IS Donald Trump right to fight on for his Presidency? It’s not a question being posed by the US media networks, or in the national newspapers here, or on our main broadcasting channels – BBC, ITV and Sky News – who’ve already settled on who has won.
The worry rather seems to be what happens if Trump refuses to concede. Yesterday’s Telegraph (yes, the Telegraph, not the Guardian) reported on ‘the secret wargame planning amid fears of a legal challenge’ (by Trump).
The article says that ‘the lack of clarity’ coming from the General Services Administration federal body – which to date has not recognised Biden as President-elect – ‘is fuelling questions about whether Mr Trump, who has not publicly recognised Mr Biden’s victory and has falsely claimed the election was stolen, will impede Democrats as they try to establish a government’.
Note the words. They are sure, are they, that Trump has falsely claimed the election was stolen? Apparently so. Yet you’d have to be blind not to see significant and genuine causes for concern in the voting patterns, practices and irregularities which led to Republican alarm mounting as the results came in.
It was clear that the pollsters had once again been confounded. According to them, Trump was supposed to be wiped out and Biden to win an electoral college landslide – despite the President’s hugely-attended rallies while Biden lurked in his basement.
What turned out, on the most conservative assessment, was a close-call election. It was then that anomalies became apparent that no one could explain.
Why was the voting still going on in some states while in similar states it was not? Why was it taking some so much longer than others to tally votes? Why was it – and is it – that all the states that are still out originally had Trump leads on them, some huge ones … 400,000 in the case of Pennsylvania .
Victor Davis Hanson the author, political analysis and public intellectual featured elsewhere in TCW today, talking on John Anderson Direct a few days ago, posed these questions. He also asked: ‘Why in the year 2020 are we having record turnouts of 98 per cent of registered voters when we have never had this in the history of US election … why are they all in the cities and why are the cities delaying the vote?’
The explanation he gave is that States have to certify that the vote is valid. That constitutionally, how the vote is taken is determined by each state’s legislature and that the case of the five states in question the governor or other officials ‘have added or subtracted’ to the ‘rules’ in the 20 days preceding polling day on the grounds of Covid. Hanson says challenging this makes for a legally cogent case.
It would seem to be a matter of significant principle and one that the Attorney-General William Barr has endorsed by authorising federal prosecutors across the country to ‘pursue substantial allegations’ of voting irregularities.
No legal case however, to my knowledge, is being pursued against the pollsters, whose efforts once again to shift the narrative, first in Clinton’s direction in 2016 and now again in Biden’s direction, should discredit them for ever. So much for lessons learnt.
Between polling forecasts and the networks’ narratives (eg: that the Trump base had forsaken him) it is hard not to see this as a deliberate and improper attempt to suppress the President’s vote.
If anyone is left in any doubt as to whether this was one of the greatest attempts in history to gaslight the public, or how brazen have been attempts at forming a narrative in order to sway the election, I suggest they read John O’Sullivan’s account of the Democrats’ ‘wonderfully misnamed Transition Integrity Project (TIP)’ and its strategies for ensuring that the voting turns out the right way, i.e., a Biden victory. Written just before the election, it was prescient.
The Telegraph is but one of the MSM outlets sucked into an expectation that Trump is bent on extra-constitutional mischief should there be prolonged uncertainty about the results. Well, there is uncertainty. The election outcome is unclear amid pending recounts and legal challenges. Democrats as well as Republicans should want a President that everyone believes has been fairly elected.
It was wrong for the media to ‘declare’ Biden. It was wrong for heads of state in other countries to pile in with their congratulations before due process has played out. It was certainly very wrong – if not idiotic – for Boris Johnson to be publicly be tweeting his plans with Biden, who is not yet, and may never be, President-elect.
Trump’s refusal to concede in the face of pending results and patent and significant voting irregularities is one of constitutional importance. US citizens must not lose trust in their democracy or come to think it little better than a third world country.
The argument for the President fighting on is one of fundamental principle. I believe he must.
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