I echo J. S. Barker’s letter calling for greatly improved transparency and confidence in our election processes and results. Hopefully, the recent presidential election will be a call to action in this regard.

I believe that the following factors are significantly contributing to the mess we are in:

• extreme, unsustainable political polarization

• increased susceptibility to irrational conspiracy theories and demagogic leaders

• media delivering information/propaganda to support a preferred major party

• internet information overload blurring facts and destroying rational analysis

• people reinforcing their own prejudices, beliefs and animuses through reliance on fewer and more extreme sources of information

• a dumbing down of the American public.

These factors to some degree are always present and we can add the pandemic and economic restructuring/insecurity, but the primary catalyst that made this past election such a disaster lies elsewhere. It was the product of a torrent of lies, threats, intentional incitement to violence, disregard for civilized norms, treason, lawlessness and fundamental evil on the part of Trump. Without his grooming, poisoning the minds and lying constantly to his base none of this would have occurred. He is the primary cause of the loss of confidence in elections that Mr. Barker laments. His menace is boundless.

National elections rules and processes must be standardized with continued state administration. A bipartisan review will not be conclusive and only help marginally. Best advice: do not vote your prejudices, think and find better political representation, an anti-Trump if you will.

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