Originally appeared on Normal American. -NCS

If referees at a World Cup soccer match singled out one team for red cards and increasingly bizarre penalties, people might wonder what was going on.

Then, if credible whistleblowers alleged payoffs to the referees and surveillance videos showed one team had handed over a suitcase of cash, everyone would know the fix is in. The final score could not be trusted.

One remedy for cheating is stripping a title. Dozens of Russian athletes have had their Olympic medals revoked. Lance Armstrong was stripped of seven Tour de France titles. It’s happened to chess grandmasters. The Houston Astros may lose their 2017 World Series title.

This punishment is reasonable. It deters future cheaters. Awarding the title to the rightful winner also serves as restitution.

Criminal law recognizes that another reason for punishment is retribution. The justice system punishes the guilty so you don’t have to do it yourself. If someone burns down your house, you don’t need to bring a Molotov to his. The arsonist gets locked up. Justice has been done.

This assumes the justice system is functioning. But only conspiracy theorists would suggest that the FBI is more interested in investigating “It’s okay to be white” flyers and non-existent NASCAR nooses than fulfilling its responsibility to enforce election fraud law. We must trust our devoted and patriotic public servants when they solemnly inform us: “The FBI is committed to protecting the rights of all Americans to vote.”

Trump and his allies may win in court. It remains an uphill fight, but more evidence is surfacing about targeted fraud in Democrat-controlled cities. Or state legislatures may intervene.

If neither happens, and enough Americans remain convinced there was sufficient fraud to throw the election, we enter unexplored territory. One poll found nearly half of Americans think there was enough fraud to ensure Biden would win. That includes 75 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of Democrats.

Nearly half the country may not accept Biden as a legitimate president. At least in 2000, Democrats may not have liked the Supreme Court’s decision, but the legal wrangling was about equal protection and punch card ballots. There were no serious allegations of fraud.

This is a dangerous moment. Look at a remarkable interview that Lt. General Michael Flynn and Lt. General Thomas McInerney gave to WVW-TV over the weekend.

The newly pardoned Flynn warned of the “greatest fraud that our country has ever experienced in our history” that represents a “coup-in-progress.” We are in a “period of information warfare that is unprecedented.”

That would be the weirdos at social media companies censoring anyone who disagrees. Plus our ruling media elites exercising their solemn constitutional duty to anoint Joe Biden as our next president, while denouncing as white supremacist ableist Nazis anyone who points out the election has not been certified. The New York Times is too busy investigating the Biden pets to look into election fraud.

Lt. Gen. McInerney went further. “You people that have done this are guilty of treason against the United States, and we are going to demand this president, insist this president not leave office until the American people have had a full disclosure of what’s going on,” he said.

This was not a misstatement. McInerney said at another point in the interview “the president should not leave office” until election irregularities can be resolved. A transcript is here.

We are standing at the edge of a precipice. We can back away still.

The remedy is transparency. If Biden honestly won, his campaign and city, county, and state governments should support independent audits, a review of voting machine logs, and so on. It is not unreasonable to demand explanations for why observers were prevented from doing their jobs in states including Pennsylvania and Arizona. Or why voting machine contracts seem to be vanishing from the web.

Instead things are getting murkier. It should not take a federal court order to prevent Georgia officials from wiping data. Pennsylvania law enforcement showing up unannounced at a whistleblower’s home seems more like witness intimidation than an attempt to learn the truth. Why are Dominion systems communicating with Frankfurt, as described by a witness in Arizona’s legislative hearing today?

Biden and his allies seem to have something to hide. We may reasonably conclude that the left is taking chances and destabilizing our political system because they think they will win. They think Americans will not fight back.

This assumption may be tested. It’s now commonplace to read: “When you try to replace a republic with a banana republic, because you thought you could, it becomes an extinction-level event for one side or the other.” Or this: “We have exhausted all our options. The cartridge box is all that is left now.” And: “We absolutely now know for certain that there ain’t no voting our way out of this.”

If normal Americans conclude that cheaters are getting away with it, and that the system will not fix things, they may decide to do it themselves. There is not much time left.

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