Has the Democratic Party perpetrated an electoral fraud? As with any crime—or alleged crime—we have to consider the means and the motive. The first part of that is easy enough to answer. Electoral fraud is an established part of American political life. In November 1960, for instance, incumbent Vice-President Richard Nixon conceded the presidential race to John Kennedy despite believing Mayor Daley’s Democratic machine had intervened to deprive him of victory in Illinois and his place in the White House. Electoral fraud was doable then and, with the exponential rise in mailed-in ballots and manipulatable electronic computations, even more doable now. This brings us to the matter of motive. Why would a municipal employee or a party apparatchik, often the same person, flout the law by subverting the electoral process? Easy. If I believed Donald Trump was a latter-day Benito Mussolini or even Adolf Hitler, it would be incumbent upon me to do everything—even “interrupting” democracy—in order to save democracy. There is, after all, no point playing by the rules when faced with the Prince of Darkness.
The American republic, as we have known it, is in crisis. The nation has largely divided into two warring tribes who view the other as a mortal—and civilisational—enemy. Extremism is not exactly new in the US, although in the past the demarcation line between normal and nutty ran through the parties and not between them. In 1960, for instance, the Democrats were an unlikely alliance of liberals, Dixiecrats and pragmatic opportunists like the Kennedys. JFK had been a family friend of Joe McCarthy and throughout the 1960 presidential race outflanked Nixon, one of the original Cold Warriors, by insisting that the Eisenhower–Nixon administration had allowed a “missile gap” to open up between the Soviets and the US. Long before he decided to run for the White House, Kennedy had believed Nixon was better suited than any other politician of their generation to succeed Eisenhower as President. So, when Nixon placed the standing or reputation of the democratic process before his own personal ambition, he was yielding to a man who fundamentally shared his worldview. He was not handing the White House to somebody he feared would destroy the American republic.
The accusations concerning the Great Election Fraud of 2020 are disturbing. As early as October, the Washington Times reported on the alleged existence of 1.8 million “ghost voters” in the system. One of the most famous cases of this turns out to be Smokin’ Joe Frazier, who is still voting in Philadelphia nine years after his death. There are claims that literally millions of postal votes were illegal or invalid and that Trump would have comfortably won Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere without electoral fraud. A torrent of litigations, indictments and legal appeals is now in the works but let us focus, for the moment, on Sidney Powell. Her views are not lightly dismissed. She is the anti-corruption attorney who wrote Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice (2014) and took over the role of Mike Flynn’s defence counsellor in 2019 (see “Mike Flynn’s Higher Loyalty”, Quadrant, July-August 2020). We surely have a problem if someone with Powell’s standing is now making this sort of claim about the Democratic machine’s responsibility for the Great Election Fraud:
They’ve done it in every way possible, from having dead people vote in record numbers, to absolutely fraudulently creating ballots that exist only for voting for Biden. We’ve identified over 450,000 ballots that miraculously only have a vote for Biden on them and no other candidate. If you look at Florida where things were done right, you can see that that is how the rest of the country should have gone. But they also used an algorithm to calculate the number of votes they would need to flip. And they used computers to flip those votes from Trump to Biden and from other Republican candidates to their competitors also.
If these suspicions are verified, the Democrats have pulled off a swindle that puts the 1960 Chicago scam in the shade. Big Media, along with the platforms of Big Tech, has been quick to denounce the Great Election Fraud as, at best, a misunderstanding on the part of Trump and his 71 million supporters and, at worst, a deliberate attempt by Trump to delegitimise an election outcome that was entirely on the level. Thus, the sudden jump of 200,000 votes for Joe Biden in Wisconsin at 4 a.m. on November 4 occurred because mail-in votes were counted in that state after the regular vote count and were always expected to favour Biden.
The claims of the Great Election Fraud echo those of the Great Kremlin Conspiracy (2016–19)—only all the key elements are reversed. Despite officially conceding the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton maintained thereafter that Trump’s presidency was illegitimate on account of a Russian disinformation campaign that undermined her in the months leading up to election day. In the week before election day 2020 she was still maintaining she had been robbed of what was rightfully hers and that she—and not Trump—should have been in the Oval Office these past four years. Within twenty-four hours of her concession speech in 2016, according to Jonathan Allen and Annie Parnes’s Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, Robby Mook, John Podesta and the entire Hillary Clinton communication team were assembled in their Brooklyn headquarters “to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up”. Apparently, coming together, joining the healing process, and moving on need only be practised by losing Republican candidates: “For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”
Big Brother was already along for the ride. Obama’s intelligence chiefs, including CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey, manufactured and disseminated the Great Kremlin Conspiracy, which featured Donald Trump and his campaign advisers as agents of the Kremlin who conspired with, and were the beneficiaries of, a Russian disinformation campaign. We now know, however, that the only collusion that took place in the period 2016-17 was between Democratic Party operatives, leading elements of the intelligence community and Big Media outlets such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, and CNN. Paradoxically, perhaps, the final report of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel (May 2017 to April 2019) provides all the proof required to reconfigure the Great Kremlin Conspiracy as the Russian Hoax.
