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More violence to come

To the editor:

There is no credible evidence that voter fraud affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The belief held by a quite substantial portion of our population that Donald Trump was cheated out of a second-term victory is delusional.

The classic example of widespread cultural delusion in our history is the 1692 hysteria about witchcraft in Salem, Mass. Suspected witches were arrested, tried, convicted and executed most often on the basis of “spectral evidence” – that is, ghostly, imagined evidence. The basis for the current belief in a rigged election is likewise spectral.

Delusion is a dangerous disease. It had to run its despicable course in Salem before cooler heads prevailed and reason reasserted itself. But that was not before 19 “witches” were hanged, one was crushed to death during interrogation and five died languishing in prison.

Twenty-five bodies -- that was Salem’s hefty human price for rationality. What will be ours? Is the hammering of Paul Pelosi a grisly sign that the hellish purgation has begun?

Edward J. Gallagher, Bethlehem