OPINION

GOOD MORNING: Live television's role in today

By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley

Last Wednesday morning, I watched live television for the first time in I don't know how long. I watched as Congress counted the electoral college vote. In all of the years I have been voting, I have never before felt compelled to watch that particular activity.

Within minutes of the beginning of the process, Arizona objected to the counting of its electoral college votes. 

While I was watching, I thought to myself that this is probably the most watched governmental function since the Watergate hearings back in the 1970s. I was alive back then, but much too young to be interested in politics.

In my mind, it doesn't matter what side a person is on in this current situation, what went on Wednesday is historically significant. 

I am so happy to see that the television stations have decided to carry the on goings live and let people see for themselves exactly what is happening while it is happening. I would hope that people all over the country were watching no matter what they thought about President Donald Trump's allegations about election fraud. At least then, people won't have to take anyone else's word for what happened. 

I firmly believe that the more open and up front political activities are conducted, the better it always is for the American system. And the better it is for Americans. We must be able to believe in our system of elections and government. We can, and probably will, argue till we are blue in the face about what politicians should do once they are elected. That is what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to put our opinions forward through our lawfully elected officials and we must protect the integrity of that election process so that we, as a people, feel confident that the elected officials were put in their places fairly.

Surely, there have been, for years, feelings that one side or the other didn't play fair during the election process. And those claims must always be investigated and if it is found that there is proof that those claims were substantive, then steps must be taken to make corrections.

And that process has been followed in this instance. Claims were made, and they were weighed by judges all across this country. And the results were what they were. 

What I hope the televised viewing of what happened Wednesday will stop is the process of people saying what did happen, didn't happen. There will be proof of who voted for what, when, and how that no one can argue because it will be right there for all to see. I am not speaking politically here. It would not matter to me which party was on which side of this deal. What matters is that we continue to live by the rules that have governed us for these many years. And that we do so in a manner that allows the most visibility and clarity for Americans in mass. That is what I hope the televised process on Wednesday started to do. 

Happy birthday to Debra Brown and Maverick Corbin, both of Sherman. Happy anniversary to Benny and Louise Elk of Denison, 72 years.