The paradox is that the Democrats, Big Media and Big Brother expected Mueller’s investigation to destroy Trump, but it came up empty. Although the Special Counsel did not find the Trump campaign guilty of conspiring with Moscow—which was the whole point of the exercise—it nevertheless refused to explicitly and unequivocally say so. Thus, after spending $30 million and almost two years probing every possible accusation, lead and fantasy with a fine-toothed comb and finding nothing, Robert Mueller and his partner Andrew Weissman refused to adhere to the fundamentals of Anglo-Saxon (and American) justice—unproven equals not guilty and that is the end of the matter. Instead, the Mueller Report opted for this mealy-mouthed conclusion: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or colluded with the Russian Government in its election interference activities.” On the subject of the Trump campaign’s obstruction of justice throughout the duration of the Special Counsel, Mueller and Weissman’s verdict was even more deceitful: “[The Special Counsel] does not conclude that the President committed a crime” but it “also does not exonerate him”.
The relevance of the Great Election Fraud to the Great Kremlin Conspiracy is this: the non-findings of the Special Counsel gave Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party, Obama’s intelligence community chiefs and not least Big Media an opportunity to atone for (intentionally or inadvertently) deceiving the American people. Donald Trump was a political opportunist—yes—but not the Prince of Darkness in league with Vladimir Putin. But the enemies of Trump would not let it go. This year, for instance, Weissman published Where the Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation, which maintains that had Robert Mueller not wound down the Special Counsel when he did, some instance of collusion might have been eventually uncovered. Pointedly, in May 2019, after the publication of the Mueller Report, Joe Biden stated that he “absolutely agreed” with the notion that Trump was an “illegitimate president”. The very same people who spruiked the Russian Hoax (and later the 2019-20 Ukraine Hoax) without ever apologising for their participation in one of the great deceits in recent political history, expect the American people, not least those who voted for President Trump, to reject out of hand the idea of the Great Election Fraud without any further ado—let alone a Special Counsel investigation.
Walter Lippman, as I noted in “Big Media and the Great Kremlin Conspiracy” (Quadrant, June 2019), argued as long ago as 1922 that modern America had become “altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting” for the private citizen, bound by the limits of “subjective, biased, and necessarily abridged mental images”, to pursue meaningful interpretation without expert opinion. The fate of American democracy, therefore, relied upon the Fourth Estate playing honest broker, interpreting unfolding events with a commitment to accuracy, authenticity and fair-mindedness, and not manipulating the public. The establishment media failed in its role as an honest broker during the Great Kremlin Conspiracy and so for the wider public—that is, beyond its pro-Biden readership—it has no credibility when it censors claims or evidence that appears to corroborate the Great Election Fraud. Big Media in conjunction with Big Tech really are—as populist-patriots have asserted all along—“the opposition party”. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg might see themselves as the arbiters of the truth about the 2020 election but few outside their progressivist tribe will be convinced. According to a poll released by Gallup in the run-up to election day, most Americans had “little to no trust” that the media would report stories “fully, accurately, and fairly”.
Trump saw off the Russian collusion-delusion and was acquitted by the Senate in the Ukraine-related impeachment trial at the start of 2020, only to be confronted with the emerging challenge of COVID-19. The collaboration between Big Media and the Democratic Party intensified as the two weaponised the pandemic to reduce Trump’s chances of re-election. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo argued that President Trump was “responsible for every death” in America due to COVID-19 because he “lied” and was “totally incompetent”. Cuomo estimated that 110,000 Americans alone died because Trump “won’t wear a mask”. Cuomo’s brother, CNN commentator Chris Cuomo, wrote American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic in praise of Andrew’s management of the pandemic in the state of New York. We should point out that Andrew Cuomo is now accused of a policy catastrophe that surpasses Victorian Premier Dan Andrews’s hotel-quarantine fiasco. On March 25, it is now alleged by the Justice Department, Governor Cuomo directed nursing homes in New York to accept Covid-positive patients, resulting in the deaths of more than 6000 seniors. Andrew Cuomo has rejected the charge: “What a shock that the Department of Justice sent a letter days before an election trying to advance a political theory.”
