The 2020 election was a record-breaking election… in so many ways.
Never before have so many Americans voted in an election. More than 140 million people went to the polls, mailed in their ballots, or had them taken to the polling centers and collection boxes by friends, relatives, and ballot-harvesters.
Never before has a Democratic candidate received as many votes as Joe Biden received. Never before has a Republican candidate – incumbent or otherwise – received so many votes, with President Donald Trump’s 71 million supporters outnumbering even the historic turnout for Barack Obama in 2008.
Most impressive of all is the level of voter support President Trump received compared with the mandate that swept him into office in 2016. This year, 10 million more Americans voted for President Trump than turned out to support him four years ago. Presidential elections usually favor the incumbent, but this result is still remarkable given what we have witnessed since the last election in 2016.
Since before he even took the oath of office as commander-in-chief in January 2017, the president has been under relentless attack by the mainstream media. In fact, the Washington Post published a piece just a scant 19 minutes after he was sworn, with the title: “The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun.”
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Since then, the president had been under a constant barrage launched by the majority of the mainstream media.
Donald Trump had no “honeymoon” as president. In the last four years, he has been repeatedly accused of being a misogynist, an Islamophobe, a White supremacist, and an agent of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Forty million dollars of taxpayer money was wasted on the Mueller investigation, which found no evidence of conspiracy, even though Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, assured us he had repeatedly seen such proof behind closed doors.
As if that were not enough, as COVID-19 was wending its way across the globe from China to infect millions and kill hundreds of thousands, the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, thought it would be a good time to impeach the president over a phone call, the transcript of which he publicly released.
I could continue, but the point is a simple one. No president in modern times – not even Richard M. Nixon – has had to endure such a withering and constant barrage of calumny, inimical media coverage, and congressional subversion than the 45th president. That is why the recent election results are so stunning.
Despite being called a racist and the equivalent of a traitor again and again and again, millions more Americans voted for the president this year than they did the last time. That is truly remarkable. Would any other (establishment) politician have fared as well? Highly unlikely.
And let’s add one last remarkable fact. According to Election Day exit polls more Black, Hispanic, and other minority Americans voted for President Trump than any Republican since Eisenhower back in the 1950s. That includes almost 20% of the African American men, along with more than 20% of the gay and lesbian community. Whatever happens on Inauguration Day 2021, these results presage a fundamental disruption of the traditional political map of America.
However, the president did not reach the 270 threshold of Electorate College votes. The Biden-Harris campaign happily embraced the term “president-elect” and “vice president-elect” after every major network called the election for them…
But not so fast…
Yes, in common usage the putative winner of an American presidential election is labelled “elect” by the mainstream media. But reality is a little more complicated than that.
In a stroke of genius, our Founding Fathers knew that absolute democracy can all too easily lead to mob rule wherein the victorious majority is tempted to trample on the rights and wishes of the minority, and where the large population centers dominate over the sparsely populated rural communities. So it was that every state was given the same number of senators in our upper house, with tiny Hawaii having the same representation as Texas.
Additionally, the founders wanted to make sure that a presidential election would not be decided simply by whichever political machine could mobilize the largest share of the popular vote. And so, an arcane system called the Electoral College was created.
I would wager – with confidence – that most Americans believe that they are voting for Donald Trump and Mike Pence or Joe Biden and Kamala Harris when they fill in that circle on the ballot next to the pairing of their choice. Actually, they are voting for the respective state electors for those candidates. We didn’t legally choose our president on November 3. That won’t happen until December when the Electoral College electors cast their votes for Trump or Biden.
Until then, there is constitutionally no president-elect, just a real president – a man named Donald Trump, who can still become the legitimate president-elect should he have a certified win. But before that can happen, a few other things have to fall in place…
First, each state must certify their elections. This is usually a function of the secretary of state, chief clerk, or respective electoral authority. Given the claims of irregularities in key battleground states and a recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, that may take some doing.
What is the problem? Is this just a redux of the “hanging chads” debacle of 2000, which saw Al Gore contest the election results for 38 days until the Supreme Court settled the matter in favor of President George W. Bush? Hardly.
That was about the votes in one state, albeit the crucial one of Florida. This year, America witnessed controversies in multiple states, notably with four battleground states, which were trending for President Trump on the night of the November 3. As counting in those states dragged on over days and days… the president’s lead was gradually lost.
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But slow vote counting is not the real issue. The president’s personal attorney – former mayor of New York and U.S. Associate Attorney General Rudy Giuliani – has said the Trump campaign has as many as 70 witness who claim knowledge of voting irregularities in Pennsylvania. Giuliani said he also has witnesses in Wisconsin and Georgia. The irregularities include dead people being recorded as having voted, minors voting, and thousands of former Nevada residents, who appear to have moved out of the state, but were recorded as voting there.
