Sunday, December 13, 2020

Conspiracy Theories 2

Now that the Supreme Court has properly refused to hear the Texas case, the Electoral College can proceed to do its work tomorrow.  Joe Biden will be the next President.  Those filing the Texas case knew it would not succeed.  The AG of Texas is under investigation and was doing what he could to divert attention from that scandal (even the state's Solicitor General declined to sign on to the lawsuit).  The other state AGs who signed on knew it was a loser but did so to position themselves with Trump supporters for their political futures.  And the President liked it because it helps him build the "stab in the back" narrative he's going to use once he's out of office.

The web of the supposed conspiracy built around Dominion software and inane statistical analysis along with the repeated use of false facts finally fell of its own weight as a legal matter, though it is now gospel for the President and at least some of his followers.

In an election so close - if 22,000 voters in AZ, GA and WI had voted for Trump instead of Biden, we would have a tie in the Electoral College; if 38,000 in those three states plus Nevada had voted differently, Trump would have won the Electoral College vote - is it possible that enough fraud may have occurred to tip the balance?  Yes, it is possible, though I don't think likely, but that possibility was buried under an avalanche of malpractice and outright crap from the Trump legal team and its supporters, and the President's encouragement of this insanity via his twitter account demonstrates it is time for him to go.


Having said the above, I am reprinting, with some edits and additions, part of my November 23 post on Conspiracy Theories.  We should each use our independent judgement in assessing the validity of claims regarding election tampering.  We should not take at face value the crap from the President and his team.  And speaking of crap, the Democratic Party and its media allies have lost any credibility when it comes to commenting on Trump's efforts.  You simply cannot believe what they say.

Regarding the current electoral dispute, particularly that of manipulation of the voting systems, there is an aspect that explains, though it does not excuse, some of the current belief of Trump supporters in such a conspiracy; the Russia collusion hoax and the entire way the Democratic Party and its media allies have destroyed norms over the past four years.

As I've written, when the issue of possible collusion between the Trump campaign, or Trump himself, with the Russians was raised in late 2016 and early 2017 I thought there might be something to it.  Over the next four years I read more than 10,000 pages of original source documents, not relying upon being told by others what they said.

If you had told me in January 2017 the Clinton campaign had taken Russian disinformation regarding Trump, disseminated it to the media in an attempt to influence the election, and gone to the FBI in order to prompt it to obtain a warrant to spy on their opponent's campaign, I would not have believed it.

If you had told me in February 2017 that once Clinton unexpectedly lost the election, the Democratic party, federal bureaucrats (including the Director of the FBI deliberately lying to the President) and their allies in the media, would convert the campaign actions into a conspiracy to unseat the new President and, failing that to create an ongoing investigation designed to hamstring the administration, provide a continued series of media leaks, attempt to trap the President into an obstruction of justice charge, and damaging the President in the 2018 mid-terms, I would not have believed it.

But, in fact, that is what happened.  We had an unprecedented conspiracy at the highest levels of government.  The greatest scandal in American political history.  And it worked.  A November 2018 Economist/YouGov poll found that 63% of Democrats believed the Russians directly hacked the voting results in 2016, a conspiracy theory for which there is absolutely no evidence. The Democrats rode this to regaining the House in 2018 and the Mueller investigation would still be ongoing if Bill Barr had not finally stepped in to call a halt to the farce.

Moreover, those who believe Trump is the victim of an electoral conspiracy need merely look at Democrats and their media allies who for four years have denounced Trump as a Hitler-like figure who is destroying democracy and taking America down the road to fascism.  If they really felt that way, why wouldn't they feel justified in engaging in some election fiddling to stop him?  You'd do anything you could to stop Hitler, wouldn't you?

And once he took office, Democrats refused to recognize the legitimacy of the election.  Editors of major publications like the New York Times and New Yorker announced they would lie about the President because they would refuse to "normalize" him - a vow they more than fulfilled over the last four years (for two examples of what the Times is willing to normalize read this and this).  In the Senate, Democrats obstructed presidential nominees to an unprecedented extent, simply because they were nominees of Donald Trump.