The Democrats were within their rights to question President Trump’s handling of the pandemic. He certainly appeared overly optimistic about how quickly the country would get on top of the coronavirus. But their denunciation of the Trump administration’s performance can only be described as hysterical, hypocritical and inaccurate—not helpful qualities in the midst of a national crisis. For instance, the Biden–Harris team unswervingly maintained that President Trump once referred to COVID-19 as a hoax. An AP Fact Check, while critical of Trump’s early optimism about keeping coronavirus deaths in the US to 100,000, clearly shows that the hoax he referred to was the Democrats’ weaponising of COVID-19 and not the virus itself. Suggesting otherwise—as in Biden–Harris campaign advertising—simply confirms Trump’s original point that the Democrats would exploit a national tragedy for partisan political gain. In her one-off debate with Vice-President Pence, Kamala Harris boasted she would refuse a vaccine if one became available on Trump’s watch: “But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it—then I’m not taking it.” This is not political scepticism but straight-out demonisation.
If America is to learn any “leadership lessons” from the pandemic, it would be that lockout—as pioneered by Taiwan and later Australia and New Zealand—is far more advantageous in combating a pandemic than lockdown. Most observers expected Taiwan, in unenviable close proximity to China’s Fujian province, would be overwhelmed by the pandemic; and yet there have been only been seven deaths among a population of 25 million. Moreover, the island has now been Covid-free for more than 200 consecutive days without mandating facemasks, let alone enforcing a lockdown, temporary, partial, regional or otherwise. One obvious explanation for this is geography. For many countries, unfortunately, it is logistically impossible to pull up the drawbridge. The Taiwanese also had the advantage of distrusting Beijing’s early narrative about the non-communicability of the coronavirus emerging from Wuhan. Travellers from the PRC were being monitored as early as December 31, 2019, and totally prohibited a week before President Trump made a similar decision on January 31 and Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison one day after.
The restrictions or lockout Trump imposed on travellers from the PRC at the end of January were opposed by key figures in the Democratic Party, including Biden: “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia and fear-mongering.” Trump’s decision, as it happened, did not have the same ameliorating effect as Australia’s because as many as 400,000 Chinese nationals, many from Wuhan, had already entered the US by then. It was Australia’s good fortune that the number of incoming Chinese nationals over January is low, as our schools return from summer vacation in February and universities as late as March. But Trump was on the right track, which is more than can be said about Biden’s unscrupulous virtue-signalling. It was the same story when President Trump floated the possibility of imposing a quarantine (that is, a lockout) on New York. None other than Governor Cuomo denounced the idea as anti-American; he had much the same reaction when authorities in Rhode Island suggested isolating their state from Covid-infected New York. Ironically, Andrew Cuomo now wants to make out-of-staters entering New York undertake mandatory coronavirus testing and quarantining—ten months too late.
The pandemic was a jolt to Trump’s prospects beyond his being held “responsible for every death”. For example, it is unlikely that the level of urban destruction and chaos visited upon America during the summer of 2020 would have occurred without the pandemic and its attendant lockdowns and post-lockdown fever. The death on May 25 of George Floyd in police custody convinced many that the American Dream is a white-supremacist conspiracy and that the commencement of slavery in 1619, to reiterate the sentiments of Malcolm X and the modern-day professoriate, more truthfully defines the dynamics of contemporary society than the founding of the American republic in 1776. The subsequent rioting, arson and looting in cities across the nation, spearheaded by Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists, served as a form of propaganda by deed: Donald Trump is an apologist for white supremacism and the cities of Amerikkka were on fire as a result. Team Biden and Big Media characterised the 2020 presidential race as the Healer-in-Chief (2.0) versus the Provocateur-in-Chief.
Trump’s frustration that his greatest achievements—including three years of astonishing economic growth that brought the rate of African-American participation in the work force to a record high—had been undermined by the pandemic revealed itself in the September 30 televised debate. Joe Biden’s work rate might have been poor throughout the campaign, his oratory lacklustre and the early signs of cognitive decline apparent to all but Big Media, and yet the seventy-seven-year-old Biden deflected Trump’s attacks with the skill of a man who had been a professional politician for almost half a century. Hank Steuer, writing for the Washington Post, was able to call the debate “one of the worst moments in television history” and claim that Trump had “debased the medium that made him”. Even the pro-Trump Breitbart referred to the debate as a “food fight”.
