Maybe we should’ve picked someone less uniquely unlikeable.
The prevailing opinion in some sectors of conservative media is clear: The election is being stolen. But it isn’t. Sorry. There are established legal processes in place to review accusations of fraud. Those should be borne out, and every legal vote should be counted. And believe me, they will. Trump’s team will try every possible legal avenue to win this thing, and it certainly isn’t impossible. But with the latest numbers out of Pennsylvania, it is improbable.
Yesterday, I had posted on my Facebook page that I felt calling Pennsylvania for Biden was premature. Pennsylvania has a statute mandating that ballots be received by 8 pm on Election Day to be counted. Even though in-person voting with social distancing has been proven safe, the state government opted to ignore the statute’s text and extend the deadline to accommodate late-arriving ballots. It appeared possible, if not likely, that the Supreme Court would overturn this ruling, invalidating late-arriving, blue-leaning votes.
However, it appears that the USPS only processed around 4,000 ballots after election day in Pennsylvania. Frankly, I found this hard to believe as Washington State frequently processes 500,000+ votes after election day. Additionally, Pennsylvania’s June Primary featured over 60,000 late-arriving ballots. Still, if it is true that the pending litigation only affects 4,000 ballots, then Biden is the next President of the United States, and conservatives need to start accepting that. There will be no re-votes, and most of the accusations of fraud I’ve seen lose validity with about five minutes of research. If any hold water, they’ll be dealt with appropriately.
Don’t like this result? Me neither. Maybe it means we should’ve run someone less uniquely abrasive and unlikeable than Donald Trump. Understand: Any other Republican would’ve had this race in the bag by double digits. This was Trump’s election to lose, and his inability to stay off Twitter for two months to win re-election is why he lost.
Conservative friends of mine will point to rampant media bias and “big tech” manipulation. And they’re 100% correct: Legacy media and big tech were hell-bent on doing everything they could to oust Trump from the White House. Even with their influence, Biden barely won. Meanwhile, there were many tools within Trump’s grasp that could’ve won him the election. But unlike anyone with a modicum of character and integrity, he couldn’t manage to do any of them. Instead, he chose to tweet in all-caps at insane times of the morning to attack heroes like John McCain and question the integrity of the election. He has shown himself small-minded, selfish, and impulsive. He is a pathetic little man who couldn’t stop himself from pissing on the grave of a war hero from a vital swing state. That is why he is losing and will not receive a second term.
Further, Trump’s brashness and lack of shame are not why he won in 2016. Trump won because Hillary Clinton failed to turn out her Democratic voters. In multiple vital swing states, Trump underperformed Romney’s 2012 campaign and still beat Clinton. So no, Trump is not and was not some necessary character who won because he “took on the media.” In Washington State, Trump received fewer votes than every statewide Republican candidate except for the Insurance Commissioner. To be clear: The only statewide republican that Trump bested was a self-described “autistic savant” who failed to receive the endorsement of any party organization in the entire state. That is the only “republican candidate” who was less popular than Trump. The same situation replicated itself nationwide: Nearly everywhere, other republicans were more popular than the President. Please don’t mistake my indignity for glee – this is a grim statement of fact.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t valuable lessons Trump taught us. The President increased his vote shares drastically for every single demographic except for white men. A Republican Party that runs under an anti-establishment, anti-globalist, pro-worker, pro-America platform has the potential for massive electoral success in the near future. The GOP coalition is far more stable than the Democrat coalition. Keep the policies, get rid of the personality, and you have a winning formula at every level.
This also doesn’t mean conservatives should try to “make nice” with legacy media and big tech. Our deep frustration continues to be that these institutions set the Overton Window (the window of acceptable discourse) without input from the 70 Million plus voters on the conservative side of the cultural divide. Our next nominee shouldn’t be Romney 2.0 – he or she should be willing to question the dominant narrative directly and forcefully. Regardless, Trump’s “never back down from anything ever” mantra is not a serious strategy, and it does not deserve another try.
This was Trump’s election to lose, and he lost it. It’s on him.