By now, we are all tired of hearing the repeated baseless claims that Donald Trump won the election and it was “stolen” from him by massive election fraud perpetrated by…um…somebody(s).
The continued repetition of these claims by Trump and the right wing media have deluded a sizeable part of the electorate into believing that the election was fraudulent. They claim that Joe Biden was not actually the winner, and is therefore not the legitimate President. They condone, and some even praise, the violence on January 6, based on that belief.
When Republican leaders are confronted on this, some say that Democrats made the same claims in 2016, and tried to overturn the EC vote. That was news to me, so I have been digging into this.
First, here’s a piece written by David Kyle Johnson, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at King’s College in Pennsylvania. He compares the protests and the claims in 2016/17 to those in 2020/21.
This piece was written on November 17, a few days after the election, but when you read it, you will see that virtually all the data available at that time is unchanged in the six months since then. Most of Trump’s court cases had already been thrown out. This was long before the violence on January 6th, and deals only with the claims of election fraud, and the denial that Biden was the legitimate President. Then Professor Johnson takes us back to 2016. There were massive protests on the day after the election. But there was one big difference from 2020. The protestors did not claim that the election was fraudulent. They were horrified that such a person could be elected. They carried signs that read “Not MY President.”
The demonstrations occurred in many major cities across the country, and were all peaceful. They did not attack the Capitol, invading and trashing it, nor did they threaten members of Congress, or delay the certification process. The author calls the comparison between the protests a “false equivalence.” That’s much too polite. It’s whacko whataboutery. I suspect even the perpetrators of this realize how disingenuous it is.
Another claim that has been made is that “different voting patterns” in 2020 compared to 2016 suggest the vote count was hacked. The claims center on the larger number of mail-in ballots in 2020, and the allegation that they are more subject to fraud. Recounts in many states have found no such fraud. Here’s a second piece with some new data that has not been widely publicized, and it completely refutes that.
Here is their summary, but you should have a look at all the data. It’s an eye-opener.
“(T)he biggest statistical indication Trump lost legitimately is supported by election data in the states he carried, not necessarily the ones he lost.
In simple win/loss percentage margins, Trump, in 2020, underperformed in 44 of the 51 states (including DC) versus the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.”
Now think about that. Was there election fraud in all 44 of those states where Trump did worse in 2020? Many of those states are hardcore Trump bastions, where the elections and vote counts were run entirely by Republicans.
Not MY President says I disapprove of the guy, even though he won.
Not THE President says the winner was elected by fraud, and is not our legitimate President..
Which group of protesters is the more dangerous to our democratic processes? Even if you ignore the insurrection on January 6, the claims of fraud undermine the confidence of the public in our institutions.
Add in that violence, and it’s clear that there is no equivalence between the 2016 and the 2020 protests.
The violent insurrection that Trump incited…gleefully…will go down in our history as a shameful attempt to overthrow our government.
Anyone who does not condemn that is not a loyal citizen of our country.