The media collectively declared former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the presidential election on Saturday, prompting non-socially distant celebrations nationwide (hey, I guess the pandemic is over—yay!) and even plenty of conservatives falling in line, calling Joe Biden the president-elect despite widespread allegations of fraud, irregularities, and forthcoming recounts. The narrative the media is presenting now is that Trump should simply concede gracefully, rather than persist in acting like a sore loser.
While much of the media has pressed forward with this narrative, conservative media outlet Newsmax refuses to call the election for Biden until all these questions are resolved. And yes, there are a lot of questions.
First, will Trump win Arizona? Trump appears on the path to overcoming Biden in the state, despite Fox News’ premature calling of the state.
How about the software update issue in Michigan? It’s been discovered in one county, and the same software is used by many others. If other counties forgot to update their software, it could be enough to turn the state red. The GOP-led legislature has called an emergency session over voting irregularities.
What about Wisconsin? Trump trails by merely 20,000 votes in the state, and there are reports that election clerks illegally modified thousands of mail-in ballots.
Is there hope in Nevada? Maybe. There are allegations that thousands of people who don’t reside in the state were allowed to vote.
But what about the big kahuna: Pennsylvania? On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ordered Pennsylvania to segregate votes received after 8 p.m. on Election Day, and all evidence suggests they are ignoring those orders, which could result in an interesting challenge in the courts.
To demonstrate just how consequential these questions are, if Trump comes out ahead in Arizona (which it appears he might) and if voting irregularities are resolved and flip both Wisconsin and Michigan, President Trump wins reelection—even before Georgia, Nevada, or Pennsylvania are even resolved.
As painful as it might be to draw this out, the media does not get to determine the winner of the election, the voters do. Every legal vote must be counted, and every illegal and fraudulent vote must be discarded.
So, yeah, as difficult as it might be for the Trump campaign to turn things around, it is still possible. And we have a duty to ensure that this election was legitimate and not stolen.
No matter what happens, our country has already suffered the damage of this contentious election.
“We’re at a place now where half the country will consider POTUS to be ‘illegitimate’ every 4-8 years,” tweeted pollster Frank Luntz on Sunday morning. “That is really unhealthy for our nation.”
There is really no point in denying that this is essentially true, but left out of Luntz’s tweet is the fact that Democrats are largely responsible for this unhealthy state of the nation. They have a history of insisting their defeats at the ballot box were illegitimate. Here are four major examples:
2000: George W. Bush
There isn’t much need to get into the details of this example. Many of us still remember well or have heard enough about it to know what went down. Florida was prematurely called for Al Gore, the networks took back the call, eventually called it for George W. Bush, then later took back the call. Gore conceded, unconceded and a hard-fought battle in the courts and a recount put our nation through turmoil for over a month. Hanging chads, butterfly ballots, overvotes and undervotes were debated endlessly. Democrats kept changing rules on what ballots were legitimate and which ones weren’t, trying to manufacture their desired result. Eventually, the Supreme Court had to step in and stop the madness. Their ruling to stop a faulty recount effectively ended the election there, delivering Bush a razor-thin victory and all of the state’s electoral votes.
Democrats called Bush “selected, not elected” and said he was “not my president” and a seemingly limitless number of slogans and accusations promoted the false belief that the election had been stolen. Many, to this day, still believe the election was stolen for Bush.
2004: George W. Bush (again)
Think George W. Bush’s decisive victory in 2004 resolved the accusations of him being an illegitimate president? Think again.
There are countless articles alleging Bush “stole” Ohio in 2004. Gore Vidal said so in The Nation, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. did as well in Rolling Stone. There are plenty of articles, such as in Vanity Fair, that make the same claim. But it’s the more official acts about the allegations that are, perhaps, more important.
As CNN reported on January 6, 2005, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) objected to the counting of Ohio’s electoral votes after alleging widespread “irregularities.” They claim they weren’t trying to overturn the result, but simply call attention to the problems.
The late Rep. John Conyers of Michigan led an investigation with Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee (which he was the ranking member of at the time) and even produced a report that attempted to prove that Ohio was “stolen” by George W. Bush.
2016: Donald Trump
For the past four years, we’ve been told repeatedly by the media that President Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. Rep. Adam Schiff claimed to have personally seen the evidence. There was a special counsel investigation, and that’s all we heard about Trump’s victory. And then the Mueller report concluded there was no evidence of it. Obama administration officials testified they never had any empirical evidence of collusion. It was all bogus. Even after the Mueller report came out Democrats still held onto the belief that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election.
2018: Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams lost decisively in her 2018 gubernatorial race in Georgia. A few baseless allegations of “voter suppression” were basically all it took for this liberal darling to get the support she needed from her side to say she was the legitimate victor of that election, despite Brian Kemp’s 64,000-vote margins of victory.
But the liberal media praised her refusal to concede (side note: she never conceded the election) and “mainstream” Democrats even backed up Stacey Abrams’ bogus claims of a stolen victory.
Howard Dean called on Abrams not to concede because Kemp “stole” the election. Last year, Hillary Clinton said during a keynote address at an event called In Defense of American Democracy, “We saw what happened in Georgia where Stacey Abrams should be governor of that state.” Elizabeth Warren claimed “massive voter suppression” is why Abrams lost. And so on.
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One thing you’ll realize here is that Republicans have not demonstrated a pattern of crying foul when they lose elections. We didn’t claim en masse that Barack Obama stole the election in 2008 or 2012. While some may be bitter at Ross Perot’s candidacy helping elect Bill Clinton in 1992, no one argues that Clinton’s victory was stolen. Many believe that John F. Kennedy’s razor-thin victory over Richard Nixon in 1960 was stolen, but even Nixon didn’t fight his defeat.
But Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon. He is gonna fight to ensure we know, one way or the other, that this election was legitimate and fair. Regardless of the ultimate result, we all deserve that much.
Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis