By Michael Anton
Recently, I appeared as a guest on Andrew Sullivan’s podcast. Sullivan is vociferously anti-Trump, so I expected us to disagree—which, naturally, we did. But I was surprised by the extent to which he insisted I assent to his assertion that the 2020 election was totally on the level. That is to say, I wasn’t surprised that Sullivan thinks it was; I was surprised by his evident yearning to hear me say so, too.
Which I could not do.
Sullivan badgered me on this at length before finally accusing me of being fixated on the topic, to which I responded, truthfully, that I was only talking about it because he asked. As far as I’m concerned, the 2020 election is well and truly over. I have, I said, “moved on.”
So I thought. Then I received two emails from a friendly acquaintance who is a recognized Republican expert on elections that suggested he, too, is troubled by my lack of belief. Then came two other data points, which I noticed only after the first draft this essay had been completed. Ramesh Ponnuru snarked (snark seems to be the go-to, indeed the only, device his in literary quiver) that one of the anomalies I cited in my most recent article in the Claremont Review of Books had been “debunked” by the partisan left-wing FactCheck.org. While I appreciate the insight into the sources from which National Review editors get their “facts” these days, the quote provided admits that the statistic I cited is, well, accurate. Ponurru naturally ignores all of the other points raised in my earlier article.
Jonathan Chait wrote yet another (his 12th?) article denouncing me, for this same sin of disbelief. Why did he bother? Is there even a remote chance that a single one of his New York magazine readers either read my article or encountered its argument? Or is he worried that the “narrative” of the election is so fragile that it needs to be shored up?
I wanted to move on, I really did. But when Left (Chait), center (Sullivan), faux-right anti-conservative ankle-biter (Ponnuru), and genuine, if establishment, Right (my correspondent) all agree that my lack of belief is a problem, I wondered why this should be so, and the following observations came to mind.
Let me begin by repeating something I said to Sullivan: I do not actively disbelieve in the outcome of the 2020 election. I do not assert that the election was stolen. I also do not believe the election was totally fair, “belief” being an affirmative mental state. I say only that I don’t know; I haven’t been convinced either way. One side tried to convince me and failed (at least so far). The other side has made no such attempt but instead mostly shouts in my face that I must believe. The latter effort, in addition to being aggravating and insulting, has been less effective.
The 2020 election came down to a narrower margin than the 2016 contest: fewer than 43,000 rather than 77,000 votes in just three states. In 2016, nothing fishy in Michigan, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin—the states on which 2016 turned—was detected. Certainly nothing like:
- Counting shutdowns in five states, in which one candidate was ahead, only to lose after the counting resumed;
- “Found” tranches of ballots going overwhelmingly—sometimes exclusively—to one candidate, the eventual “winner”;
- Sworn affidavits alleging the backdating of ballots;
- Historically low rejection rates—as in, orders of magnitude lower—of mail-in ballots, suggesting that many obviously invalid ballots were accepted as genuine;
- Mail-in and absentee ballots appearing without creases, raising the question of how they got into the envelopes required for their being mailed in;
- Thousands upon thousands of ballots all marked for one presidential candidate without a single choice marked for any down-ballot candidate.
- The absolute refusal to conduct signature audits—indeed, the discarding of many envelopes which alone make such audits possible—i.e., of the kind of recounts which are performed not merely to get the math right but to evaluate the validity of ballots;
- Other statistical and historical anomalies too numerous to mention here.
All of which, and much more, did occur in 2020. Any one of these things would have caused Hillary Clinton to march into court in 2016 with an army of lawyers larger than the force Hannibal brought to Cannae.
Sullivan dismissed all of this because “Trump tried in court and lost.” End of story. He alleged with a straight face that Trump put on a serious effort run by serious election experts.
Obama was the first modern president to try this tactic of blaming the skeptic.
I likened his logic pretzel to that scene in Peter Pan where Tinkerbelle had drunk poison meant for Peter. He couldn’t just let her die for what she’d done. So, he turned away from the play’s normal realm to the audience. When people 1st saw this scene they were shocked. Peter then implored the audience that, if you believe enough, Tinkerbelle can live despite drinking poison. All you have to do is prove your strong belief by clapping your hands.
