I have written on this topic before, but the need continues. This is because presidential elections are not one-off historical events, like the Norman Conquest or the invention of the printing press. No, they are recurring events, and what you make room for in earlier elections will become standard in subsequent elections. If you don’t want corrupt elections in the future, then you have to be willing to look straight at corruption going down in real time, in your immediate past. And if you want to check out some of my previous thoughts on all this—and “why wouldn’t you?” is my question—you can try that here, here, or here.
Consequently, it is not only important to insist that the 2020 presidential election was rigged, it is also crucial to say that it was manifestly rigged. It was and remains glaringly obvious. If it was a snake, it could have bit you. It was a snake, and it did bite you. And those who tell you it was not rigged are either gas-lighting you, or they have been gas-lit themselves.
For those who remain unconvinced, I am very grateful to be able now to recommend a book for you. This is just what the doctor ordered. Here it is, all in one place.Show Outline with Links
Book of the Year
I read a lot of good books this last year, and this one was right at the top. Mollie Hemingway has done a magnificent job with this, writing a history and overview of about five or six rats’ nests. I don’t know if you have ever tried to write a history of even one rat’s nest, but it taxes one. Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist, a regular commentator on Fox, and really knows her onions. In short, she is a respectable personage, thinker, and writer, right smack in the conservative mainstream. And if she is saying this . . .
How respectable is she? Well, respectable enough that her mentioning me would get her in loads of trouble. But I am glad to say it doesn’t work the other way—I am a true deplorable, which means that I can mention her fine book all I want and nothing bad happens. Because I am a deplorable, I am free as a bird, and can write what I want. But many a second-tier assistant researcher working for some respectable conservative outlet—the kind of researcher who reads Rushdoony under the covers at night with a flashlight, and who religiously pulls up Mablog before he heads on into work, but who would get promptly fired if he dared to sport one of these babies at work—is looking longingly over at my fingers as I type. He does so because he cannot write what he wants. The meadows of Kuyperianism are green and lush, but he can’t go over there to graze because someone is going to start looking around for his Mablog coffee cup. No, no, I didn’t get derailed—give me a minute. The reason I bring this tender subject up is that this book by Hemingway is a serious challenge to the approved wisdom about our rigged election, a challenge coming from within the mainstream. Coming from such a respectable source, this book is a solid indication that questioning the legitimacy of this last election is not the sole provenance of QAnon or Buffalo Man.
Granted, in the immediate aftermath of the election, there were a lot of wild stories and rumors flying around. In times of crisis, this is human nature to begin with, but then we must also take into account the fact that Big Tech was rushing in to censor anything it called “misinformation”—meaning anything that conflicted with their preferred narrative. The single biggest factor in making out-of-control rumors believable was the grim reality of this new censorship. This lines up with the Washington adage that you should never believe anything until it is officially denied. And if the draconian measures of Big Tech could make Lin Wood believable, how much more will they make Hemingway’s narrative compelling?
In her discussion of all these events, Hemingway ably separates the wheat and the chaff. There is no moonbat stuff here, and by the time she is done you will be convinced that all the moonbattery is in the clear possession of those who are still choosing to deny the obvious.
What Hemingway does, masterfully, is to place Election Night 2020 in its narratival context, beginning with the election of Trump in 2016. She does not do this as a blind partisan—she is critical of some unhelpful things that Trump said and did, she argues that Giuliani was in over his head, and acknowledges the counterproductive role that certain grifters on the right played. But at the same time, she keeps her eye on the overarching narrative, and does a wonderful job reading the story we are in. This book is meticulously researched, and she really does make her case. Having made her case, she then gets out a yellow DeWalt hand drill, and screws the lid down on all four corners.
Like a Football Game
Imagine a close game at the Super Bowl, and it all comes down to the last thirty seconds. The team that is behind by three points is in a fourth and goal situation. Let us suppose that they do score, but that the touchdown is called back because of an egregiously bad call by one of the refs.
The debate over that particular football game will be furious, with partisans of the respective teams on both sides laying their claims, and not quietly either. But in the middle will be a certain kind of Jonah-Goldberg-conservative, who is a lover of the game, and who argues that we have to trust the refs because unless the losing team agrees to accept the authority of the refs, the game we all love is done. No more football.
Hemingway points out a number of times that in order to maintain a stable democracy, you must have the consent of the losers. We began to lose the consent of the losing left as early as 1988, and we have definitely lost the consent of the “losing” right in 2020. And that is why we are in a cold civil war now. That is why things are so bad.
So let us expand the illustration. Suppose all the refs were cousins of the opposing coach. Suppose the entire game had been one dirty call after another. Suppose one of the refs had deliberately tripped one of your players on a break-away run. Suppose the NFL told your coaching staff that they would hear no complaints from the likes of you or your franchise, and ominously hinted that they had heard about possible threats to the families of the coaching staff.