And while they railed against Trump lies, most of his typical idiotic puffery variety, they had no compunction about repeatedly lying themselves (read, for example, Rushmore and Good People on Both Sides).  In a column in the pages of the Wall St Journal in May 2019 Holman Jenkins accurately described what has transpired:

Mr Trump is said to upset the norms of our political life, but how exactly?  By lying? By engaging in demagoguery?  By making absurd claims?  His real trick has been to be a one-man satire of our politics.  And so far he has yet to find an opponent or critic - whether Mr Biden, or Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney - who doesn't prove his point.

To show what a liar he is, his enemies entangle themselves in lies.  Democrats have turned themselves into a party of Adam Schiffs, who, whatever his previous virtues, now is wholly defined by his promotion of the collusion canard.  It's an amazing psychological feat to squander their advantage over Mr Trump in this way.

Ditto the media.  In their eagerness to traffic in falsehoods about Mr Trump, his media critics lend him strength.  We face the weird prospect now of a world-class scandal involving the FBI and the intelligence community being aired even while much of the press is committed to being part of the coverup.

And lest we forget - what about the U.S. Postal Service conspiracy that made headlines for weeks late this summer and early fall?  A story with no substance became the hook for a Democratic conspiracy theory about Trump stealing the election.

As for accepting the result of the 2020 election, pray tell me - what did the storeowners who boarded up their properties in Washington, Manhattan, Boston and other cities just prior to the election, anticipate?  Enraged Republicans storming the streets, wreaking havoc?  No, they knew from this summer's experience, it would be the paramilitary wing of the Democratic Party taking to the streets if Biden lost and they also knew that the Democratic politicians who rule those cities would allow it to happen just as they had during the summer.  It is impossible to overstate the impact of what happened in American cities this summer in terms of destroying norms.  We've had riots before.  The difference in 2020 was Progressive mayors in city after city standing aside, and often encouraging, while party supporters destroyed property and business and, since then violent crime has surged (and who knew that cities governed for decades by Progressives were such hellholes of racism?).  For the first time, Americans of all races understood that we are dependent on the whim of Progressives as to whether we would actually be protected against criminal elements.  We have entered a new world.

And speaking of what happened this summer, isn't the Black Lives Matter movement and Critical Race Theory one huge conspiracy theory?  Imagine, all the "evil" in the Western World attributable to, and explainable by, a single factor; a giant conspiracy to maintain white supremacy - the one thing that explains all.  And, if you deny it, it just proves you are part of the conspiracy.  It comes along with a full set of false narratives - Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Omar Mateen, disproportionate and exaggerated numbers of unarmed blacks killed by police - the list goes on and on.  This is classic conspiracy thinking in the guise of social justice and academic theory - more interested in authoritarian social transformation than in trying to solve some of the legitimate problems facing America regarding race.

Remember when before the election any claims about links between Hunter Biden, his father, and foreign powers was denounced as a Trumpian conspiracy, which most media refused to report on and saw Twitter actually shut down the feed of the New York Post which reported on the story?  Now that we know that the New York Post was correct and there is a DOJ investigation of Hunter it is evident there was a conspiracy - a conspiracy not to report legitimate stories if they undermined the anti-Trump narrative.

So while the Dominion voting machine conspiracy theory and other nonsense should be denounced and Trump needs to accept his defeat, we are not going to sit quietly and listen to lectures from Democrats and the media about "norms" and "conspiracies" when they've been complicit for four years in smashing norms, encouraging the conspiratorial fantasies of their followers, have yet to acknowledge their own shoddy behavior (indeed, they still mock those who say it is a hoax), lost the last shreds of their integrity, and making their own towering contribution to the destruction of trust in American institutions.

We are all slowly going crazy (well, some more quickly than others) and unless we find a way to halt this spiral the outlook is grim.

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