Though many things have changed in American political life over the past couple of years, one aspect remains a comforting constant: Democrats never lose an election. Not really. Not fairly.
Sure, elections can be stolen. Americans can be misled. Big Oil or Big Business can buy elections – because these institutions possess the preternatural ability to control human actions. Voter always fail to understand what’s good for them (which, amazingly enough, always aligns with the state-expanding goals of the Left.) Whatever the case, something fishy and nefarious must also be going on, because there’s absolutely no way voters could reject Democrats.
From the night of Nov. 8 onward, the political coverage has been dominated by a series of conspiracies to explain the election of Donald Trump. Never acceptance. Always denial.
Comey did it.
Weeks after the election, conventional wisdom had coalesced around the idea that FBI Director James Comey’s letter informing Congress that the bureau had found new evidence relating to the criminal investigation had irreversibly changed the election. Many Democrats accused Comey of attempting to win the election for Trump. After hammering Trump with one accusation after the next– some of them legitimate and some of them completely unproven — Democrats seemed to believe their candidate should be immune from news of her own doing. Clinton, after all, was the one who used a secret server to circumvent transparency. She was the one who sent unsecured classified documents on that server. She was the one who attempted to destroy the evidence related to this investigation. She was the one who lied to the American people about it. And Clinton was nominated by Democrats, who never seriously entertained any another candidate.
Conspiracy theories over rigged elections are nothing new; we saw them 2000 and 2004 (according to David Remnick, John Kerry believes he was cheated out of the presidency because of supposed irregularities in Ohio). Trump had also peddled the “rigged” election conspiracy before Election Day. I remember this, because I was told that the GOP nominee was irreparably undermining public trust in our institutions. By devoting much covering to stories that not newsworthy, our media does the same. Like, for instance, giving partisan “experts” widespread attention and legitimacy might convince millions of people to take seriously the idea that Clinton “may have been denied” as many as 30,000 votes in Wisconsin.
The Constitution screwed us, again.
We are now in the midst of widespread anguish over the imaginary popular vote. Not only is the system we’ve used to elect presidents since the founding of the republic “unfair” and “undemocratic,” but like anything else progressives dislike these days, it’s a tool of “White Supremacy—and Sexism.” And it’s not only illiberal pundits such as Mark Joseph Stern who peddle myths about the Electoral College, but Democrats such as E.J. Dionne and Michael Tomasky, both of whom misrepresented the reasons for proportional voting and the make-up of representation in DC. One could argue that Democrats oppose dispersing political power and states’ rights, but that would be giving them far too much credit. They only seem to oppose those things when they’re losing elections.
After some ginned up alarm over the proliferation of “fake news,” Hillary joined the chorus by claiming it was “an epidemic” in America. The fake news panic of 2016 is a variation on a long-held liberal notion that people are too easily manipulated by conservatives. This is one of the reasons Democrats are interested in empowering the state to ban political speech by overturning Citizens United or passing a Fairness Doctrines or handing control of the Internet to the government. Conspiracy theories are prevalent in American political life. And it’s difficult to dispute that voters are often susceptible to believing stories that reinforce their preexisting views about the world. Fake news comes in many variations, though, and no one is innocent. At one point, more than half of Democrats believed that George Bush knew about 9-11 before it happened. And since most of the media treated Trump as if he had absolutely no chance of winning the election, this unfathomable turn of events has to be explained by something.
The Russians are coming.
Now, we’re shifting into our Russia Panic phase. The CIA – or at least one leak from the CIA, as of now – claims that the Russians had attempted to interfere in the election to assist Donald Trump. This seems wholly plausible, considering Trump’s favorable view of Putin, and should be fully investigated. There’s still debate among U.S. intelligence services about the Russian hacks, but that hasn’t stopped some Democrats from questioning the patriotism of those who refuse to accept their own hysterical version of events. Paul Krugman, before ever seeing the evidence, has declared the election illegitimate. (Electors pretending that 2016 was stolen for Trump are at least demanding to see the CIA report.)
Well, unless the Russians transformed Hillary Clinton into an unlikable, ideologically malleable, corrupt, inveterate fabricator over the past 30 years, the claims that the Russians stole an election should, like all other panics this season, be received with a giant dose of skepticism.
Of course, there will always be overarching theories about why Republicans win elections – like assuming half the country are racist. The Left is so enveloped by its identity politics, it may not understand that the other half of the country is sick of it. But, while I’m no fan of Donald Trump, Democrats have been demanding I panic over every cabinet pick, every statement and the things that are 1) the sort of things that were completely ok with them during the Obama administration and 2) the types of things that any mainstream Republican would engage in. Now, I’m not in the business of concern trolling, but before we shift to yet another conspiracy theory, it might behoove Democrats to look inward to explain their historic losses since the passage of Obamacare in 2010.