Where America Now Stands
Democacy in crisis.
Last Wednesday, supporters of President Donald Trump gathered outside ballot counting centers in Arizona and Michigan to demand a clean and honest vote count. An MSNBC reporter in Arizona filmed the protesters in Maricopa County, where 400,000 ballots were being counted. Standing behind the protesters, the reporter tried to paint the crowd as violent and dangerous even as they stood and kneeled in silent prayer for election integrity.
It was a hard sell, but other reporters quickly got in on the action, and videos appeared throughout the day of reporters describing the swelling crowd chanting “Count the Vote” as violent.
There may be an innocent explanation for the obvious misinformation. Perhaps the men and women with the mics simply don’t know the meaning of the word “violent.” After all, for the past seven months, they have been describing riots replete with broken windows, burning tires and looted stores as “peaceful protests.”
The urge Trump voters feel to protest the vote count is easy to understand. The widespread fear that the Democrats were working to falsify the U.S. presidential election results grew with each news update about another 369,000 ballots suddenly appearing in Philadelphia or 10,000 votes in Nevada cast by people who don’t live in Nevada.
On Wednesday afternoon, Trump supporters at a ballot counting facility in Detroit were stunned as a poll worker used cardboard boards to block Republican poll watchers from watching the vote count.
Republican fears bubbled over Wednesday morning. Tuesday night, Trump was leading Biden by comfortable margins in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina. And suddenly, election officials in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Atlanta—Democrat-run cities in states where Trump was leading—announced they were stopping the vote count.
According to a report in The Federalist, based on information published by election officials in Michigan and Wisconsin, while the vote-counting had officially been suspended, strange things were happening.
In the wee hours of the night in Michigan, 138,339 mail-in ballots were counted. Biden won every single one of them. Hours after the stunning, vertical rise in Biden’s numbers was reported (and after Twitter censored Republicans, including President Trump, who demanded an explanation), Michigan election officials claimed the numbers were a “data error.” A glitchy vote-counting software accidentally added a zero—that is, 100,000 votes—to Biden’s tally. The same glitchy software accidentally forgot to enter the votes that Trump won.
In Wisconsin, Biden got a similar 120,000 vote boost during the night and when Republicans woke up on Wednesday morning, Trump’s 4.7 percent lead had all but disappeared. Trump got none of the votes.
Trump’s campaign filed lawsuits in Michigan and Wisconsin regarding the apparent irregularities. The campaign also filed suit against Nevada’s Board of Election for allegedly counting 10,000 votes cast by non-residents. The campaign is exercising its right to order a recount of the ballots in Wisconsin after Biden was declared the winner with a less than one percent margin.
There are also multiplying claims of improprieties in vote-counting in Philadelphia. On Wednesday, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani came to Philadelphia to file a lawsuit after Republican poll watchers were barred from observing election officials count 120,000 ballots. A court order to permit the Republicans to observe the vote-counting was ignored by election officials and Democrats appealed the ruling.
The Democrats’ response to all of the Trump campaign’s claims is to accuse Trump and his supporters of trying to suppress the vote.
Most of the alleged irregularities have to do with mail-in ballots. This is no surprise. Trump and the Republicans warned from the outset of the Democrats’ mail-in ballot campaign that the purpose of the move was not to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. Standing in line to vote is no riskier than standing in line at a grocery store. The goal of mail-in balloting is to tamper with the vote, they said.
Trump did not cause the crisis
As President Trump said in his remarks Thursday evening, it may take time for the legal challenges to work their way through the courts and determine definitively who will be inaugurated on January 20. But we can already see that whoever wins, America’s democratic order is steeped in crisis. The Democrats’ post-election shenanigans are an expression of this crisis.
To be clear, Trump did not cause the crisis. It has two authors: The Democrats and the media.
The Democrats fomented the crisis, which places America’s very future as a constitutional democracy on the line, when they refused to accept the results of the 2016 election. The media caused it by abandoning journalism in favor of political activism.
Perhaps the most emblematic image of the 2020 elections came in the days leading up to Election Day. Footage surfaced of business owners in big cities throughout the country boarding up their windows to protect their property from the riots they expected to break out once the voting stations closed.
The media’s treatment of the footage exposed their pathology. The shocking images, which revealed an expectation of political violence, received little coverage. And to the extent they were mentioned at all, the mention was as laconic as the weather report: Tomorrow will be partly cloudy, violent riots forecast for downtown beginning at nightfall, and scattered thundershowers are expected around 10 p.m. in the northwest suburbs.
Newspapers and television networks didn’t ask the shop owners from whom they were protecting their property.
But then, they didn’t need to ask. Everyone knew who the rioters were. Although the media and the Democrats have spent four years insisting that Trump supporters are violent, dangerous racists and Nazis, the merchants in Kenosha and Los Angeles didn’t post Trump election signs in their storefronts to win brownie points from the rioters. They posted signs of support for the looters. And they all hailed from Black Lives Matter, Antifa and allied Democrat voting groups.
