November 6, 2020
Last night at the White House podium he gave the vilest presidential speech in history. Eclipsing the mark set the previous morning.
He accused polling firms of having falsely reported pro-Biden results, supposedly to suppress Republican voting. So — pollsters deliberately conspired to destroy their own credibility! You can’t make this stuff up. Oh, wait — Trump can.
Note, only around 92% of the national vote has been counted, most of what remains are mail votes, which heavily favor Biden, so his final tally will get closer to what polls indicated.
It’s because so much voting was by mail that the count is taking so long.* Moreover, it was Republicans that fought to bar counting mail votes before election day. They did not somehow appear “magically,” there’s virtually zero evidence for that, or for any of Trump’s other incendiary fraud accusations. And mail votes heavily favor Biden because Trump urged his fans to vote in person. We knew all this was a cynical set-up to fraudulently cry fraud.
Trump said last night this concerns Democrat-run states. In fact they’re mostly Republican-run. Charges of observers kept out are likewise false. Elections everywhere are overseen by representatives of both parties. And if this whole thing was some huge Democrat steal, how come Republicans other than Trump did so well? Keeping the Senate and gaining in the House.
Recall that, stung by losing the 2016 popular vote, Trump also cried fraud, saying millions had voted illegally. He convened a commission to investigate. It disbanded, finding nothing.
Trump said this election disgraces America. What disgraces us is a president’s shocking lies. Russia and China are cackling. And the Republican party is disgraced by abetting it. Cruz and Graham going on Fox to back up Trump’s speech was despicable.
Republicans, to this day, continue to bray that Democrats refused to accept the 2016 election. Democrats bemoaned it, investigated Russian subversion, and opposed resulting policies, but did not deny Trump being lawful president. Unlike the “birther” denial of Obama’s legitimacy. And unlike 2020 now, refusing to accept Biden’s. This false claim that he’s won by fraud will poison our politics for years.
It’s an attack on America’s democracy and its institutions. We were already suffering degradation of trust throughout society. This worsens it. It’s Trump’s true atrocious legacy.
And his attack on democracy makes no rational sense, because it can’t succeed. But Trump is not rational. This isn’t even about his continuing in office. It’s convincing himself he’s not actually a loser, which would be existentially annihilating for him. This is the finale of the Trump psychodrama afflicting us for four ghastly years.
New U.S. covid cases this week smashed previous record levels. Our economy is in ruins and cannot be restored until covid is controlled. That’s the crisis Biden will face January 20. Worsened by this crisis of democratic trust and legitimacy selfishly exacerbated by Trump.
I want to say here some very nasty things about Americans who still support him, even love him. But I will refrain. This culture of recrimination must end.
* Though I’d warned of the “red mirage” of early counts favoring Trump, I fell victim myself. Went to bed at 3 AM election night unnerved by big Trump leads in key states. Got up at 7 and had a delicious rush; already clear to me that Biden had won.
I don’t understand the networks holding back from declaring it. They declared, for example, New York for Biden the minute the polls closed, with no votes counted, because they knew enough. For two days now Trump’s winning has been impossible.