If Americans Can No Longer Trust Our Elections, We’re In Big Trouble

If Americans Can No Longer Trust Our Elections, We’re In Big Trouble

This is an incredibly dangerous moment for the country and may be a pivotal point in the future of America’s democratic republic. Did we just cross the Rubicon?
Willis L. Krumholz
By

The polls from the major networks and universities promised a blue wave. President Trump was down by at least 10 points nationally, and by nearly that much or more in the major swing states. The few pollsters, including Trafalgar, who got 2016 and 2018 right and called 2020 a close race, were widely ridiculed.

Nate Silver, a leftwing poll analyst, was chief among the critics. Silver gave former Vice President Joe Biden a nearly 70 percent chance of winning Florida.

Immediately on Election Day, turnout looked good for the GOP. Trump won Florida decisively and by 8:30 p.m. Central Time, and made huge inroads in urban areas. While Hillary Clinton won Miami-Dade County by 30 points in 2016, the 2020 Trump ticket was down only single digits in the county.

That’s because Trump made significant gains among nonwhite Americans, and according to exit polls had the second-highest nonwhite share of the vote of any Republican since 1976. Cuban Americans are a big reason for Trump decisively winning Florida, but Trump’s gains with minority voters are a nationwide trend. The flipside was lower black and Hispanic turnout for Democrats—except for several major Democratic cities in contested swing states.

In other words, a significant margin of minority voters who didn’t defect to Trump decided not to vote. Indeed, a Bloomberg article days before the election cited anonymous Biden officials who said the campaign was worried about black and Hispanic turnout due to a lack of a ground game in these traditionally Democratic strongholds. But the warnings had gone unheeded.

Instead, the campaign hoped to make up these lost minority votes with gains in the suburbs, particularly among white women. In the end, Trump gained among white women compared to 2016, and only appeared to marginally lose votes from white men—many of which may have been upper-class suburban white men.

Back to Election Night

On election night, Trump’s decisive win in Florida was a bellwether to punters in the betting markets. The Trump campaign also seemed to outperform Election Day voting in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, especially given the turnout seen in Florida. A shy Trump vote did exist, especially in the suburbs among women, and the GOP was morphing into a working-class, increasingly multiracial party. Betting odds swung in Trump’s favor, peaking at around 85 percent.

That’s when things went south for the Trump campaign. In a yet unexplained move, states including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin stopped releasing vote counts on election night. Fact-checkers have noted that these states didn’t stop counting—fair enough—but not why they stopped releasing the results of their counting.

Come 4 a.m. the next morning, huge amounts of fresh Biden votes were reported. Trump’s betting odds plummeted, and days later the media declared Biden to be the president-elect.

Except 70 percent of Trump voters, who comprise half the country, are convinced of massive election fraud. Yet corporate media has no intention of investigating claims of fraud. Instead, it has pivoted from saying there is “no evidence” of fraud, to saying that not enough evidence exists to overturn the results.

Contrary to the hope of Trump supporters, the courts will probably be powerless to sort these issues out. This is an incredibly dangerous moment for the country and may be a pivotal point in the future of America’s democratic republic. Did we just cross the Rubicon?

The Morning After

Before all else, we must go to the source of distrust over this election. Whereas Florida finished counting votes on election night, and has a system that knows roughly how many votes are outstanding and will be counted before election night is over, in key states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin an unknown number of ballots could come in at the last second. And they did.

For that, thank Democrat lawsuits to overturn state voting laws at the last second, using COVID as a pretext. For those who doubt that the suits were nakedly political, note that they looked like a wish list based on a bill Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi authored in 2019 to accomplish nationwide mail-in voting.

Many of the suits were quarterbacked by former Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias, who was involved in manufacturing Russiagate’s Christopher Steele “dossier.” Like most things rotten in this country, particular blame should be placed on the courts that decided bureaucrats could unilaterally rewrite state laws to turn absentee voting into mail-in voting.

There was no good reason to remove requirements that absentee ballots arrive before the end of Election Day, nor to allow the fraud-welcoming practice of “ballot-harvesting.” The John Roberts Supreme Court stood idly by and let lower courts rip up longstanding state election law. Democrats and the media complain that the legislatures should have acquiesced and affirmed this judicial tyranny by changing the law to allow ballots to be counted before Election Day. That would have only put the legislature’s seal of approval on a mess that the courts stupidly created.

