The Margin of Victory: Over 5,000,000 Votes

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Margin of Victory

Donald Trump recently sent out a message to his followers: “Our effort to defeat Hillary Clinton and turn this country around is more than just a campaign, it is a movement. In all 50 states, proud Americans are standing up and joining our movement by the millions. Many of them have never been involved in politics before.”

Let us imagine that Hillary Clinton sent out a similar message. Suppose her campaign spokesperson said that “many of the people who have never been involved in politics before” are suddenly registering and voting. Do you truly believe that Trump would not use that statement as evidence that voter fraud on a massive scale is taking place? He most certainly would launch on a massive advertising loop, and it would be an effective lie.

Now it may well be true that the core of Trump’s supporters are people who have never been involved in politics before, and short of concrete evidence anyone who accuses Trump of engaging in fraudulently recruiting voters for his cause should be ashamed of themselves. His advocates deserve equal respect as legitimately recognized members of the electorate.

Respect must be mutual, however, or it means little. The overwhelming majority of people who are voting for Clinton, in fact, are individuals who have voted in Presidential elections before. In many instances, this will be the tenth or twelfth time that they have compared Democratic and Republican candidates. They have a lifetime of experience at making this decision, and it is not a spur-of-the-moment matter. Their overwhelming preference should not be castigated as the outcome of a rigged election.

It is, in fact, not Trump but the Democratic party that should justifiably be concerned about a rigged election, especially after the FBI’s dubious conflation of Hillary Clinton with the disgraced husband of one of her primary aides. Supporters of Hillary Clinton should disavow paranoia, however, even though it is true that in numerical terms an election can be rigged. In predicting that Trump will lose by over 5,000,000 votes, I doubt that even the enthusiastic willingness of the KGB to serve as avatars of intervention will be enough to reverse the outcome in the loser’s favor.

If Trump wants to protest about a rigged election, he should consider the fact that “In the 2012 election, Republicans lost the popular vote for all House candidates by more than 1.4 million, but still won a majority of seats.” (Source: Doyle McManus) Controlling a legislative body with only a minority of total voters voting in one’s favor can hardly be said to be a legitimate extension of democracy fulfilled. Such a distortion, Mr. Trump, is what a rigged election looks like.

Finally, Donald Trump is not merely unfit to hold public office; he needs to be held accountable for the damage done to public civility as a CUI, a Candidate Under the Influence: in this case, the influence of narcissistic ambition. As the date of the 2016 General Reckoning reduces itself to a single digit countdown, Trump seems to have no comprehension that his proclamations of a “rigged election” verge on incredulity. Surely he is aware that his behavior resembles that of individuals who are psychologically incapacitated, but I fear that is not the case. I suppose that gap is the most painful part of any self-delusional state of non-recognition. One cannot advantageously hold the mirror up to the form and pressure of the age, if all wants to see is one’s own perpetual power.

If Mr. Trump had been a mediocre candidate, he probably could have pulled off an equally deplorable imbalance of minority rule as the above outcome of the House of Representatives’ elections. He was, however, such a despicably unfit candidate that one can only wonder what sad, tormented clown tempted him beyond his power to resist. In his case, he was as powerless as an alcoholic to refuse the proffered glass, and he needs to check himself into a clinic to detox immediately.