The following is a guest post from A Wuffle:
When President Trump says he really won the election, most Biden supporters think he is delusional and a candidate for an insane asylum, as are Trump voters who, in remarkably large numbers, believe him that there was massive fraud on the basis of exactly NO evidence. And, yes, he (and they) are wrong about the fraud. But please don’t be fooled into thinking that President Trump really believes that he won the 2020 election, or that he truly believes that fraud was rampant. This is a deliberate ploy! And it’s working!! Donald Trump is a lot smarter (and a lot less delusional) than liberals want to believe. Not being the idiot liberals paint him as, he read the handwriting on the wall re his presidential approval ratings and has known for quite a while that his 2020 coronation was far from inevitable.
Well before he actually lost, Trump had been setting himself up for a claim of being cheated of his legal victory. For most of this year there has been a steady drumbeat of tweets, with views echoed by his network of sycophants, that mail balloting was simply a recipe for fraud, and that the Democrats were preparing themselves to be the ones do the defrauding. That drumbeat has only intensified after the election.
Trump’s claim of fraud has been aided by the fact that some battleground states where Republicans controlled election mechanics delayed the counting of mail ballots until after the polls have closed. That guaranteed that the early vote was heavily Republican while the later predominantly mail-in vote slowly eroded Trump’s winning margins. In several battleground states, Trump’s early lead was eventually erased and he lost, though the initial tallies made it look very likely he would win. That sequencing made it so much easier to tell a story of an election stolen by the Democrats, than where the early vote showed a Democratic victory and later returns showed the Democratic margin falling, but not by enough to change the outcome, though that didn’t stop Trump supporters from calling foul in Arizona, where it was the late votes that favored Trump.
Trump initially succeeded in persuading more than 50 million of those that voted for him that “we wuz robbed.” Now that number seems to have shrunk to only somewhere around 30 million. Still, the outrage of folk believing they were cheated of a victory they earned, fueled by the next four years of Trump tweets, will generate extraordinary Republican turnout in 2022; and 2024. Trump’s role as Mr. Republican will continue, untainted by any appellation of him as that most despised of all creatures, “a loser.” His influence will be almost as strong out of office as in office. Any Republican who doesn’t fall in line will find himself fired –in a primary, that is. And if we don’t have Donald Trump to kick around again in 2024 in another presidential run, it won’t be because he is too old to seek office – just look at Joe Biden. And there is a Trump dynasty in place to succeed him, whose members are already being given prominence for their political roles rather than simply being praised for their alleged business acumen.
The media have emphasized that conservatives live in a bubble, where facts about the importance of mask wearing, and the need for social distancing, and the sheer stupidity of alienating our long-term democratic allies, don’t penetrate. And liberals can’t understand why Trump supporters somehow fail to recognize that, with lots of votes still outstanding, only a would-be dictator would demand that counting stop while they are still ahead. But liberals live in their own bubble. 48% of this country, more than 71 million people, voted for Donald Trump, and I bet most of you who read this essay, won’t know more than a handful of them, and for those you do know, you will have no idea why they voted as they did. Nor will most liberals have a clue as why some African-Americans and a quite substantial number of Hispanics (most of whom were not of Cuban descent) exhibited what any good Marxist would recognize as false consciousness and did likewise.
*A Wuffle is a political satirist whose poetry has been quoted by the United States Supreme Court, but unfortunately without mentioning his name. A shy person, he can be reached, via his long-time office mate, at Bgrofman@uci.edu