Mail-In Balloting Is an Easier Fraud Mark

Regardless of the existence or level of fraud in the 2020 election, it is a fact that mail-in balloting opens elections to the likelihood of massive fraud and chaos. First, there’s an easy opportunity for cheating, given the unknown number of ballots that can come in. Because ballots can be accepted after election day, an unscrupulous faction that lags in earlier counting can come up with the votes to make the difference.

Second, there’s less accountability for election officials. In a normal election, it is possible to immediately tell how many votes are cast and from where—once the votes are cast, all that’s left is to count the votes, because officials know by ward and precinct how many votes are in and what type have been cast (are the votes early in-person, absentee, or election day in-person?). Not so for mail-in voting.

One can have a recount, but that will only recount the same bad ballots.

Then, once the counting starts, mail-in voting brings problems of a haphazard chain of custody and reduced controls over voter-eligibility verification. All this is why one can have a recount, but that will only recount the same bad ballots.

The obvious problems with mail-in voting are not a rightwing conspiracy. France banned mail-in voting in the 1970s for these very reasons. In a recent New Jersey mail-in election, about 20 percent of the ballots cast were found to be fraudulent. A local New York election this year saw huge delays in processing ballots. A 2012 article in the New York Times warns that regular old absentee voting could screw up the electoral process, let alone allowing ballots to come in after election day.

Independent left-leaning journalist Glenn Greenwald writes Georgia had an 80 percent chance to go for Trump on election night, ostensibly because of a good Republican turnout. But so many ballots came in for Biden the next morning that the state ostensibly swung to Biden’s favor, due to major Democratic turnout in the Democratic stronghold of Fulton County.

This doesn’t prove fraud, but Greenwald calls this seesaw process in which many areas are counting votes nearly a week after the election a “disgrace.” “Distrust in U.S. outcomes [under such a system] is dangerous but rational,” writes Greenwald.

‘No Evidence’ of Any Fraud?

The media, Democrats, and many establishment Republicans have reflexively repeated that “no evidence” of fraud existed. Yet evidence does exist. The stories coming out of major vote-counting centers are shocking, and only add to the distrust. Dozens upon dozens of witnesses have signed affidavits attesting wrongdoing or highly inappropriate behavior from officials who are supposed to be impartial.

Detroit poll challengers have signed affidavits, under penalty of perjury, that they saw election workers counting ballots for non-eligible voters, and the double counting of voters. These persons say they were harassed constantly, and that election workers and Democratic operatives would get in their faces and start screaming if they raised a concern.

Federal agents threatened one of these whistleblowers, in an effort to get him to recant his story.

Some “election workers” appeared to be AFL-CIO activists. If concerns were raised, GOP poll challengers said, they were ushered from the room by the police and the entire room would cheer. They say election workers’ goal was to get as many GOP poll challengers as possible kicked out of that room.

Poll challengers also allege that they were pushed out of the room when the military ballots came in. Workers were sent to lunch; Democrats ate inside the building and the Republicans ate outside the area where votes were being counted, and the doors were locked so Republicans couldn’t get back in.

Irregularities alleged by these challengers aside from counting ineligible voters include ballots being dropped off by random vehicles, including a Mercedes Benz and a Ferrari, or arriving after the cutoff period. A sworn affidavit claims ballots were being “fraudulently and manually entered” when the person had no information and the birthdate was simply put as “1/1/1900.” Another Detroit GOP poll challenger says she witnessed names on ballots not coming up in the system but being counted nonetheless. When she raised concerns, she says she was kicked out.

Sworn affidavits by several U.S. Postal Service employees, in at least Pennsylvania and Michigan, along with a city employee from Detroit, alleged they were asked to backdate ballots (make ballots appear as if they were sent on election day) by their superiors. It was later revealed that federal agents threatened one of these whistleblowers, in an effort to get him to recant his story. A Clark County Nevada elections department employee says that his coworkers fabricated proof of residence data to allow ineligible voters.

In Philadelphia, GOP poll challengers had to sue to be allowed to observe what election workers were doing. Democratic state officials counter-sued to stop the access. While GOP poll challengers were moved forward in the room, the vote counters were moved further away, a mockery of state law that allows oversight of this process.

