There is nothing to lose, and everything to gain, from a full-on Trump offensive.
Trump Needs to Shine the Light on Election Fraud
Capitulating to threats and accusations will teach the Left a dangerous lesson.
Trump needs to have overwhelming evidence of election fraud, and he needs to bring that evidence to light in very public hearings. Without such evidence, his claims won’t be taken seriously enough—by the press or a sufficient number of the electorate—to ensure a peaceful transition to a second term.
The rush job to affirm Biden as president-elect by the media and the Democrat Party is not constitutionally required, and indeed smacks of a kind of desperation to avoid scrutiny. Contrary to their claims, Trump’s thorough investigation of potential large-scale election fraud is fully in accord with the Constitution. As the one in whom executive power is vested, he has the constitutional obligation to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and that includes laws designed to ensure that voting is not fraudulent.
But even if Trump doesn’t manage to uncover sufficient evidence of election fraud, we need to understand the deeper philosophical reasons why the Democrat Party operatives would use fraud to win this election. This is important because it makes clear both why suspicion is warranted, and how deep that suspicion should be.
I set aside the obvious significant examples of voter fraud in the Democratic political machines of Tammany Hall and Mayor Daley. We need to focus on more recent history.
A great swath of the Left has been directly or indirectly influenced by the tactics of Saul Alinsky, the leftist rabble rouser so influential in Hillary Clinton’s and Barak Obama’s lives and hence in almost two generations of work and thought by Democrat strategists.
Alinsky’s direct advice was to demonize the opposition. In his Rules for Radicals (1971), Alinsky bluntly stated, “Before men can act an issue must be polarized. Men will act when they are convinced that their cause is 100 per cent on the side of the angels and that the opposition is 100 per cent on the side of the devil.”
Thus, for Alinsky, the revolutionary elite had to demonize the opposition as a matter of strategy. No good qualities of the opposition could therefore be admitted. They needed to be portrayed to one’s revolutionary base as the equivalent of Hitler and his Nazis (Alinsky’s actual example).
The bad effect on our republic is two-fold.
First, Democrat Party operatives on the national and local level who truly believe that they are fighting the equivalent of Nazis will also believe that they are morally justified in doing anything to destroy them, including participate in voter fraud—just as one should have done anything, fair or foul, to defeat Hitler in World War II. (Again, Alinsky’s example.)
Faced with Hitler (or what one has been goaded into believing is Hitler’s equivalent), a person can in good conscience use the most Machiavellian tactics to bring about righteous victory, including election fraud. (And yes, Alinsky offers his praise of Machiavelli in this very context about what means are allowable. The answer: any, for the desired end.)
Second, if one’s base believes that those who oppose voter fraud and advocate investigating it really are the equivalent of Nazis, then they will either believe fraud is justified or dismiss any evidence of fraud as itself fraudulent.
What that means, in our current political context, is that a significant number of dedicated partisans on the Left don’t see election fraud as a problem. They either view it in almost heroic terms because Trump/Hitler must be defeated at any and all costs, or they attribute the charge of fraud to the irredeemable character of Trump and anyone who would stoop so low as to support him.
In this first group are not only the Democrat operatives in a position to carry out fraud, but those (mostly young) voters who are particularly susceptible to the kind of demonizing Alinskyite rhetoric against Trump that continually gushes forth on social media. These younger voters have been thoroughly shaped by their digital environment and persuaded “that the opposition is 100 per cent on the side of the devil.” Given this belief that they are literally in a state of war with the devil, they are convinced that “force and fraud…are cardinal virtues” (to quote Machiavelli’s disciple, Thomas Hobbes).
This is very dangerous. It isn’t just fraud that threatens this election, but the threat of force—in terms of riots—if there is any other result than Trump’s defeat. And if the head Nazi goes down, then all his followers must be scouted out and dealt with by a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”—so we’ve been warned by the most ardent on the Left.
But that isn’t the whole Left, and certainly does not represent the millions of decent people who cast their votes for Biden and believe that elections should be free and fair. For Trump to win, he must reach these people, and convince them with overwhelming and very public evidence, soberly presented, that there was significant election fraud— more than enough to illegally swing the election toward Biden, and more than enough to present a deep danger to all future presidential elections. He must avoid losing Americans’ confidence by showing that he is indeed making clear progress toward a constitutional resolution of the election.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.