Why Do the Election’s Defenders Require My Agreement?

Why Do the Election’s Defenders Require My Agreement? By Michael Anton.

Recently, I appeared as a guest on Andrew Sullivan’s podcast. Sullivan is vociferously anti-Trump, so I expected us to disagree — which, naturally, we did. But I was surprised by the extent to which he insisted I assent to his assertion that the 2020 election was totally on the level. That is to say, I wasn’t surprised that Sullivan thinks it was; I was surprised by his evident yearning to hear me say so, too.

Which I could not do.

Sullivan badgered me on this at length before finally accusing me of being fixated on the topic, to which I responded, truthfully, that I was only talking about it because he asked. As far as I’m concerned, the 2020 election is well and truly over. I have, I said, “moved on.” …

I wanted to move on, I really did. But when Left (Chait), center (Sullivan), faux-right anti-conservative ankle-biter (Ponnuru), and genuine, if establishment, Right (my correspondent) all agree that my lack of belief is a problem, I wondered why this should be so, and the following observations came to mind.

Let me begin by repeating something I said to Sullivan: I do not actively disbelieve in the outcome of the 2020 election. I do not assert that the election was stolen. I also do not believe the election was totally fair, “belief” being an affirmative mental state. I say only that I don’t know; I haven’t been convinced either way. One side tried to convince me and failed (at least so far). The other side has made no such attempt but instead mostly shouts in my face that I must believe. The latter effort, in addition to being aggravating and insulting, has been less effective.

The 2020 election came down to a narrower margin than the 2016 contest: fewer than 43,000 rather than 77,000 votes in just three states. In 2016, nothing fishy in Michigan, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin — the states on which 2016 turned — was detected. Certainly nothing like:

  • Counting shutdowns in five states, in which one candidate was ahead, only to lose after the counting resumed;
  • “Found” tranches of ballots going overwhelmingly — sometimes exclusively — to one candidate, the eventual “winner”;
  • Sworn affidavits alleging the backdating of ballots;
  • Historically low rejection rates — as in, orders of magnitude lower — of mail-in ballots, suggesting that many obviously invalid ballots were accepted as genuine;
  • Mail-in and absentee ballots appearing without creases, raising the question of how they got into the envelopes required for their being mailed in;
  • Thousands upon thousands of ballots all marked for one presidential candidate without a single choice marked for any down-ballot candidate.
  • The absolute refusal to conduct signature audits — indeed, the discarding of many envelopes which alone make such audits possible — i.e., of the kind of recounts which are performed not merely to get the math right but to evaluate the validity of ballots;
  • Other statistical and historical anomalies too numerous to mention here.

All of which, and much more, did occur in 2020. Any one of these things would have caused Hillary Clinton to march into court in 2016 with an army of lawyers larger than the force Hannibal brought to Cannae.

Sullivan dismissed all of this because “Trump tried in court and lost.” End of story. He alleged with a straight face that Trump put on a serious effort, run by serious election experts. To put it mildly, that’s not the way it looked to me. In any case, quick dismissals by partisan or even impartial courts do not amount to “proof” that nothing was amiss, much less do they constitute a thorough vetting of what really happened. They might be “evidence” — but only of the fact that those particular courts wanted nothing to do with the election. Judges’ dismissals are certainly not dispositive evidence that there was no fraud. …

Now we get to the meat of article. Why is the left so insistent that we agree with them that the election was fair? Presumably because, as is obvious to anyone with an open mind, it was manifestly unfair — and probably fraudulent. The left is acting guilty.

The present ruling power has no interest in investigating, much less challenging, what they insist must be the only narrative: Biden won, full stop; there were no irregularities and anyone who says otherwise is a threat to Our Democracy™.

Sullivan’s most risible claim was that, if there is anything to any of this, it will all come out in the pending libel suits filed by that electronic voting company. But these private lawsuits were not filed, nor will they be litigated, to find evidence of electoral fraud. They were filed only to vindicate the public reputations of the plaintiffs and punish the defendants. The way this all will go down is that the plaintiffs will demand irrefutable proof from the defendants. When (inevitably) such is not produced, the plaintiffs will claim total vindication, which will then be trumpeted in the media.

