There is only one issue in the 2024 US election: election integrity

There is only one issue in the 2024 US election: election integrity. By Douglas Wilson, in the ex-home of democracy.

Everything that follows here assumes — and not without warrant — that the 2020 election was massively messed with by the left, not to mention jiggered with, and that it was therefore not an honest election, and that exactly the same thing is going to happen next year, meaning in the 2024 election. ..

We know that the 2024 election is going to be interfered with in 2024 because IT IS BEING INTERFERED WITH NOW, AND WITH EVERYBODY WATCHING, INCLUDING YOU, AND ESPECIALLY INCLUDING YOU.

If you are willing to watch the leading opposition candidate arrested while the campaign was already in progress, on charges that would send a tree sloth into manic hysterics, and you are also going to have the nickel-plated effrontery to pretend that all of this was just the result of the impersonal wheels of blind justice grinding away, then I am going to quietly assume that you are really stupid, or really evil, and quite possibly both. …

Debating irrelevant policy questions instead of the big one: is the 2024 election going to be fair? Why is the regime arresting the lead opposition candidate? Where did all those votes appear from on eleciton night 2020, after the counting was halted?

“Trump can’t win the general” misses the point:

It has become a standard talking point among conservative talking heads that Trump has such negatives that he “can’t win the general.” Of course he can’t. Neither can your guy, whoever he is. …

The Republican primary has the usual gang of people running for president, people running for vice-president, people running for a book deal, people running for vindication, people running for president so they can tell their grandchildren that they once ran for president, and Asa Hutchinson. But no matter what reason they have for running, they will each and every one of them be tempted to trot out this argument — viz. that “Trump can’t win the general.” The only real exception to this that I have seen thus far — though I certainly could have missed someone — is Vivek Ramaswamy. He appears to be treating the treatment of Trump as the treatment of them all. But the “Trump can’t win the general” is a bootless argument, and profoundly confused. As weighty arguments, go, it has all the gravitas of a black trash bag filled with helium.

This is a hypothetical question, floating in the upper reaches of rarified hypotheses.

If you took Donald Trump, with his current base and all of his negatives, and put him up against Biden, or any other mainstream Bolshevik, and we pushed our magic button here on the desk, such that the election that followed had absolutely nothing fishy about it, the contention is that Trump couldn’t win that election. That’s as may be. But what on earth makes you think that is the kind of election we are going to have? We are not having that kind of election now.

So you were talking about Trump being unable to win a fair and honest general election? You mean the kind that we are not going to have? We are not having that kind of election now.

Please be so kind as to remember that the last fair election Trump was in, he won. The Democrats had foolishly written him off, and thus had none of their machinery in place. The pallets of bricks couldn’t be delivered in time. They were caught flatfooted, and were profoundly humiliated with the result. But their intelligence agencies swung into action before Trump was even inaugurated, and the 2020 election interference began almost immediately. Russian collusion! The high-handed manipulations began to unfold, off-stage, below the stage, and center stage. So let us not argue about the cheating that is disputed. Let us just limit ourselves to the electoral interference that everybody can see. …

Is it just possible that some of us out here in Ordinary Land might come to the conclusion that criminalizing politics might constitute a bona fide example of election tampering? Not only a bona fide example, but a glaring grease fire example?

So I grant that Trump is not going to win the general — barring some sort of remarkable plot twist. I go into the possibility of such a plot twist a little farther down, but suffice it to say that whatever happens over the next year and a half, it will not be business as usual. …

There is only one issue in the 2024 US election: election integrity.

This means that the upcoming election is only going to have one real issue in it. … The basic issue, the only issue, the screaming issue, will be the election itself. The issue is going to be election integrity. We are going to be voting on whether future voting will mean anything. …

So you don’t like the Trump truculence. Great. Show me the man who is fighting the clear and obvious corruption of our electoral processes like a gentleman. Who is the man who is showing us all how it should be done? What is his name? Why have we not heard of him? …

Denial is not a river in Egypt:

I will say it again, a different way, a third way. I grant that if nominated, Trump is going to lose the general election. Of course he is. Just like every other Republican.

Unless something is drastically altered about the way conservatives are willing to talk about election integrity, there is no way that any conservative, or conservative facsimile, or conservative golem, is going to win the general.

And why? Because thus far the cheating has worked, and open manifest cheating has worked. The beta testing is now over. And in spite of the glaringly open manifestations of election rigging and interference, going on even as we speak, it remains a pronounced conviction of “mainstream” Republican candidates that to talk about the threat of election fraud is to get yourself relegated to the status of conspiracy nut. …

You want to find an honest man? Look for a man who hates everything Trump stands for, but who believes that what is being done to Trump by the principalities and powers is beyond atrocious, and who is loudly vocal about it. Such an honest man might be there on the Republican stage, but he has not identified himself fully yet. I mentioned Vivek earlier, but this could be principled hatred of the mistreatment of a rival, or it could mean that he is running for Trump’s veep slot. But it is a good thing either way.

Republicans love to run against Washington:

Trying to act like they are not numbered among the Beltway Banditti is their jam. They go out on the Lincoln Day rubber chicken circuit in order to tell the assembled faithful that official Washington is “terrified” at the prospect of them getting in. They would bring law and order to Dodge City, let me tell you.

But it is pretty hard to maintain just how much of a threat you are to the Establishment when that same Establishment just had somebody else in your party arrested instead of you.

And even if, under sheer weight of numbers, Trump wins:

Let us say that Trump staggers to the finish line, festooned with indictments, arrests, and trials, and let us say he loses. And let us say that there are no middle-of-the-night shenanigans — just the arrests. Just the political persecution. Do you think that the millions of people who voted for Trump under those conditions are going to think that the whole thing was done fair and square? Don’t you know what time it is? …

There are reasons to believe that Donald Trump made a real mess of some things. He sure enough did, and the meme points to one of them.

But he revealed many more messes than he caused. He was kind of like that quart of pink stuff you drink before taking your MRI, the stuff that lights up all the cancerous hot spots. It turns out, as the technician put it, we were “riddled” with those hot spots. And the cancer was there long before the pink stuff rode down that escalator . . . living on the metaphorical edge here.

Do I see any route where Trump (or another Republican) could surprise everyone and win the general? Yes, I do. It is kind of a long shot, but the mug shot and any related items might just do it. Trump won in 2016, as I noted, because the opposition didn’t have their “just in case” machinery in place. They were caught flatfooted.

If the legal persecution of Trump causes any kind of major sympathy swing toward Trump in unusual places (e.g. among blacks, let’s say), it is possible that the left could be caught flatfooted again, only in localities that they had assumed to be safe. Because they assumed them to be safe, taking them for granted, they did not have their machinery in place.

Will there ever be a free and fair election in the US again? And if the US succumbs to corruption and autocratic rule, the rest of the west may follow.

hat-tip Stephen Neil