Now, under these circumstances, to treat the last thirty seconds of the game as somehow sacrosanct, the questioning of which is to destroy the game, sportsmanship, common decency, and democracy, is a fool’s exercise. You have already lost the integrity of the game, and are just a little slow on the uptake. The debate is not really a debate, in other words, over one bad call.
In other words, what we need to do, and what Hemingway ably does do, is look at the last thirty seconds in the light of the whole game.
What Their View of Democracy Is
Before getting to particulars, in order to understand how these double standards function in the minds of leftists, you have to understand that they believe that their cause is synonymous with democracy. Consequently, anything they do that advances that cause—and I mean anything—is seen as preserving democracy. They can overthrow every democratic norm, flout democratic safeguards, insult democratic laws, and they can do it all in the name of saving democracy.
This is something straight out of Girard. Persecutors do what they do because they feel persecuted. Cheaters cheat to prevent themselves from being cheated. They feel fully justified in their “by hook or by crook” rejection of whatever we, the “enemies of democracy,” want (such enemies defined by them as those with differing policy goals).
Whatever they want is democratic by definition. Whatever they don’t want is anti-democratic. They want loose standards for mail-in voting, and so that is democratic precisely because they want it. They don’t want voter ID at the polls, and so that is anti-democratic precisely because they don’t want it. In fact, they don’t want voter ID so hard that if you do want it, you must be a fascist.
In One Paragraph
This whole sorry business started with the presidential campaign in 2016, and the surprise election of Trump. Under Obama, our national intelligence community targeted and illegally spied on the Trump campaign. Rigged. No one who did that is currently in jail. Rigged. Bogus opposition research sponsored by the Clinton campaign was picked up by the FBI, knowing it to be bogus, and yet it was used to hamstring the Trump administration for years. Rigged. Hillary cooked up the Russian collusion story and the media bought it big time. Rigged. Hillary claimed that the election was stolen from her without accusations that she was undermining democratic norms, and yet Trump is accused when he said the same thing. Rigged. And what Hillary said was false and what Trump said was true, and these are strange words. Rigged. After the 2016 election, the titans of Big Tech vowed to do everything in their power to prevent the same thing from happening in 2020, and they were good on their word. Rigged. Canceling accounts, banning ads, banning stories, and shadow banning through algorithms. Rigged. Millions of dollars (“Zuck bucks”) were poured into efforts to change election laws and procedures all over the country, without an opportunity to institute safeguards for the new systems. Rigged. Third party partisan groups were given oversight of election processes. Rigged. Deadly riots happened all over the country, with promises of many more if Trump won again. Rigged. The COVID panic provided the perfect opportunity to alter standard procedures for the sake of “safety,” including how close to the counting poll watchers could get. Rigged. Because of this deadly virus we had to have new procedures (like mail-in voting) right away. Rigged. Lawsuits brought to challenge common sense things like signature verification. Rigged. Courts refusing to hear the inevitable complaints on the merits, preferring to dodge responsibility by appealing to “process” or “standing.” Rigged. This craven rejection of responsibility went up to and included SCOTUS. Rigged. Illegal changes made to voting deadlines by secretaries of state, instead of legally by the state legislatures. Rigged.
So by the time Hemingway gets to the last play of the game (e.g. Election Night in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia), she has already made her case. She has made her case many times over. To pretend that Joe Biden was elected to his current post in a fair and free election is to be delusional.
In addition, to watch four straight years of high-handed behavior on the part of the deep state, and then to blithely assume that they wouldn’t ever cheat in the last thirty seconds of the game because everyone respects that last thirty seconds as sacrosanct is to be beyond delusional.
One of the best things that could happen at this point would be for someone with big money to buy a copy of this book for every state governor, every state attorney-general, every state secretary of state, and every state legislator, and to have some intern hand-deliver each one.
What has happened to our electoral processes is egregious. And the only thing that is more egregious is the willful refusal of our soi disant “defenders of decency” to acknowledge it. That is the only problem I have, actually, with our defenders of decency—their flat refusal to defend decency. Here’s looking at you, FB.
Mendacity on Roller Skates
Our ruling elites are corrupt through and through. Nevertheless, it is still possible to find a member of that ruling class who is a man of integrity—but you can only tell that he is a man of integrity because he acknowledges that the ruling class that he belongs to is corrupt through and through.
The activists and agitators on the left who have appointed themselves the savior of democracy are iniquitous, treacherous, reprobate, twaddlesome, faithless, base, fraudulent, venal, rotten, and corrupt.
I threw twaddlesome in there because I meant for it to sting.