No, This Isn’t a Noble Quest

What’s really behind the Trump legal efforts to overturn the election.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash

It has been true for most of the Trump era. Republicans and their sympathizers give Trump too much credit. They grant him the benefit of the doubt despite the president never earning it.

The latest installment in the trite series is assuming the president is pursuing the truth when he attempts to overturn the recent election. My Republican friends view this historically undemocratic effort as a noble quest, where the journey is righteous and the end goal is justice.

“There are legitimate concerns.” “He has a right to pursue all legal courses of action.” “You have to admit, some of this stuff doesn’t add up.” “Don’t you want to get to the bottom of this?”

We’ve seen this, we’ve heard this. Get to the bottom of what, exactly…that a highly polarized, roughly evenly split country rebuked a historically unliked president?

To a Republican, elections are either won or stolen. There is no middle ground, despite the Democratic candidate for president winning the popular vote in seven of the last eight elections.

Trump didn’t take a respite from his crime committing to suddenly care about an issue like electoral fraud. Sorry. Trump relishes in crime, soaks in delinquency, and marinates in misconduct. He is not a crime fighter, he is a crime committer.

Nor is Trump particularly concerned with the truth. If you believe otherwise, I would suggest the official Wikipedia page on Trump’s relationship with the truth.

Instead, we are left with a hybrid explanation. On one hand, the president is hellbent on winning. A young Donald was conditioned to believe that losing was unacceptable. Trump, a creature of short-term self-preservation, is merely seeking to extend his rule another few breaths.

On the other hand, there’s the grift. Trump has raised close to $200 million in online solicitations. The fine print shows that donations under $8,000 go directly to the president himself and the RNC, not the legal effort.

It’s not about the truth or justice. It’s about winning and money.

The broader framework fits a familiar pattern. The hardliners and crazies say the outlandish things, such as Roger Stone suggesting North Korea delivered ballots through a harbor in Maine. (Why North Korea would go to the east coast and not the west coast, given its location, remains unclear).

When the crazies flank right, a vacuum appears for the more “regular” Republicans to occupy. “Ok, the Maine thing is crazy, but the Democrats still stole this election.” To the left of the nutcases, but to the right of reality. Being less crazy than Roger Stone doesn’t earn you anything.

Then there’s the predictable Trump play from the top. The president’s allies have won a sole post election lawsuit, which involved limiting the time that Pennsylvania voters can fix any wrong information on a ballot from six days to three days. The other fifty three lawsuits have been dismissed or withdrawn. Instead of trying to win at the ballot box or in the courts, Trump is trying to sow chaos and confusion, then argue that because there is so much uncertainty, he should win.

“How can you have a presidency when a vast majority think the election was RIGGED?” Trump tweeted.

My Republican friends aren’t pouring over the affidavits or examining evidence, they believe the election was stolen because they want it to be true, the “wishing it so” fallacy.

Trump isn’t on a novel quest to search for truth. He is padding his pockets on a mission to save face. Feel free to join him, just don’t expect me to grant you the moral high ground.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store