The immediate outcome of the first debate was that the polls—those ever-reliable polls—continued to indicate a steady double-digit lead for Biden and electoral wipe-out for Trump. In hindsight, nevertheless, three potent issues had been broached. First, the devastating admission by Biden that he had not personally investigated, even along the lines of a single phone call to (say) the municipal authorities in Portland, Oregon, the destruction and mayhem caused by the BLM/Antifa insurgency. For some, at any rate, the former Vice-President seemed less concerned about the unrest itself than how the unrest suited his campaign. Second, Trump repeatedly mentioned Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden being the recipient a $3.5 million transfer of funds to his private account. Chris Wallace, the moderator of the debate, never pressed the matter and viewers might not have realised why Trump had it in for Biden’s son. A writer for Forbes later made that very point—why go after Biden’s family? It was not as if Joe Biden himself received a payment of $3.5 million from the ex-wife of the mayor of Moscow. However, for anybody familiar with Peter Schweizer’s Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends (2018), the family connection is exactly how America’s political class obtains illicit income doing favours for foreign governments and foreign companies, often at the expense of patriotic Americans. The third point of note was Trump’s insistent assertion that Democrat operatives were planning to steal the November 3 election.
It looked as if the October surprise this time around would be the announcement that Donald Trump, within forty-eight hours of the debate, had contracted COVID-19. Doubtless there are a hundred salient points to be drawn from Trump’s bout with the coronavirus, but we shall restrict ourselves here to two. The reaction of Trump’s enemies to his diagnosis proves beyond doubt that Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. To cite but one case, Zara Rahim, a staffer for President Obama and later a spokesperson for Hillary Clinton, tweeted a death wish: “It’s been against my moral identity to tweet this for the past four years, but I hope he dies.” Why was Rahim so ready to discard her moral identity? What overwhelming sense of outrage had incited her to hope that a seventy-four-year-old man would end his days attached to a ventilator, every breath like breathing in a lungful of broken glass? Whatever the cause of Trump Derangement Syndrome, we must assume that it is powerful enough to drive a person to abandon their regular moral identity or professional integrity.
Michael Moore is the first to dismiss the Great Electoral Fraud as an absurd self-serving conspiracy theory, and yet his response to Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis shows how deep conspiracism runs on the other side of the political divide. Moore’s first reaction was to hope “the virus would make a speedy recovery”. Next he was claiming, without any evidence, that Trump was not ill but faking the whole thing in order to show that COVID-19 was a hoax. Then, only hours later, Moore introduced a new conspiracy theory that entirely contradicted his earlier one: “The lying continues. They claim Trump only has ‘mild symptoms’. So why hasn’t he sent a single tweet? Something has to be very, very wrong for there to be no tweets for 15 hours—a record.” Next day Donald Trump made a confident television appearance in his customary blue suit, an absent tie the one concession to his stay in the Walter Reed Medical Center.
And then the Murdoch-owned and conservative-leaning New York Post published arguably the most astonishing October surprise in the history of October surprises: the contents in the hard drive of one of Hunter Biden’s three abandoned laptops indicated that Joe Biden was complicit in his son’s business dealings with Ukraine’s Burisma energy company and the Shanghai-based conglomerate China Energy Co. The emails show Hunter Biden using his father’s position to extract money from the Burisma board—already he was receiving a monthly stipend of $50,000—while proposing a 10 per cent bonus from China Energy in order to satisfy “The Big Guy” back in Washington. Hunter Biden, unlike Hillary Clinton, had been extremely careless. On April 12, 2019, he had left three water-damaged MacBook Pro laptops at a computer shop in Delaware with instructions for the operator of the business, John Paul Mac Isaac, to retrieve the hard-drives if possible. Perhaps because of a memory affected by a long drug habit, Hunter never returned for his laptops, which under the terms of the service ticket became the property of John Paul Mac Isaac after six months. The pushback by the Biden campaign to an email showing Vadym Pozharskyi, a Burisma executive, thanking Hunter Biden for having introduced him to Vice-President Biden during his Washington stay in April 2015 was unconvincing. The Biden campaign did not attempt to dismiss the purported Pozharskyi–Hunter Biden correspondence as a forgery. They did not even deny outright that the arranged Pozharskyi–Joe Biden tête-à-tête took place, only that it was never officially recorded. Candidate Biden offered no counter-narrative to the bombshell disclosures: “I have no response. It’s another smear campaign.”
