Why Trump’s Obsessed with Ballots

It’s not about election security.

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“Hello!” President Trump , citing a local news story. The lead for the story read, “.”

I must admit, a rather disturbing headline. There’s only one problem for this tweet — I read the article.

A 26-year-old mail carrier was charged with a variety of mail offenses, including obstruction of mail. Federal authorities discovered that the man, Nicholas Beauchene, dumped three loads of mail into dumpsters. Here are the loads:

First load: 980 total pieces of mail, 98 ballots.

Second load: 552 total pieces of mail, 0 ballots.

Third load: 345 total pieces of mail, 1 ballot.

The ballots were for “local candidates for West Orange Town Council and Board of Education,” according to Trump’s own article. No presidential or Congressional ballots.

These are the facts in Trump’s article. This is the evidence for a “rigged” election, or the “biggest scam in election history.”

First, there were 1,875 pieces of mail that were thrown into the dumpster, and fewer than 100 of those pieces were ballots. Statistically, this means that 5.3% of the discarded mail were ballots. If this were a deep state hit job, I would want my money back.

Second, the ballots were for local elections such as city council and education. Trump lost zero votes.

Third, what’s the grand scheme here? The Democrats’ evil plan was to steal…New Jersey? A blue state that chose Hillary Clinton by 14 points and where Joe Biden is ? And 99 votes would make a difference?

In philosophy, there is a principle called the law of parsimony, which is also known as Occam’s Razor. According to Oxford, it is the “scientific principle the things are usually connected or behave in the simplest or most economical way, especially with reference to alternative evolutionary pathways.”

In laymen’s terms? The simplest explanation is often the correct one.

Which is more likely — politically nefarious forces infiltrate the USPS, turn one of the workers, and convince him to dump a small percentage of his ballot-related mail, the ballots are actually for local elections, and the state is blue by a wide margin — or — some lazy postal worker didn’t want to deliver his mail, dumped all of it in the dumpster, and took the day off?

Tough to say.

The most recent tin-hat ballot stuff is unfortunately another example in a larger pattern of behavior for the president. In the first debate, Trump rambled that ballots were “being dumped in rivers.”

There weren’t any ballots in rivers. When asked to clarify the president’s statement, the White House pointed to a where some mail went temporarily missing but was quickly rediscovered. Among the three trays of mail (hundreds of pieces of mail) were several absentee ballots.

Ballots weren’t targeted. The mail is accounted for. No one has been charged. And there is no evidence of fraud. Also, no river. But besides that, a huge scandal. Some are saying biggest scandal ever.

Everyone knows that Trump peddles the “election-is-rigged” narrative, but not for the reason we think.

Trump is afraid of losing. He doesn’t care about election security, or the will of the American people being accurately reflected. He is on pace for an electoral beatdown, and by preemptively rationalizing the election as a fraud, he spares himself the worst effects of such a stunning failure.

Maggie Haberman of The New York Times confirmed it, , “Mr. Trump has taken to describing shadows on almost every wall: false claims that the election is “rigged” against him, complaints that the coronavirus pandemic was “unfair” to his record on the economy, insistence that people who disagree with him within his own government about policy matters are part of a concerted effort to undermine him.”

“Mr. Trump…has telegraphed…that he is scared of losing — and in particular, scared of losing to Mr. Biden, whom he does not respect,” she .

Trump can boast of his success if he is victorious. He can claim a “rigged election” if he loses. Either way, his fragile ego remains in tact.

There may be civil unrest in the weeks ahead. How much damage will be done to our country because one man cannot accept losing an election?

Written by

political science researcher. former valedictorian. reader/writer. host of “Politics Mostly” podcast.

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