Today saw thousands of the president’s supporters violently storm the U.S. Capitol Building, vandalizing and looting the building. They did this after the president appeared at their rally and urged them to march on the Capitol to protest the election being “stolen” from him. Clearly, a lot of people believe these election fraud lies. If you believe there was a conspiracy to steal the election from the president, here are the things that you must believe.
- That there is evidence to support the allegations of election fraud, something which EVERY court to consider the issue has found to be false. EVERY judge who has ruled on one of the administration’s 60+ lawsuits, including many judges appoint by this president, has found there to be no actual evidence of election fraud. In fact, the administration’s lawyers often did not even allege fraud in the cases they filed because they knew they could not prove it. Besides the trial court judges, every appellate court and the Supreme Court, again containing many judges appointed by this president, also ruled against the president’s spurious election fraud claims. So in your conspiracy belief, all judges, including Republican-appointed judges, must be in on it.
- That the people conducting the initial counts and recounts in each of the swing states was cheating to favor Biden. This would include the elections in states being run by Republicans like Arizona and Georgia. The Republican election director in Georgia has made a point-by-point denunciation of the election fraud claims in his state. So in your conspiracy belief, Republican state officials must be in on it.
- That the FBI/Justice Department investigation of the election was whitewashed to favor Biden. William Barr, this administration’s own Attorney General, publicly declared that his department’s investigation found no widespread voter fraud. Barr has been one of this president’s most willing supporters, but even he could not ignore the lack of evidence of fraud. So in your conspiracy belief, the administration’s own attorney general must be in on it.
- That the administration’s own Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency ignored evidence of election fraud. This agency took extraordinary measures to make sure the 2020 election was secure. Afterwards it declared that these efforts had resulted in the most secure election in this nation’s history. Because this contradicted the administration’s election fraud claims, the head of this agency was fired. So in your conspiracy belief, the administration’s own election security experts must be in on it.
- That top Republican officials in Congress who have accepted the results of this election are looking to rid the party of this president. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has publicly stated that Biden won the election. Mitt Romney, Utah Senator and former Republican candidate for president, has accepted the results of this election. Numerous other Republican members of Congress have stated that the people have spoken and congratulated Biden. So in your conspiracy belief, many Republican members of Congress must be in on it.
- That every living, former Secretary of Defense, including Republicans like Dick Cheney, Mark Esper, Donald Rumsfeld, William Cohen, Chuck Hagel, and Robert Gates, all declaring that the election is over wanted to get rid of this president. This group of people all ran the Defense Department, effectively running this country’s military. So in your conspiracy belief, every living person who previously headed the Department of Defense, Republicans who ran the military are in on it.
- That Mike Pence’s refusal to deny electors from disputed states while certifying the vote today was intended to begin distancing himself from this president. Even before today’s Congressional count of electors, Pence released a statement stating that he would follow the Constitution and accept the certified electoral vote of each state. This came despite several recent demands from the president that the Pence do what is necessary to throw the electoral vote to him. So in your conspiracy belief, Vice President Pence must be in on it.
What is more likely? That all these Republican judges, state officials, Congress members, Attorney General, election security chief, former Defense Department chiefs, and Vice President were all part of a conspiracy to ensure that Biden won the election or that maybe, just maybe, Biden actually won the election? That was a rhetorical question in case you were actually considering which was more likely.
So why do so many nonetheless believe in such a spurious conspiracy theory? In a word, racism. Don’t believe me? This happened today in the U.S. Capitol.
Think about all the racist hypocrisy that has occurred over the last four years. Black Lives Matters protestors march and the president and his supporters attack them as violent agitators even though, by and large, violence at their rallies was caused by white instigators. Meanwhile, white supremacists caused violence and mayhem in Charlottesville, Virginia and the president says there were very fine people on both sides. During the presidential debates, the president was asked to denounce white supremacists like the Proud Boys. Instead he told them to “stand back and stand by.”
Think about Kyle Rittenhouse. During the Kenosha, Wisconsin protests over another cop killing of a black man, the 17-year-old Rittenhouse traveled from Illinois to Wisconsin, with a semi-automatic rifle that he was too young to legally own, to “protect” Kenosha businesses from marchers protesting in the wake of Jacob Blake’s death. He ended up killing two people and injuring a third. The president’s supporters have praised Rittenhouse’s actions and raised millions of dollars for his legal defense. Let me take a page from the movie, “A Time To Kill.” Imagine if you will that African-American supporters of Biden showed up today armed and ready to protect the U.S. Capitol from the violent mobs and killed several people marching upon the Capitol? Would you feel the same about these hypothetical black shooters as you do about Rittenhouse? Would you raise money for the legal defense of these hypothetical black shooters because they were defending property from violent protestors?
Think about how the president responded during Black Lives Matters protests in Portland, Oregon. Don’t remember? Here’s the tweet:
That tweet was in response to vandalism of Portland’s federal building during the protests. Today, the president, after earlier urging people to march on the Capitol, tepidly told the mob who stormed the building to go home because peace was needed. He also called the violent mob “very special” people. The president made no threats to prosecute these people who vandalized and damaged the Capitol. The only difference between the people who may have damaged a federal building in Portland and the people who may have damaged a federal building in Washington, D.C. is the color of the skin of many of them.
The president has a long history of racism. This dates back to the U.S. Dept. of Justice suing Trump in the 1970’s for housing discrimination that was settled by Trump having to take specific actions to show they would accept black applicants for rentals. This racism continued through Trump seeking the execution of the Central Park Five, African-American and Hispanic youths accused of a rape, and continuing to insist upon their guilt even after they were completely exonerated. During his campaign and presidency, the president has called Mexicans “rapists and murderers,” African countries “shithole countries,” and people seeking to immigrate into the U.S. to escape oppression in their countries “animals.” White supremacists openly support the president and he refuses to denounce them.
If you support this president, do you do so in spite of this racism or because of this racism? I don’t speak for all liberals, but if a liberal politician made such such openly racist statements, that would be a deal-breaker for me. I don’t care how much I supported such a politician’s policies. If they were racist, I could not support them. All people, regardless of political affiliation, should feel the same. So if you think you support this president and his conspiracy theories despite of his clear racism, perhaps it is not in spite of, but because of his racism.