The United States and America-watchers elsewhere are now in the uneasy vortex between the U.S. political establishment’s overwhelming assertion that the presidential election has been decided, and the presentation by lawyers for the Trump campaign of what they claim will be incontrovertible evidence of a massive attempt at election fraud.
Since 95 percent of the U.S. political media coverage was so hostile to Trump that it rarely hesitated to misquote him, give entire credence to totally unsubstantiated allegations against him, impute discreditable motives to him, and simply invent and propagate malicious falsehoods about him, it’s no surprise that 80 percent of the discernible opinion is celebrating the end of Trump.
The more worldly members of that group, whatever their affectation of confidence, have a disagreeable feeling that they may not have seen the end of this president. And the admittedly arbitrarily estimated remaining fifth of political observers are the president’s more vocal supporters, who are generally confident that the election has been stolen and concerned about whether the theft can be undone or avenged.
Just as before the election, the U.S. political community is sharply divided between two groups that seem not to share any common beliefs, apart from a reluctant acknowledgment that they live in the same country.
For the more benign and civilized of the president’s opponents, the terrible meteor has already vanished. The president no longer speaks to the press and isn’t addressing political meetings, and by virtue of that fact alone, the political temperature of the country has settled down appreciably.
Large numbers of Republicans have flocked to these colors and made the traditional noises about being a good sport, enabling the system to function smoothly, and acknowledging that rough-and-tumble though it is at times, the governance of Norman Rockwell’s America moves steadfastly on, and the president, having made a valiant effort, and even somewhat acknowledged to have rendered some service, should do the proper thing, shake hands warmly with the victor, and look forward to retirement.
For American ex-presidents, that always means a high general popularity after a short interval has passed since they left office.
Dropping the Curtain Prematurely
The Democrats generally are simply telling Trump to go, and adding as the Biden spokespeople did a couple of days after the election, that “The U.S. government certainly has the resources to evict trespassers from the White House.”
To them, Trump’s claims to have been cheated at the polls concludes his freakish and nightmarish sojourn at the summit of American public life with a controversy as squalid and unfounded as the birther nonsense in the midst of which Trump entered American public life.
And in between these two episodes, they say it has all been vulgarity, egomania, posturing, and failure. Good riddance to it, and to him.
To the tatters of the Bush, McCain, Romney Republicans, Trump was practically as odious as he was to the Democrats, but he was, after all, a Republican president, so let us see him off without any more recriminations. Let’s also set about rebuilding a Republican Party that occupies the White House half the time but leaves the great gelatinous mass of liberal democratic bureaucratic government in place and unvexed.
And now, elements lightly attached to Trump are also starting to peel away. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the Washington Examiner, and the National Review aren’t withholding credit from Trump for what he achieved as president but are claiming that his attempted scrutiny of the election result has yielded no serious evidence of fraud, and therefore it’s time to throw in the towel.
They are all, for their own reasons, trying to bring down the curtain prematurely. Trump didn’t run for president as a marginal opponent like John McCain, the Bushes, and Mitt Romney did, or even as Ronald Reagan did: someone opposed to big government but once in office focused practically exclusively on two admirable objectives which he attained—a low-tax, low-unemployment economy and bloodless victory through military superiority in the Cold War.
Trump was and remains a mortal threat to the complacent bipartisan political establishment that gave us the 20 awful years of poor administration that preceded him, with its endless Middle Eastern wars and humanitarian disasters, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, increasing poverty and violence at home, and a steady loss of ground in the world to China.
He wasn’t just another Republican, and the Democrats didn’t oppose him as if he were just another Republican. The reason the country is so polarized is that Trump wanted to throw out practically the entire establishment, and the establishment fought in and for their entrenched positions with the arrogance and the desperation of incumbency.
The Speed of an Anti-Missile Missile
That’s why Trump isn’t finished yet. Approximately 74 million people voted for him, not desultorily and not because he was the Republican candidate, but for HIM and against the OBushinton establishment.
Trump’s lawyers, especially Sidney Powell, a fierce and talented former prosecutor who has exposed and denounced the corruption of the American prosecution service and the criminal legal system generally, held a press conference with Rudolph Giuliani last week in which they promised an assault upon what they described as the most massive electoral fraud in U.S. history and the reversal of an election that Trump had, if the votes were counted fairly, won by “a landslide.”
The outcry from the gallery of the skeptics, from Christie to former President Barack Obama, is that the president’s counsels have presented no evidence. But that’s how the system works; when people launch a lawsuit, they make a statement of claim and provide the evidence later. In this case, because of the deadlines laid down by the Constitution, the evidence will have to be produced with extraordinary promptness and the issues evoked to high courts with the speed of an anti-missile missile.
On Nov. 21, Powell said the allegations would be “biblical”; earth-shaking in their scope and implications. But the credibility of this minority, fading position wasn’t fortified when Powell was abruptly disembarked from the campaign on Nov. 22.
The voting patterns in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were very peculiar, and the argument that the algorithms of the voting machines were overrun and harvested ballots were “dropped” in the dead of night after the counting inexplicably stopped, to top out Biden, is plausible. This deserves an investigation and not just pieties about fair play.
But if the president is making wild and unfounded allegations, it would be a less dignified end to his very successful presidency than he deserves, and the following he built and reinforcement of the Republican Party that he wrought would be dissipated.
Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world. He’s the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, and, most recently, “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other,” which is about to be republished in updated form.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.