Photos of Philly vote counters show several women wearing Biden masks. A Trump campaign lawsuit has a sworn affidavit from a person who says he or she saw USB drives being delivered to the back of the room where voting machines were housed, and where observers were restricted.

In Philadelphia, GOP poll challengers had to sue to be allowed to observe what election workers were doing.

Meanwhile, the Georgia GOP state party chair claims Fulton County election officials told his observers to go home on election night because they were closing up, but then continued to count ballots “in secret.” In Wisconsin, election clerks allegedly altered “thousands” of absentee ballots to make them eligible.

Add to this multiple videos of what appears to be poll workers throwing away Trump ballots, and at least a handful of examples of dead persons voting. A conservative pollster, Richard Baris, claims to have found evidence of 10,000 deceased persons voting in Michigan. Others also claimed to have found thousands of dead voters in that state.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania far exceeded its record for 90-year-olds registering to vote. In Nevada, multiple witnesses signed sworn affidavits that they saw a “Biden-Harris” van filling out loads of ballots.

Yes, Republicans have at least anecdotal evidence of fraud, although in one sense the media is right: these anecdotes are not evidence enough to overturn the election. That’s because there’s no way to quantify any of this evidence into an actual number of bad votes, even assuming all these claims are well-founded.

Then There Are the Statistical Anomalies

There’s more than anecdotal evidence, however. Observers and experts pointed out plenty of statistical anomalies. Some may turn out to be innocuous, or easily explainable. Others have been less well-explained.

First, Republicans took issue with the massive vote dumps for Biden that occurred overnight, in which Biden was getting nearly 100 percent of the vote. One of these was attributed to an extra zero and human error.

Michigan added almost 150,000 votes in one instance, all of which were for Biden except for about 6,000.

Silver tweeted that around 27,000 votes out of Philadelphia went “all for Biden.” In the face of obvious wonderment of how Biden could get 100 percent of such a large share of votes, Silver was quick to claim that election officials “unintentionally enter vote updates one candidate at a time, rather than entering all candidates together.” Maybe, but when votes stop getting reported and reporting starts coming in early in the morning with nearly 100 percent of votes coming in for Biden that justifiably raised eyebrows.

On a graph, these vote dumps in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania resulted in Biden quickly jumping above Trump, and the odds of a Trump win plummeting. Michigan added almost 150,000 votes in one instance, all of which were for Biden except for about 6,000.

On election night, Trump led in Pennsylvania by almost 800,000 votes. The next morning, Trump’s lead shrunk to less than 100,000. Later, ballots found, including those apparently lingering with the U.S. Postal Service, supposedly put Biden over the edge.

Biden received an unbelievable amount of the mail-in share in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Biden’s advantage in mail-in voting was to be expected, but the magnitude of the spikes for Biden in these select states is worth scrutiny. According to ballot requests across the country, GOP voters voted by mail too, just not with the same intensity as Democratic voters.

But while Trump received a reasonable share of the mail-in or absentee votes in places like Ohio, Biden received an unbelievable amount of the mail-in share in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Biden’s Pennsylvania mail-in total, excluding about 90,000 mail-in votes from libertarians and those with no party affiliation, equates to winning all the Democratic and Independent mail-in votes, and 9 percent of the GOP mail-in votes.

Said differently, Biden is up 60 points in absentee or mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, and up by almost 40 points in Michigan. That’s not Biden receiving 60 percent of mail-in votes in Pennsylvania. That’s Biden receiving 80 percent of the mail-in vote. Comparably, Biden was only up single digits in absentee voting in most other battleground states. Biden’s mail-in advantage was 15 points in Ohio and 5 points in Minnesota.

There’s no reason to think Pennsylvania and Michigan should be outliers to national mail-in voting trends. Despite several comments by the president, the Trump campaign ground game in these states encouraged mail-in voting. In Michigan and Wisconsin, according to NBC News, Republicans actually led Democrats in mail-in ballots requested and returned. Yet the vast majority of the ballots that were counted after election day in these states were for Biden.

