President-elect Donald Trump is still diligently banging the drum for his “millions of fraudulent votes” conspiracy. He reiterated his ridiculous claims tonight in an interview with ABC News and doubled down on his planned “investigation” into the voter fraud that does not exist. Intent on rewriting the truth to give his ego an explanation for his overwhelming defeat in the popular vote, Trump is threatening to turn our electoral system on its head – and likely will make it much more difficult for Americans to vote – all in pursuit of a conspiracy theory.
Legendary reporter Dan Rather took to Facebook tonight to share his thoughts on the matter, and his usual eloquence and wit deftly sum up the absurdity our nation is now facing:
In my mind there is no bigger story right now than the insistance by president Donald Trump that there were millions of illegal votes cast in the last election – and that’s saying something considering all that’s going on. The reason why this is such a bombshell is not because there is an any basis in truth for the story. It’s precisely the opposite. These are lies of a magnitude and scale that they not only are crashing into a wall of facts and reason, but of sanity.
I have no training in psychology and I am very wary of anyone’s armchair diagnosis of the President. But let’s stop and consider what he’s implying. Our election system is in shambles. And that not only calls into question his election, but every down ballot race. This would be a conspiracy of epic proportions. This is “we faked the moon landing” kind of stuff. Of course what this really is is pure and unadulterated horse manure. And everyone in Washington knows it. That’s what’s so troubling. There are real issues around voting in our country but they mostly center on questions of fairness, access and intimidation. By all means let’s investigate that.
As for the notions of VOTER FRAUD (Mr. Trump’s all caps) from what discredited blog or which unscrupulous advisor is the President getting this craziness? Or is he just making it up? Does he really believe it? Is it just the height of cynicism and distraction? None of these options are in the least bit comforting. But most Republicans in Congress seem just fine silently nodding along as long as they get their “conservative” (reactionary, in the view of opponents) agenda enacted. On policy, they have every right. They won their elections and that merits respect, no matter how grudging. But the tone and content of the falsehoods and sheer propaganda originating from the White House is another matter – and that is not to be respected.
Is there a political price to pay for this descent into the Twilight Zone? Because in the real world, we are all being affected.
As I have said many times before, I believe the overwhelming majority of Trump voters are decent-intending people who love our country as much as I do. But with such things as the lie about “voter fraud”, I don’t think the press should ask any of President Trump’s supporters–especially those in Congress–a question on any other topic – before they can answer, what the hell is going on…and do they approve of it?
There is no doubt that Trump’s Inforwars-loving, FOX News devotee followers believe every word that comes out of Trump’s fetid mouth. But the rest of us know this is a lie, and we must fight at every turn to preserve our right to vote in the face of an increasingly fascist and obviously delusional president.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.