A Banana Republic?

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In a recent Facebook discussion I had expressed concern at the number of Trump supporters who are unwilling to accept court decisions which reject election fraud claims. They feel that these judges have betrayed Trump and the nation. After the Supreme Court refused to hear the lawsuit filed by Texas against four other states, President Trump himself echoed these sentiments, with a number of tweets, including this one:

In reply to my comment one person commented, “It’s about the voters who need to see a honest, transparent election,” and posted a link to a blog post from mid-2017, Transparency Is Solution to Shameful Lack of Security For US Voting Systems Revealed by NSA Leak .

Another person asserted that the election was rigged because a Biden administration would be “evil, a replay of Obama, it would cater to the Chinese, pay Iran, kill more unborn, USA and her legal citizens be damned.”

Here is my take on all this:

There are basically three views of this election:

One, that it basically worked just fine. Some mistakes may have occurred which are not surprising considering the scale of the country and the election, but they did not materially alter the result, and there wasn’t widespread fraud, and

Two, that the whole election was largely rigged, with fraudulently manipulated equipment and software whose manufacturers are part or wholly owned by the Chinese government, votes transferred to German servers to be altered, all in order to steal the election from Trump, and all with the collusion of state officials, even Republican ones.

Three, the election was rigged because of the outcome. The fact that this person views Biden with disdain and expects decisions and policies which s/he considers immoral and bad for the country and its citizens makes this a rigged election. It really has nothing to do with how many people actually voted for Trump or for Biden, the outcome is what makes it rigged. For this reason, it doesn’t matter what the courts say about lack of evidence of fraud, the outcome is bad, so it’s rigged. This view is so far out there that I am not going to say much about it, except that it re-defines what “rigged election” means — this view of “rigged election” is totally subjective and not subject to scrutiny by the courts. There is simply no basis on which one can rationally debate this view.

Of course, Trump has been incessantly preaching the second viewpoint since long before Nov 3 — but he didn’t do anything about it: no federal investigation, no court cases, nothing. The blog linked above about potential security flaws in the EViD software proves my point: it is from 2017, but apparently nothing was done about the report it cites or the concerns it raises.

The whole point of Trump’s badmouthing of the election seemed to be to make sure that in case he lost the election, his supporters would refuse to accept the result. He also nominated lots of conservative judges and justices, obviously with the expectation that in a post-election showdown they will support him.

So the election happens; he loses, and it all plays out exactly as planned, except that by and large the courts, even the ones chaired by judges nominated by Trump and earlier GOP presidents, reject his claims of rigging, fraud, and manipulation. The Supreme Court will not even hear a case brought by Texas’ Attorney General to invalidate the results in four swing states.

And Trump’s supporters are SO fired up by his incessant tweets that many come to the conclusion that the courts, and especially the GOP nominated judges and justices, have betrayed Trump and thus the country.

This is NOT about an honest, transparent election: if Trump had won they would not have cared one bit about this – they didn’t in 2016. It is about the conviction Trump has drummed into their heads that the only way he could loose is if the election were rigged.

That message coming from Trump for most of a year prior to Nov 3 (and continuing since then) is the hallmark of a sore loser, and while a sore loser is annoying in sports and games it is outright dangerous in the politics of what is still the most powerful nation on earth.

Americans are fond to say, “We’re not a democracy, we’re a republic!” — true, but it’s quickly turning into a banana republic.

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