A Weird, Asymmetric Surge in Only Some Cities

No, this Biden surge in cities wasn’t driven by the suburbs abandoning Trump—Trump didn’t lose the suburbs any more than he lost them in 2016, and losses there were more than replaced by gains in working-class areas. These Biden votes were entirely driven by massive turnout in select Democratic strongholds in swing states. As mentioned before, this turnout was not consistent across the country. In parts of these cities, there was more turnout than registered voters.

Biden only had a net gain of 4,000 votes compared to Hillary Clinton in 2016 in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio. Yet Biden had a net gain of almost 70,000 in Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan. In Minneapolis, Democrats bragged of 88 percent turnout—extremely high relative to the rest of the country and the state.

These Biden votes were entirely driven by massive turnout in select Democratic strongholds in swing states.

Biden also outperformed past Democrats in places like Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where the population is declining. Barack Obama received 233,000 votes in the county in 2012, while Biden received 313,000 votes. In Georgia, a handful of counties had massively higher margins in terms of Biden votes compared to what Hillary Clinton received in 2016—totaling a net gain of more than 200,000 votes.

It was alleged by some conservatives that Wisconsin had an unreal amount of statewide turnout. That isn’t the case, but Milwaukee County did have sky-high turnout. In Milwaukee, Biden received more votes than Obama did in 2008, even though the population has declined by around 10 percent since that time. Milwaukee “updated” voting data for its wards after a newspaper pointed out that seven wards had more voters than registered voters, and showing turnout well above 100 percent.

Another oddity was the large number of Biden-only ballots with no votes down-ballot in these swing states, where courts had canned existing election law (including Georgia). For example, the difference between Trump and the GOP Senate candidates in Georgia was around 1,000 votes. But Biden received nearly 100,000 more votes than the Democratic Senate candidates. Some of these were split tickets, but the numbers suggest a huge amount of Biden-only ballots.

In Michigan, Trump received 7,000 more votes than the GOP Senate candidate. But Biden received 70,000 more votes than the Democratic Senate candidate. Apparently, 450,000 ballots in swing states had only a mark for Biden with no down-ballot votes. This amounts to a massive increase in ballots cast for only the presidential candidate in these states relative to history, and ballots like this were overwhelmingly of the mail-in variety.

Ticket-Splitting Was Low, and Congress Trended Red

Anti-Trump establishmentarians claimed everything was attributed to ticket splitting—surely a projection of their views onto the people of Middle America. But ticket splitting was normal, minimal, and went both ways. In fact, this year ticket-splitting nearly hit a historic low. If anything, Trump outperformed the GOP senatorial candidates in states like Michigan and Arizona. Either way, ticket splitting doesn’t explain all the votes for Biden with no down-ballot votes.

Another headscratcher is that, in what was supposed to be a blue-wave election, Democrats beat no Republican incumbents. They also lost around 10 seats (possibly more), and all but one of the nearly 30 races considered competitive.

Why does this matter for the presidential election? The only place Democrats were turning out to vote was in Democrat-run cities in swing states where election laws were thrown out. Again, contrary to the narrative from some establishment types, this wasn’t Republicans outperforming Trump. In the House Democratic campaign committee’s own panicked words, House Republicans were buoyed by Trump.

Republicans are more or less tied with Democrats in the national House popular vote. Trump had at least 1.5 million more votes than House Republicans, while Biden had 5.5 million more votes than House Democrats.

Big Ballot Dumps Trended Biden

Other statistical anomalies have been noticed. In Milwaukee, the number of ballots that were reported in a single batch was highly correlated with Biden receiving the vast majority of the votes—meaning, larger reports of ballots skewed heavily for Biden over smaller reports. This doesn’t prove anything nefarious, but it is an oddity nonetheless.

Biden votes appeared to surge later in areas of Milwaukee where Biden was not performing well. Although this could simply be due to unaccounted-for votes coming in, the phenomenon appears concentrated among wards where Democrats were underperforming, not where Democratic voters were most prevalent.

Ballots in Pennsylvania are also alleged to have arrived before they were sent, arrived the same day, or arrived just one day after being mailed out right before Election Day. A data analyst calls these instances of “fast traveling” ballots suspicious. The share of these fast-traveling ballots as a percent of overall mail-in ballots was incredibly high in Pennsylvania, totaling up to 100,000 ballots in a race with a margin of much less.

