Yesterday, Joe Biden was certified by the Electoral College as President-elect. To millions of Trump supporters, he’s an illegitimate swamp monster who stole the election and enabled his son to get rich off the family name. It was painfully frustrating for me going to bed at 2 a.m. on November 3rd, elated and confident that Trump had won, only to wake up six hours later and discover he had probably lost. I sympathize with their anger and understand their suspicions.
Every time Republicans clean up voter rolls by removing non-residents and the deceased (or try to), Democrats scream about voter suppression. Stacey Abrams still refuses to concede her 2018 gubernatorial loss to Brian Kemp in Georgia, despite losing by 55,000 votes — three times the margin of Biden’s victory over Trump in that state. She continues to spread slanderous lies about Kemp, and has been cheered on by mainstream Democrats in doing so.
Democrats in the modern era have been hypocrites in undermining the legitimacy of our free and fair elections. In 2004 they peddled lies about Ohio voting machines. Although Hillary Clinton officially conceded her loss to Trump the day after, she and her allies have been just as pernicious in undermining the legitimacy of the result by repeatedly suggesting hare brained conspiracies about Russian collusion.
Like Al Gore after 2000, Clinton has incessantly pointed out that she won the popular vote, which is irrelevant to American Presidential elections. It’s akin to signing on for a chess match, getting pinned in checkmate, then crying foul that you eliminated more pieces than your opponent. Without our brilliantly designed Electoral College, no one would care about small states like mine. Every election would be decided in places like Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago. The EC diffuses the impact of voter fraud so that only one out of 50 apples gets a worm, not the entire bucket.
Stolen Elections & Real Fraud
Genuinely stolen elections are not unprecedented in American history. In 1824 Andrew Jackson won the most Electoral College and popular votes, but not a majority of the former. So the election went to the House of Representatives, where Speaker Henry Clay made the infamous corrupt bargain to sway his caucus behind John Quincy Adams in exchange for being appointed Secretary of State. A somewhat similar but less corrupt scenario played out against Samuel Tilden in 1876.
Mail-in voting is a flawed method of conducting elections, as James Baker and Jimmy Carter’s bipartisan commission concluded in 2005. Approximately 319,000 of the 31 million mail-in ballots were rejected in 2016. I firmly believe it should be restricted to those with extenuating circumstances preventing them from showing up at the polls on, or the week of, Election Day.
The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database has documented 1,302 proven cases of fraud, and 1,125 criminal convictions since 1982. Take this example from Hans von Spokovsky, “In the 2018 mayor race in Mission, Texas, a judge overturned the initial results after hearing two weeks of testimony about bribery and manipulated absentee ballots by the campaign of incumbent Armando O’Caña. The judge found that over 158 votes were cast illegally.” Other examples he cites include similar schemes to rig local elections, a man engaging in identity theft to get absentee ballots on behalf of five neighbors, and ballot harvesters coercing nursing home patients into giving up their ballots.
Yet there’s no reason to believe that discrepancies with mail-in ballots came remotely close to tipping the scales for Biden. On November 2nd, I spent 12 hours counting those ballots. I can only speak for Johnson County, Iowa, but the entire process there was kosher and everything ran smoothly. Donald Trump himself voted by mail in Florida’s GOP primary over the summer.
In 1960 Richard Nixon had good reason to believe voter fraud in Illinois cost him the election but, unlike Al Gore, he stoically conceded out of a desire to refrain from putting the country through divisive legal challenges. During the 2000 Florida legal battles Gore demanded the courts only permit recounts in counties he thought would score him additional votes, which his lawyer David Boies bragged about in a book. All that considered, Donald Trump’s behavior over the past five weeks makes Al Gore look like James Madison.
Every claim of widespread fraud floated by President Trump and his legal team has been debunked and laughed out of court. He has recklessly regurgitated every conspiracy theory that’s shown up on Fox News, OANN, and his Twitter feed. It seems that his strategy has been to throw as many frivolous claims at the wall as he can, so as to make it difficult for the skeptical to refute them all. Trump has baselessly tweeted smears against decent conservatives such as Governors Brian Kemp (R-GA) and Doug Doucey (R-AZ) for the bold offense of refusing to indulge his goofiest impulses, which is unfortunately more than I can say for my state’s Republican Governor.
Making Sense of Biden’s Victory
Roughly 158.4 million Americans voted for President this year. According to the Federal Election Commision, 136.7 million Americans did the same in 2016. That’s a 13.7% or 21.7 million vote increase, a phenomenon that should raise eyebrows but is far from implausible. In 2016 neither candidate won a majority of the popular vote, and 7.9 million Americans voted for a third party or write-in Presidential candidate. That figure dropped to 2.9 million this year.
President Trump is a deeply polarizing figure who likely increased turnout this cycle, both for and against himself. Trump’s policies, which have generally been fantastic, did not lose him the election. Instead, it was his obnoxious personality that cost him the suburbs. His supporters keep insisting to me that there’s no way Biden got 82 million votes by staying at home and barely campaigning. But he did exactly that because Trump is utterly repulsive to tens of millions of people. Even in his jariatric state of blatant cognitive decline, Joe Biden remains a much more appealing candidate than Hillary Clinton.
As Karl Rove noted in the WSJ, only three statewide elections in the past 50 years have been overturned by recounts. They consisted of two Senate races in New Hampshire (1974) and Minnesota (2008), and the 2004 Washington governor’s race. All three races had a pre-recount margin of less than 400 votes. This year a partial recount in Wisconsin, and a full recount in Georgia, confirmed the unfortunate reality of Biden’s victory.
Shortly after that Georgia recount, a video from Fulton County went viral supposedly exposing officials who pulled out suitcases of ballots after telling poll watchers to leave. But the truth is much more nuanced and mundane. The ballots were in ordinary containers, not suitcases. Poll watchers were apparently never told to leave.
This meme has become popular in right-wing social media circles. Biden actually won 508 counties, and the results of 28 counties have yet to be finalized. It’s a meaningless comparison. Many of the 2,547 counties Trump won have less than 1000 residents. Meanwhile, Los Angeles County has 10.1 million people and Cook County (Chicago) has 5.2 million. Biden won both by wide margins, further highlighting the genius of our Electoral College.
Some Trump supporters, including radio host Mark Levin, have floated the idea of GOP legislatures undermining the election results by choosing pro-Trump electors in states Biden won. This is contemptible. It undermines the legitimacy of the sole institution that keeps Republicans competitive in Presidential elections.
Nothing was Stolen
If George Soros’ lizard people who rigged the election made sure that Joe Biden got 82.3 million votes, it seems unlikely they would simultaneously allow his opponent to get 74.2 million votes. That’s 4.7 million more than Obama’s previous record high of 69.5 million in 2008. It also seems unlikely these Democrat election thieves would allow Republicans to gain seats in the House and narrowly maintain control of the Senate (pending two crucial runoff races in Georgia, which Trump is selfishly distracting from).
Some conservatives seem to feel entitled to make dubious claims about the election results. For years left-wing politicians and media figures have chastised Presidents Bush and Trump as illegitimate. Still, to claim the other side’s dishonesty justifies your own is a childish approach to morality. It contradicts America’s Judeo-Christian values. Political civility is a standard I aspire to live up to consistently, regardless of what Democrats are doing.
This isn’t about fighting because there’s nothing to fight. It’s about integrity. Biden won the Presidency in 2020, just as fairly as Trump did in 2016. Just like Obama and Bush before them. Clinging bitterly to notions of anything else is nonsensical and toxic to our political norms.
— Jason R O’Day
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