What happened next tells us all we need to know about the one-party mentality of Big Media and its digital delivery platforms, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia and so on. They did their best to suppress or at least discredit the story. Twitter, for instance, locked the New York Post’s access to its platform. CEO Jack Dorsey later apologised, and yet the newspaper’s original reports remained censored: “While we’ve updated the policy, we don’t change enforcement retroactively. You will need to delete the Tweets to regain access to your account.” Facebook’s public policy and legal expert, Anna Makanju, took a similar line in her own company, dramatically minimalising the distribution of the New York Post’s story. The Washington Post deemed the hard-drive scandal a “non-scandal” and the vast majority of American media outlets essentially ignored the story. The same Big Media that spruiked the Great Kremlin Conspiracy and the Ukraine Hoax with such reckless abandon and cheerfully released Trump’s hacked tax returns for the previous twelve years was too professional to address the criminality of the Biden family because Hunter’s emails might have been hacked. If not for double standards, as the saying goes, Big Media would have no standards at all.
This essay appears in December’s Quadrant
With or without the October surprise in his sails, Trump finished the last weeks of the campaign in tremendous form. The issue of COVID-19 finally turned in his favour after Biden admitted that if elected to office he would back European-style punitive lockdowns and bring the economy to its knees. Trump also made much of Biden’s admission in the second debate that if elected he would transition the US away from oil production and thereby undermine the energy independence the country has achieved under Trump. While Biden made few campaign appearances in the final stretch, Trump blitzed Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Big Media doggedly downplayed Trump’s foreign policy breakthroughs in the Middle East but it was hard to ignore the fact that Trump, who only weeks before had been hospitalised with COVID-19, was on a roll. Reports came out showing the economy had rebounded by an astonishing 33 per cent during the third quarter of 2020. Trump’s economic nationalism (America First) was, deep in the Year of Covid, back on track. Though most polls continued to give Biden a double-digit lead until the very end, we can assume they were as inaccurate throughout as they were in 2016. Until the Wisconsin vote went into reverse (on Wednesday evening, Australian time), there was every reason to believe Trump had effected what the Americans would call a Red Wave. The strong showing of the Republicans in the Senate where they will retain a majority, and in the House of Representatives where many pro-Trump candidates were swept into power and the Democratic majority was greatly reduced, shows there was indeed a Red Wave.
The push came for Trump to concede to Biden—even if he believes a massive electoral fraud took place—so that America’s two political tribes might reconcile themselves after a hard-fought election. This is also the opinion of Big Media, including the Murdoch press and even the New York Post. Trump, they said, should do the right thing as Nixon did in 1960. When Big Media unilaterally decided that Joe Biden won the 2020 election fair and square, and that it was time for everyone to unify, Rudy Giuliani had this sharp response: “Networks don’t get to decide elections. Courts do.”
Giuliani is exactly right in a number of ways. First, what credibility does Big Media—or Hollywood celebrities, Big Tech, John Brennan, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and so on—now have to play the role of fair-minded arbitrator? Second, remaining silent after the Democratic machine (allegedly) broke the rules does not serve the long-term interests of the democratic process. It will only encourage future criminality. There now appear to be enough blatant irregularities in areas controlled by the modern-day Democratic machine—Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan—to warrant a formal investigation before a final decision is made. Sidney Powell, for instance, believes digital computations might have been out by as much as 3 per cent in such states. It is not surprising that the Republican Party has set up legal teams to examine the “electoral irregularities” in these three states and Arizona. Finally, if the US Supreme Court has to adjudicate the final outcome, as many expect, it will not be the first time.
Joe Biden, as I write, is calling for Trump and the Republicans to stop contesting the legitimacy of the count and trust in the integrity of the democratic process: “It is time for our better angels to prevail.” Trump’s reluctance to accept the legitimacy of the original 2020 count supposedly demonstrates the truth that he has all along been a tyrant-in-the-making. One flaw in this argument is that the “better angels” of the Democrats—including Joe Biden—did not prevail after election day in 2016, apart from Hillary Clinton’s initial concession speech. Enough examples of this have been provided here but let us add to the mix Nancy Pelosi ripping up, in full view of the world, her personal copy of President Trump’s 2020 State of the Union Address. Where was her “better angel” or “moral identity”—let alone common sense—when she metaphorically spat in the face of the esteemed chief of the Deplorable tribe?
Daryl McCann, a regular contributor, has written extensively on US politics. He has a blog at http://darylmccann.blogspot.com.au, and tweets at @dosakamccann