Most came from Lehigh County and Philadelphia. Ballots defined as suspicious were much more likely to be requested via mail instead of online. The data analyst calls it odd that the quick turnaround time would depend on how ballots were requested (mail requests somehow got done in a day, compared to online requests, which were more normal).

Late-arriving ballots were apparently a huge percent of the votes cast in several Pennsylvania counties. In general, these late-arriving ballots reduce confidence in the election system, fraud or no fraud.

Information Chaos

There were still other things to set GOP voters’ minds ablaze. Hilariously, Google searches for “election fraud punishment” spiked in Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania several days prior to the election.

Aside from anecdotal evidence of deceased voters, some alleged many thousands of deceased voters—a claim that has yet to be unproven. Former Democrat governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, who was jailed for trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat, confirmed conservatives’ suspicions even more. “In big cities where they control the political apparatus and they control the apparatus that counts the votes, and they control the polling places and the ones who count the votes, it’s widespread and it’s deep,” Blagojevich said.

Still other examples appear to have been false alarms. One picture showed voters with the birthdate listed as “1/1/1900.” While some poll workers are alleged to have improperly entered this date, and other birthdates have been found that can’t possibly be correct, some voters who were subject to spousal abuse or have other reasons for privacy have their birthdates entered as such. In another example, a viral video showed a poll worker filling out ballot after ballot—yet the election authority says that this is a regular part of the process, and the pollworker is evidently duplicating “damaged” ballots.

The Much-Discussed Software Issues

The spookiest thing thrown about in conservative circles involves allegations that Dominion, voting hardware and software used in a vast number of states and in all the swing states, changed vote tallies from Trump to Biden, or deleted Trump votes. What is certainly true is there were several Dominion-related errors, all of which took votes from Trump and gave them to Biden.

Votes were switched in Michigan on at least two separate instances. Dominion claims this was due to user error, but the Michigan GOP has called for a statewide investigation. Even if this was user error, it isn’t comforting that these errors could be so easily made using multi-million-dollar electronic voting machines.

The only place Democrats were turning out to vote was in Democrat-run cities in swing states where election laws were thrown out.

The New York Times is quick to point out that every confirmed error has been explained. But Republicans aren’t satisfied with the explanations when all the errors went against Trump, and speculate there could be many yet to be discovered. That’s because when votes were switched, these errors were only identified by authorities carefully tracking the issue—there was no clear-cut mechanism to flag this problem, which means it could be magnified across the country.

We also know that Dominion caused Georgia election-day voters to be initially turned away because of a glitch, which occurred in two Trump-leaning counties. A Georgia official said that Dominion “uploaded something last night, which is not normal, and it caused a glitch.”

A poll watcher in Georgia alleges that he or she saw a “suspicious [and yet unexplained] shift in votes while monitoring the interim election results on the Georgia secretary of state website.” There were also problems with Arizona voting machines on Election Day. Arizona’s secretary of state is refusing to investigate issues there, and conservatives were quick to point out that she had previously posted about Trump’s “base” being “neo-Nazis.”

Dominion has ties to prominent Democrats, too, adding to suspicions. This includes an overwhelming amount of donations going to Democrats, and a Dominion employee in charge of vote security participating in Antifa calls.

Republicans aren’t satisfied with the explanations when all the errors went against Trump.

Conservative blogs have alleged that thousands of votes were switched in Wisconsin, enough to give the state to Trump if true. Another blogger alleges that millions of votes were switched by Dominion, and this claim was tweeted by President Trump on Nov. 12.

The president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is now saying that he has an affidavit from a Dominion worker in Michigan that 100,000 ballots for Biden were brought in the back door so they could “catch up with Trump.” Prominent Republican lawyer Sidney Powell claims Dominion was hacked, and others noticed a subtraction of vote totals in the live data from Virginia.

A data scientist claims there is a linear pattern of a declining Trump margin in more heavily Republican areas—which essentially steals votes from red areas and reduces Trump’s ability to run up the score there—in many key swing states.

These claims are fanciful, to put it nicely, but they deserve scrutiny and investigation. Dominion systems, at the very least, do appear to be prone to hacking. A federal judge and several senators, all Democrats, have criticized Dominion for security problems in the past. Texas decided not to use Dominion because of security issues.

