Nearly a year after the 2020 presidential election, the twice-impeached, former reality TV game show host and fake billionaire, Donald Trump, is still running his mouth about election fraud. Never mind that in all that time – and after more than sixty failed court challenges – he and his cohorts in politics and the press have been unable to uncover even a shred of evidence to support his manic ranting that has incited deadly violence.
Even the GOP-run “fraudit” in Arizona concluded that Joe Biden was the legitimate winner. But that didn’t stop Trump from proclaiming just the opposite. Just as he has done repeatedly before. Trump’s Attorney General, Bill Barr, even admitted that “We realized from the beginning it was just bull—.” Which triggered another Trump tantrum.
Well, all of that may have just come to an inglorious end with posts by Trump’s spokes-shill, Liz Harrington (whose proxy Trump tweeting is violating Twitter’s rules against circumventing a ban). Harrington’s tweets linked to an article that she rapturously reported were proof of voter fraud (and not for the first time). But like everything else in Trump World, the reality was far less scandalous than the lies they gushed (Here’s the tweet if you’d like to report it (and her) to Twitter).
There is a lot to unpack in this purposefully deceptive set of tweets. Let’s begin with the fact that it only alleges to have found a total of 28 votes that it implies were irregular. That’s out of nearly three million cast in a state where Biden won by more than 154,000. What’s more, it doesn’t reveal whether the allegedly fraudulent votes were for Biden or Trump. They could be proof that it was the Trump side that was cheating.
Even more notable is that it doesn’t even prove that there was any fraudulent intent whatsoever. In every case it might easily be explained as naïve persons making minor mistakes that unknowingly violated the law. One case snared a grandmother who was trying to help out her grandson. The article described this super villain saying that…
“The investigation found that the grandmother of Clark returned his absentee ballot by mail despite him deciding to vote in person. Clark admitted to signing her grandson’s absentee ballot because she was concerned he wouldn’t have time to vote on Election Day.”
Oh my! Lock her up! It is also notable that these trivial cases of impropriety were discovered and reported by the Michigan Attorney General and the Michigan Secretary of State, both of whom are Democrats. So any assertion of Democratic foul play is preposterous.
In fact, this report is proof that the system works. The cases outlined in the article were all found through the routine process of signature matching. This is precisely how the system was developed with safeguards to prevent or catch any irregularities. The state officials released this statement:
“These cases highlight the scrutiny applications and ballots undergo throughout the election process, as well as the thorough investigative process that ensues when instances of attempted fraud are suspected,” AG Dana Nessel said in a release. […] Our election system is secure, and today’s charges demonstrate that in the rare circumstances when fraud occurs we catch it and hold the perpetrators accountable,” [Secretary of State] Jocelyn Benson added.
Clearly, there was no “fraud” that even came close to impacting the election outcome. And it surely does not require any of the extreme measures that Republicans are implementing to suppress voting, such as photo IDs, curtailing of voting hours and locations, eliminating mail-in ballots, or denying voters food and water as they wait for hours, mostly in Democratic districts by design of the GOP legislators.
Nevertheless, the Trump camp is using this utterly inconsequential story to buttress the “Big Lie” that the election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him. It fails on every level to do that. And this sort of deliberate deception has the great likelihood of leading to more violence. But that doesn’t matter to the Trump cult who will believe whatever interpretation of reality that they are told to believe. The predictable peril that this represents to American democracy and civil society is the purpose of this charade. They won’t be happy until they foment a full scale civil war.
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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.