It doesn’t matter if the plaintiffs lose the suit in the sense of not obtaining a favorable court judgment. All they need to “win” is a failure of the other side to produce proof that the media will accept as such. Since the media is nothing more nor less than the propaganda arm of the present regime, it’s foreordained to reject any such claims of proof and to deny that any and all evidence presented is credible. Hence the plaintiff’s victory in the court of “public opinion,” if not necessarily in an actual court, is guaranteed from the outset. …

And, as I told Sullivan, I found the claims regarding the voting machines to be the least credible. Sullivan seized on that as a “concession” that the entire election was above-board. It is no such thing. None of the above other irregularities have been explained, nor will they ever be. Sullivan, like Ponnuru, refused even to address them. ..

Mail-in voting allows fraud. Most nations (including Australia) do not allow it or keep it to an absolute minimum.

The fact — at which Sullivan scoffed, showing (at best) his ignorance — is that the integrity of America’s electoral processes has been consistently loosened throughout both our lifetimes in the name of “fairness,” “equity,” “civil rights,” and the like. Any and all measures that make it easier to know who is voting, to ensure that only eligible voters vote, only when and where they’re eligible to vote, and that the ineligible do not vote, have been and are vociferously opposed by all power centers and attacked by all arbiters of public morality.

On the flipside, efforts to make voting easier — such as mail-in voting, early voting, ballot harvesting, “motor voter” laws, and giving children, felons, and illegal aliens the vote — are said to be requirements of “justice” and “equity.” Hence all the latter, and none of the former, are enacted or will be enacted.

These efforts intensified and accelerated exponentially in 2020. Sixty-four percent of ballots were cast before Election Day, as opposed to 41 percent in 2016 — nearly all of that owing to the rapid expansion of mail-in voting, the single largest change to our electoral system in one cycle in American history. And all of it driven, aided, and abetted at the national and state levels by Democratic partisans. …

What we thus have is a voting system that is slapdash, inconsistent, porous, and easy to manipulate — i.e., cheat. Again, by design. The media, the intellectuals, the “experts,” the universities — every opinion-shaping sector of our society — both cheerlead and lie about all of this. …


Beyond all this, there is the 56-year (and counting) successful attempt to reengineer the American electorate (to say nothing just now of the economy and society) in ways that favor one half of the country at the expense of the other.

Without question, the 100-odd million newcomers to our shores since 1965 have vastly boosted Democrats’ electoral prospects and harmed the GOP’s.

No factor correlates more perfectly with a state’s, county’s, city’s, congressional, or state legislative district’s propensity to vote Democrat than its percentage of foreign-born: the higher the latter, the higher the former.

Immigration policy and practice over the last half-century effectively has been to import ringers to help Democrats win, and Republicans lose, as many elections as possible. …

Our Democracy™? Now we come to the answer.

Even if every vote cast is “real,” it still remains that voting no longer matters in this country. It changes nothing. As I put it in my book, “Blues perpetually outvoting reds and ruling unopposed: this, and only this, is what ‘democracy’ means today.” The one election that might have changed something was 2016, which is why every power center in the country went into hyperdrive to delegitimize it and ensure that Trump could do little in office. The former president’s own missteps played a role, but far less a role than the universal opposition he faced from all the commanding heights.

The purpose of voting today is not to give the people a say in the direction of their government, nor to balance competing interests by alternating party control. It is rather to give a democratic veneer to an undemocratic regime. The phrase “Our Democracy™” — I lost count how many times Sullivan flung it at me — is a weaponized term meant to assert moral superiority and squelch dissent.

It isn’t an accident that the phrase is used by only one side. That possessive pronoun is not meant to apply to all, but only to the correct side, the good guys. When a CNN or MSNBC host or Washington Post or New York Times columnist says “Our Democracy™,” she means their regime. She’s relying on Americans’ deep-seated reverence for democracy for this rhetorical fakery to work, which it does — for now. But sooner or later, Americans will catch on.

Indeed, the apparent blatantness of the 2020 irregularities, the all-too-evident refusal to explain any of them, and now the official persecution of those who raise doubts, have already alerted millions. …

Sullivan repeatedly demanded that I explain how Our Democracy™ can survive as a democracy if something like half the country doesn’t believe in it anymore. The question was rhetorical. Sullivan knows the answer: it can’t. His purpose in asking was to shift blame from those who rig everything, refuse to explain anything but instead gaslight, gaslight, gaslight, onto those who, in response, decline to believe. …

Every election going forward will look much like 2020 — and will be thought of, by millions of people, in the same light.

And they will call it progress as democracy fails and humanity falls back into oligarchic rule.