Some allege that corruption was involved in granting massive contracts to Dominion in states like Georgia. Dominion might be completely unproblematic, but it is used in nearly 30 states, was used in all of the swing states, and should be scrutinized.

Can You Blame Them?

Four years ago, Republican voters would have accepted the current election results. That was before the Trump campaign was spied on, and a constant coup was underway to remove Trump from the presidency. That was before America saw massive riots and looting, resulting in countless injured and dead cops and citizens, while the corporate media ran cover for the rioters and looters.

Maybe Trump’s voters deserve to be skeptical about the outcome of this election. Silver and the other mainstream pollsters didn’t just promise that Trump and Republicans would be defeated soundly, they ridiculed those who said it would be a tight race. Trump’s supporters were again right to doubt the polls.

If Democrats believe half the things they are saying about Trump or his supporters, why wouldn’t massive vote fraud be justified and even moral?

The court-won destructions of state election law smacked Republicans as nakedly political. Nobody seriously believes that allowing mailed ballots to come in after the election has anything to do with actually protecting people from the pandemic, especially when the same officials applauding mail-in balloting have selectively applied coronavirus restrictions to reward their friends and punish their political enemies.

Democrats have compared Trump to Adolf Hitler and have widely called his supporters white supremacists and fascists. If they believe half the things they are saying about Trump or his supporters, why wouldn’t massive vote fraud be justified and even moral?

The same people who ranted about Russia hacking the 2016 election—to the point where almost 70 percent of Democrats falsely believed that Russia had hacked and changed vote totals—tell Trump’s base that it is dangerous and unpatriotic to doubt the results of this election. Russia, via a so-called troll farm, spent less than $100,000 on social media advertising before the 2016 election, but that didn’t stop House Democrats and many Senate Republicans from treating this spending like it was the biggest problem this country faced. The same people who think less than $100,000 of Russian social media advertising could sway an election say there is no way the election could be swayed by fraud.

The same people who think less than $100,000 of Russian advertising could sway an election say there is no way the election could be swayed by fraud.

The censorship of any post questioning any part of the election on social media and the denial and dismissal of obvious signs of fraud only add fuel to the fire. These fly in the face of common sense. Consider an article from the BBC in September 2016, about vote rigging in Africa. The article says that classic signs of fraud include “high turnout in specific areas,” and “delay in announcing results.” Note that states like Florida had high turnout, but it wasn’t hugely concentrated to certain areas and ballots were counted instantly.

After the election the rejection rate of mail-in (absentee) ballots may have plummeted in the key swing states, meaning officials there don’t appear to have checked ballot validity, even though millions more mail-in ballots were cast in 2020. Georgia is recounting votes, but not checking absentee ballot signatures. And Pennsylvania officials appear to have destroyed absentee ballot envelopes—in violation of state law—which are necessary to determine the validity of votes in an audit.

The Threat to Our Democracy

Nothing here proves election fraud changed 10,000 votes or 1,000,000 votes, and that’s partly the point.  It isn’t possible to know what would have happened without a major recanvassing and audits. Even then, unlawful votes are extremely hard to undo. People asking for definitive proof of fraud that would result in a specific total of fraudulent votes are asking for the impossible. The election is supposed to be secure from the get-go.

Trump’s chances in the courts look slim, fraud or no fraud. The legal system is probably not equipped to handle these matters, given the alleged scale and egregiousness. Courts can’t go through ballot by ballot and figure this out. Instead, they would apply brightline rules, such as tossing out ballots in Pennsylvania that came in after a certain date.

People asking for definitive proof of fraud that would result in a specific total of fraudulent votes are asking for the impossible.

But since Pennsylvania officials failed to segregate these ballots, and corrupt officials violated the law and threw out the ballot envelopes, are the courts really ready to invalidate whole categories of votes from a swing state? The courts already failed the country by allowing perfectly decent election laws to be ignored.

Consider too that if Trump does pull off a shocking victory, America will see riots and violence in the streets unlike anything seen before. According to PredictIt, this has at least a one in ten chance of happening.

But if Trump loses his court challenges and recounts, his supporters aren’t going to forget about this. People are angry unlike anything this author has seen before. The Jeffrey Epstein affair, the FBI corruption, and the riots have completely eroded trust in basic institutions, especially on the right.