All of these cases should rightly be investigated on the basis of their merits. And Attorney General William Barr has authorized the Department of Justice to investigate “substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities” since election fraud is both a federal and state crime. So theoretically, state authorities may not be able to certify their elections until these investigations bear fruit. Although the clock is ticking until the December Electoral College vote.
More disturbing than isolated or specific incidents of election fraud is the behavior of local authorities during the ballot counts, especially in the pivotal Keystone State of Pennsylvania. With arguments over how long to wait for the millions of mail-in ballots to arrive and what date stamp to recognize, the Supreme Court was asked to decide before the election how states such as Pennsylvania should guarantee that only legitimate ballots are counted.
In a Byzantine and clearly political decision (expertly analyzed here by Fox News commentator Andy McCarthy), Chief Justice Roberts maneuvered the Court in such a way as to punt the question until after the election, at which point it was, of course, irrelevant. Amazingly, Associate Justice Alito stepped in by himself on the Friday after the election. In his capacity as a federal circuit court judge, Alito ordered Pennsylvania not to co-mingle ballots that arrived after November 3 with the rest of the votes.
At one point, the Trump campaign complained that the local sheriff was refusing to let their election watchers into centers where the ballots were counted. Although campaign lawyers later acknowledged that Republicans witnesses were inside the center, the judge’s order did require city officials to allow the election monitors to stand closer to the counters.
The president and his team have an uphill battle to obtain meaningful legal redress before the December deadline. Judges should be driven exclusively by the law, but they are reluctant to overturn election results, no matter what the evidence. The best Team Trump can pray for is a strategy to make certification of key states technically impossible so that Camp Biden’s claim of a 270-plus Electoral College mandate is eroded before the final December vote.
Should that strategy succeed, according to the U.S. Constitution, the president must be elected by the House of Representatives. Intriguingly, this happens not with a simple vote of its members, which would see Biden anointed. In this extraordinary circumstance – explained on my show AMERICA First by Steve Bannon, former CEO of the 2016 Trump campaign – it is the delegations of each state that would choose the president. Right now, the Republican-led state delegations of the House outnumber the Democratic-led delegations by more than 20 votes, which would mean a second term for Donald Trump.
The chances of the latter scenario occurring are slim. But as someone who has worked for President Trump, if anyone can make this happen, it’s the man known as “The Closer”… a man who will fight until the bitter end.
And why shouldn’t he? Since November 3, all the president has asked for is that all legal and legitimate votes be counted. All Americans should want that and should agree with that legitimate demand. America should not be counting unverified ballots behind closed doors. We are not Venezuela – yet.
It is all the more important that we have a sense of confidence in the integrity of our presidential election given what we see elsewhere. Just a reminder: the GOP seems to have held on to the Senate, even with the potential run-offs, and Nancy Pelosi’s majority in the lower house has been hemorrhaging since the closing of the poll stations. Plus, not one statehouse across America fell to the Democrats. Yet we are expected to believe that the Republican president lost somehow? Strange, to say the least…
Lastly, conservatives should all applaud the president and his team’s efforts to ensure that all fraudulent votes are identified and canceled, for a Biden-Harris administration would subvert so much we believe in. Take a look at the liberals’ wish list:
In addition to threatening to pack the Supreme Court… abolish the Electoral College… lower the voting age… turn D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico in new (Democratic) states… and do away with the filibuster – all actions that will be stymied if Mitch Connell maintains control of the Senate – Kamala Harris has promised to use executive orders to target the Second Amendment… Biden has promised to stop building the Southern border wall… to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program… re-enter America in the Paris Climate Accords (which penalizes us while allowing China, India, and others to pollute)… and reinstate the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal (the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), which gave Tehran access to billions of dollars it can use to finance its destabilizing operations across the Middle East.
Oh, and there is even talk of moving our Israeli embassy out of Jerusalem and back to Tel Aviv. None of the above would be good for America or her friends.
And then there’s what happens to the domestic political scene. Think of just one deadly formula: What do you think happens if it turns out there was systematic voter fraud, but President Trump doesn’t get legal relief because the clock ran out on his petitions or judges simply weren’t brave enough to do the right thing? How will the 71 million Americans who voted for him – many of them highly committed and energized first-time voters – react if they feel they have been cheated, too?
Add to that leading Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez openly calling for an “archive” with the names of Trump supporters who have to be punished, and we have all the ingredients for a highly flammable America.
Sebastian Gorka, PhD was strategist to the president of the United States, is host of America First on the Salem Radio network, and is a presidential appointee to the Department of Defense’s National Security Education Board. His latest book is The War for America’s Soul. Follow him at @SebGorka. Photo: AP.