a plumber could understand that Texas did not have standing to dictate how a different state runs their elections. That they have grown so fearful of Trump and the control of his base that they are willing to ignore their oaths of office is a sad display.
The Republican party has been a champion for state's rights and to see so many of them sign aboard to a suit that goes directly in the face of one of the core principles of their party just goes to show how much they have succumbed to the whims of an uneducated fool.
As for Trump's supporters, the fact that they are willing to believe whatever lies he spews, is ridiculous. Just to be clear, you're willing to believe that GOP election officials, Trump allies in Georgia and Arizona, the FBI, the CIA, the Attorney General, and dozens of Republican-appointed judges all conspired to help elect Democratic candidate Joe Biden?
The country needs to move on from Trump and his supporters. They willingly choose to live in his alternate realities born of conspiracy theories and conjecture and cannot be reasoned with any longer. The death threats being issued to hard-working election officials just because the legal vote totals did not go the way of their candidate is disgusting and anti-American in every way.
The false and angry rhetoric being spewed by Trump is going to lead to violence in much the same way that it did in the New Zealand attacks and the El Paso shooting. Two of his armed supporters have already been arrested outside a Philadelphia vote counting center and officials in Georgia are condemning his rhetoric.
It's unbelievable that some 70% of Republicans actually believe Trump's lies about the election and cannot discern his media messages from the ones that his lawyers have had to admit under oath in court where they confirm that they are not alleging fraud in any of their lawsuits.
Sane Americans keep hoping that this group will wise up to the fact that they are being programmed to hate other Americans and ignore basic science by a cultish leader and media sites that spew hatred and conspiracy. This group of villains is just becoming more and more unreasonable in the reality that they are choosing to live within and the energy it takes to combat the falsehoods that lead to their belief structure is just too tiresome to combat.
There were so many great heroes and villains from this last election from a liberal standpoint. The scary thing for our country is that this would be exactly opposite if it was written by someone who voted for Trump, and there's no easy solution to that dilemma facing such a divided nation. Be sure to add any heroes or villains that were left out in the comments section.