If the fraud alleged did occur, it was pre-planned, industrialized, and brazen. This isn’t 1960, where John F. Kennedy received more votes in Cook County than the number of people living there. It isn’t 2000, where a legal battle is ensuing over one state’s balloting issues.

Quite obviously, this is not a healthy democratic republic. It will be incredibly hard to deescalate from here.

This is an allegation that there was massive fraud, on a scale never seen before—and the allegation comes from about 50 million Americans. The allegation is plausible because the establishment denying it has hated Trump and his supporters from the get-go. Trump supporters deserve to be paranoid—they have been neither accepted nor understood.

The Republican Party may not like that its voters believe this, but at this point they are riding a tiger. Trump won’t go away, either. Yes, Trump made plenty of mistakes—he tried too hard to work with an establishment that viewed him as an existential threat, and realized only too late that it would never accept him—and in some ways governed too much like a traditional Republican. But Trump is now inseparably tied to the Republican base, largely because of how the establishment has brutalized him and his supporters.

Picture inauguration day: Biden is being sworn in, but Trump isn’t in D.C. Instead, he’s holding a massive rally in the Midwest. Republican Party officials and most politicians (privately at least) will screech at this, but at this point they have no control. They are along for the ride.

Note that these things are happening when the economy is relatively good for most Americans, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Imagine what happens if this is no longer the case. Quite obviously, this is not a healthy democratic republic. It will be incredibly hard to deescalate from here, and that should terrify Americans.

Have We Crossed the Rubicon?

Let’s put this even more bluntly. After the election, Tucker Carlson had a segment on how Republicans dodged a bullet in 2020 by holding the Senate. But with mail-in balloting, how sure can Republicans be that they will hold the two seats in Georgia?

Many establishment Republicans and party insiders are happy to move on from Trump and have touted the good night other Republican candidates had. The base isn’t going to move on from Trump, could care less about Republican senators, and wonders if the country will have a fair election again.

If mail-in ballots go away next time, all this worry was for nothing. But Democrats are unlikely to give up mail-in balloting given the power it provides. If cheating did occur, and it is unaddressed, it will certainly happen again. Maybe Republican areas have 120 percent turnout next election. See how this works?

Overall, people feel like America has been sliding for decades, and indeed the American working class has been sliding for decades. If people begin to feel like elections no longer matter, the only avenue to settle differences is through force and violence. The far-left in this country has already skipped belief in the electoral system and reached this conclusion. How else does a divided people settle disputes without the ballot box?

At the Point of No Return?

The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” refers to the moment Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River, which precipitated the Roman Civil War and the end of the Roman Republic. It’s like saying “the point of no return.” People can laugh at what this is implying, but America is reaching a dangerous point if the people—on both sides—no longer trust elections.

Only a few things can walk us back from the ledge. First, Democrats need to drop the push for mail-in balloting. The fear, however, is that Democrats won’t be able to resist the advantage this gives them. Trump not leaving politics will provide moral ammo, in Democrats’ minds, for not taking the high road. Plus, even when Trump does get too old for politics, the movement he started isn’t going away.

Next, Biden should be calling for a full auditing of the election, especially in the swing states, if he really wants to bring the country together. This is highly unlikely to happen, however, and Biden’s moves are being closely handled even as D.C. is springing into action in anticipation of the administration change.

Biden should be calling for a full auditing of the election, especially in the swing states, if he really wants to bring the country together.

Republicans in Michigan and Pennsylvania want a full audit before the legislature certifies the results, which is both their right and good for the country. But any audit that results in success for the Trump campaign will result in chaos and violence, given how poorly the media is covering these issues. And Democrats are fighting hard to pressure the swing-state legislatures to certify the results without an audit.

No, there won’t be a revote. The small fraud that got Democrats a new congressional election earlier this year can’t happen for a presidential election, given timetables set by the Constitution. No matter what happens, the courts won’t decide this in a way that is acceptable to more than half the country.

So this is the massive risk our country faces going into the 2020s: if one side no longer agrees to play by the rules of a game, the game is over. It appears that with Trump as an excuse, the left believes the rules of the game no longer apply. The political right is approaching the point where they feel the same way.

Willis L. Krumholz holds a JD and MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas. The views expressed are those of the author only. You can follow Willis on Twitter @WillKrumholz.

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