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From the files of Bob Malkas: Putting January 6th behind us


Local Voices

Bob Malkas

I have been reading American history for 50-plus years. At times during those happy days, I was often struck by the old adage, “History repeats itself.” Each incident never follows a same set of circumstances exactly, but at times they are darn similar.

In 1876 the Civil War was over, and what was called the Reconstruction Period was coming to an end: newly-defined political parties were beginning to take form.

In the U.S. presidential election of 1876, Republican nominee Rutherford B. Hayes was pitted against Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. The election is remembered as one of the most contentious presidential elections in history.

The results first filed were: 185 electoral votes for Hayes and 184 for Tilden. Tilden got 50.9% of the popular vote; Hayes got 47.9%.

Although it was not disputed that Tilden outpolled Hayes in the popular vote, there were wide allegations of election fraud. After the first count, it became apparent that 20 votes from four states — Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Oregon — were in question because each party reported that its candidate had won.

The political remanence of Reconstruction was still present in the south, but dying. Because of that, Democrats filed one set of returns, Republicans another. Facing an unprecedented constitutional crisis, the Congress passed a law on January 29, 1877, to form a 15-member Electoral Commission, which was vested with responsibility to officially certify the results. This decision was a radical change in the norms of the nation’s electoral history.

Five members were selected from each house of Congress, and they would be joined by five members of the Supreme Court. The ultimate decision after intense negotiations was to give Hayes all 20 disputed electoral votes in what was called The Compromise of 1877.

The political parties made compromises because it was apparent that the election issue had to be finalized.

In comparing that election to the 2020 Presidential election, the judiciaries in the four states did not decide the validity of the separate returns — the federal government did, and in a way that saved the nation.

The U.S. Constitution assigns to the states the right to conduct elections. But achieving election integrity goals is a two-way street: state election laws must be structured in compliance with constitutional principles also. State legislatures are not allowed to change election laws two weeks before the election by making new provisions to accommodate COVID.

After considering what happened in the 1877 situation and using it as a baseline, how should the people have reacted in response to the results of the 2020 contested election, so that the count would have been accepted with the confidence that the outcome was fairly decided?

Challenges were lodged, but state courts rejected them. Judges who were not elected decided not to investigate any possible mistakes in election law that could have occurred. The Supreme Court chose to not get involved for obvious political reasons.

Allowing the scenario to play out would have put the country on a path to heal from chaos we experienced and allow us to move on. All questions about the results should have been answered.

Today, America is faced with another opportunity to show its resourcefulness. January 6th, an isolated incident that occurred 19 months ago, is not a threat to our democracy as we are repeatedly being told. The ongoing efforts to factionalize our culture are a threat to our democracy.

National leadership is all that is needed to put January 6th behind us.

Bob Malkas

Local Voices is our version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Send your submissions to The Lansing Journal with “Voices” in the subject line.

Local Voices
Local Voices
Local Voices is The Lansing Journal's version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Submissions may be sent to [email protected] with “Voices” in the subject line.


  1. I agree Bob, those who stormed the Capitol Building, and their supporters should put this behind them.

  2. I disagree, we are in danger of another attempted governmental takeover if so safe guards are not out in place. All votes should count! If you lose, you lose! Now out gracefully, move on! Don’t call for another 1776 and take peoples lives needlessly, like a bunch of barbarians!

  3. Oh Mr. Malkas.

    The Founders were wise and forewarned [us] about Donald Trump, not in name but the prospect that ambitious politicians would try to mobilize violent mobs to tear down our own institutions first appearing as demogaugues pandering to the angry and malignant passions of the crowd, but then end up as tyrants, trampling the freedoms and the rights of the people (excerpted from Rep. Mr. Raskin (D) Maryland closing statement as seen here in full

    Mr. Malkas, maybe you meant to say in your narative; Heal and move on with new-found respect for a set of values unique to our government–unlike anywhere else in the world today–that was written down and sealed in history for all to come that at it’s core exist to achieve a democratic government, effective governance, justice, freedom, and equality when you said “…put January 6th behind us”. Turning our backs and walking away as if a blip on the history meter will guarantee those that seek to destroy our God given freedom will succeed next time. Survivors will tell you that you don’t have to like what happened but you do have to accept what happened if you ever hope to recover from the loss.

    This isn’t about any one person or any one thing, but an ideal that our constitution protects us from as that of monarchs, emperors, dictators, and authoritarian regimes who forceably take away our God given rights as human beings. It is called free will. We have it. God gave it.

    Remember what America has to offer every day as we as a nation sort through events that challenge her–yesterday, today and tomorrow. Protect her at all costs to preserve the right of all to freely worship, chose and live peacefully. If forgiveness isn’t within [us] enough to turn away and never look back, then pray for one another. We are all precious in His sight.

    How do I know? [It’s] history….2,000+ year old history.

    Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

    In God We Trust.

    E pluribus unum.

  4. Some readers were skeptical of what I said in my article. Let me refer you to the resource I got my information from. “Yes, It was a stolen Election” by John Perazzo. I would encourage all readers to read the first two pages. It could open some doors for you.

    • Ah, you chose your word wisely. Skepticism by definition is the doubt as to the truth of something. If someone doesn’t believe it was a fair election they have every right to contest it in court civily and peacefully. To do otherwise would be to usurp the Rule of Law. Truth be told the people have spoken and it is encouraged in America without reproach.

      Think back to where our ancestors were prior to coming to the new world. A brother killed his brother to become king. We have come a very long way since then to seek a better way of life and found it in a democracy. The inability to pursuade others to see it one way or another is not a failure. Just means one can think for themselves–no harm, no foul. However, there are those who are threatened by this who seek to become king.

      Thanks for your thoughts. Blew the doors clean off their hinges.

      James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

  5. Yes, it is behind us. It’s 1year, 7months and counting…behind us. But that doesn’t mean the January 6 Committe should stop investigating. We need to find out exactly who brought weapons onto White House grounds, who physically harmed policemen and others on duty, who damaged property and who threated the lives of public officials as well as those who encouraged them to do so. When we know who they are, and they prosecuted, then…we can truly, “put it behind us”.

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