Trump’s supporters standing outside vote-counting centers in Philadelphia, Maricopa County and Detroit didn’t plan to protest after the election. Conservative activists only began organizing protests after Biden’s vote tallies magically rose vertically on Wednesday morning.
In notable contrast, Biden’s supporters in Black Lives Matter and allied groups started posting detailed instructions to their supporters about where to gather and where to protest a week before Election Day. And late Tuesday night, the riots began on schedule in Washington, New York, Portland and Los Angeles. And they weren’t kneeling in prayer.
According to the New York Post, a “protester” in Portland was arrested Wednesday carrying hand grenades and a loaded AR-15 assault rifle. “Protesters” in New York were arrested carrying commercial military-grade firecrackers, a taser, knives and hammers.
Black Lives Matter rioters in Washington reportedly stabbed five Trump supporters close to the White House early Wednesday morning.
Political violence, like ballot harvesting, is a feature of the Democrats’ post-democratic political playbook. And here it is important to remember how things transpired in real time.
During the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, her campaign and the media presented Trump and his supporters as illegitimate political actors. Clinton memorably referred to them as “deplorables.” When Trump won the race, their delegitimization of Trump and his supporters quickly led them not to oppose Trump’s presidency, actions and policies, but to reject the legitimacy of both his presidency and of the democratic process that enables “deplorables” to choose a president that the Democrats don’t support.
That is, the delegitimization of Trump and his voters morphed into a rejection of the rules of American democracy. All Democrat efforts to oust Trump from office and to block his ability to govern since, like the political violence the Democrats have employed with greater intensity in the intervening years, are a function of that move.
The Democrats revealed their new post-democratic character and totalitarian bent on inauguration day. When the millions of Democrats came out to protest the peaceful transfer of power, they called themselves “the Resistance.” They weren’t opposing Trump. They were resisting an illegitimate regime. And to take down the regime—that is, the U,S, government—all means were justified.
The media have been a full partner in the Democrats’ efforts to overturn America’s constitutional order in favor of one that denies their opponents (or “enemies”) the ability to lead the country. In 2008, the U.S. media replaced its traditional pro-Democrat bias with full mobilization when Barack Obama entered the presidential race. The media writ large presented Obama as a man without blemish. His domestic and foreign policies were deemed ingenious, completely successful and kind-hearted, and were never subjected to serious scrutiny. Obama’s personal and policy failings were airbrushed out.
Obama’s opponents were demonized as corrupt and evil foreign agents and avaricious “moneymen.”
Biden has similarly enjoyed entirely positive coverage in the media. Together with Twitter and Facebook, the networks and major newspapers have censored rather than reported information that could in any way undermine support for Biden.
From the moment Trump rode down the escalator of Trump Towers, he received the exact opposite treatment. If Obama was a messianic figure and Biden a kindly, wise grandpa, Trump was the devil incarnate. The media’s abuse of Trump has known no bounds. The legacy newspapers and television networks competed over who could report more Trump-Russia lies.
Trump’s dizzying array of accomplishments in office, at home and abroad were deliberately ignored or downplayed all day, every day for the past four years.
Media executives, editors, anchors and reporters made clear the moment Trump was elected that their only goal, and the only legitimate goal, was to oust him from office.
It’s impossible to know how things will develop in America in the coming weeks. But it is hard to see a rainbow over the horizon. If Trump is declared the winner, the Democrats won’t accept the legitimacy of the verdict. Their use of political violence will undoubtedly rise.
And if Biden is declared the winner, the Democrats will not rest on their laurels. Having already adopted the totalitarian mindset, they will insist their newfound power be used to advance their program. Indeed, they already are.
MSNBC commentator Jason Johnson said Wednesday that there must be no peace for Republicans in a Biden presidency. Johnson warned Biden that he mustn’t even think about magnanimity in victory. He is “at war.”
In Johnson’s words, “You cannot come into this White House with the idea that these people [Trump supporters] aren’t the enemy. They are. They are the enemies of democracy.”
As for Trump’s supporters, after being called “chumps” by Biden, after watching the Democrat-run vote counts and Big Tech’s censorship of the president, Trump’s supporters will not trust the integrity of the process that brought Biden to the White House. And it is hard to imagine them taking it silently.
Standing outside the Philadelphia courthouse Wednesday, Giuliani addressed both the media and Trump’s supporters. Looking at the reporters, he said, “Do you think we’re stupid? You think we are fools?”
Turning to Trump’s supporters, Giuliani added, “Do you know something? The Democrats do think you’re stupid, they do think you’re fools, and that’s why you get called deplorable chumps. That’s over.”