Audiences clapped and Tinkerbelle lived.
It is called “magical thinking.”
Obama blamed cash for clunkers’ failure on our lack of belief.
He blamed Obamacare’s need for 27 illegal executive orders to “fix” it on our collective lack of trust and belief.
He blamed our slow recovery on our lack of faith in his programs.
It was always OUR fault.
Now Dems want to take that idea even wider.
You MUST buy into every tranny’s delusion, even to allowing men in little girl’s bathrooms.
You MUST buy into the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
The “or else” is implied as of now, mostly.
BUT, as to that 2nd point, upping the propaganda game, there is much in the works.
Dems are trying to silence ALL opposing voices.
They move to try to take all such off the radio, off the TV, off the computer, out of banking & its the ability to even buy or sell that goes with that one.
I’m actually seeing Ham Radio antennas going up around here.
It is important for those running this scam to get those who see the obvious signs of fraud to declare our fealty to the belief the election was “fair”. Once we do that, we can’t contest it, can’t investigate it and can’t prove the fraud. Stephanopoulos tried to do this to Rand Paul. Until everyone pledges to believe the election was fair, the threat of exposing the facts hangs over their heads.
I KNOW the evidence of fraud is real. I BELIEVE there was enough to change the outcome of the election, but that would have to be proven, one way or another. You can’t blame Republicans; THEY didn’t illegally change rules at the last minute and turn a totally blind eye to anyone that might want to perpetrate fraud. No one EVER demanded Democrats confess their belief that the 2016 election wasn’t “stolen” and no Democrat ever waivered from that belief. That never changed the facts, though. It wasn’t necessary for them to stop believing the election was stolen because they were NEVER going to find evidence it was.
What is the Democrat’s “proof” the election was legitimate? Well, we’ve seen Greg repeatedly write that it’s been “certified”, so that means it was legitimate. That’s like a bank robber buying a car with his loot, so that proves he got the money legally. Consummating a crime does not negate the fact a crime was committed.
Refusing to resolve the questions, refusing to ACKNOWLEDGE them, DEMANDING we stop believing what our eyes tell us only makes the election even MORE suspicious. It will NEVER be legitimate without an examination by non-partisan investigators.
Because if you do not agree that there was no fraud, the occupation of the Capitol by barbed wire and National Guard brownshirts will continue.
The regime fears the people. The people voted and their votes did not count. The votes that counted were generated by Dominion and Smartmatic voting machine vote generators. The machines are locked away and cannot be examined. The ballots are likewise locked away and cannot be recounted. Any request for examination is treasonous.
Any assertion of fraud is prima facie insurrectionist, and will cause armed invaders to invade the Capitol in an armed invasion, using arms, as was done on Jan 6. The arms in question have never shown up in evidence; the only arms used were by a U S Capitol Policeman, who shot and killed Ashlii Babbitt. But he/she is protected, because National Security.
We know the story about Armed Invaders is true, because MSM said so. And they never lie.
Just because there is no EVIDENCE is no reason to think MSM lied. They never lie.
It is all about EVIDENCE. There is no EVIDENCE of fraud, because courts will not allow the facts to be introduced. There is abundant EVIDENCE of armed invaders on Jan 6, because of the limitless number of video clips making this SERIOUS CHARGE.
It is, after all, the seriousness of the charge, not the factual basis, which justifies the claim.
@mathman: The National Guard are not the Brownshirts. They are just doing their job, following orders. That they are there under false pretenses is not their fault and deserve no criticism. They are simply being used as props by the Democrats to justify more suppression of civil rights.
And proof is all around.
For instance, Biden gave an important national address on Thursday.
It was on You Tube White House . org live.
Guess how many of Biden’s supposedly 80 million supporters tuned in?
Less than One Thousand!
Of course his handlers fear the people.
None of them (us) are HIS people.