Why This Election is Rigged

October 17, 2016

It’s been interesting watching the Trump campaign in the last couple of weeks. The Access Hollywood tape has caused the candidates and his surrogates to flail wildly to find something to distract attention from what probably was a mortal wound.

But really, this campaign has been over for weeks, and I’m certain the Trump campaign folks know it, but I really can’t tell if the reality of the situation has permeated Donald Trump thicket of carbon-fiber hair and into his brain. One hint that he does understand what’s going on is the resurrection of one word: rigged.

Trump began talking about a “rigged” system in April, calling it a “a rigged, disgusting, dirty system,” after Ted Cruz won some GOP delegates with superior organizing and planning.

We didn’t hear much about a rigged system until August, when Trump was again languishing in the polls after a poorly staged convention (and a much better-presented Democratic convention): “And I’m afraid the election’s gonna be rigged, I have to be honest,” he said.  Another spike in his use of “rigged” came, unsurprisingly, after the first presidential debate, which pretty much everyone agrees did not go well for Mr. Trump. Publicly, Trump tried to put the best face on it, retweeting online polls showing an overwhelming victory, but that one word, “rigged,” once again showed he knew he had lost.

The pattern is pretty obvious: when Trump is doing well, it’s his own doing. No one should be surprised that in a disastrous couple of weeks of casting about for someone to blame–SNL? seriously?–Trump’s speeches have been peppered with that word again and with dark suggestions that there will be massive and widespread voter fraud, particularly in precincts with high African-American demographics.

Could there be some attempts at voter fraud? Sure, but it would require a massive conspiracy in both parties and across multiple states, making it highly unlikely. And even if there were such a massive conspiracy, it would matter only in a close election–and require millions of fake votes.

But this election isn’t close. Trump had one task only in this election: win the states that Romney won and pick up a number of swing states that had voted for Obama. The way to do this, of course, was to attempt to appeal to moderate and undecided voters. That shouldn’t have been a difficult task, as Hillary Clinton is perhaps the second-most disliked major-party candidate in memory–second only to Mr. Trump.

What he needed to do was try to attract college-educated whites, women, and persuadable minorities.And indeed, his campaign kept telling us that was what he was going to do. But what we got instead was classic Trump: an appeal to African-Americans that traded in racist stereotypes (they all live in poor, violent, inner cities, and they need help from the government (him, actually) because they can’t take care of themselves). His appeal to women consisted of trotting out women who accused Bill Clinton sexual assault and then denying he’d ever done what he had bragged about to Billy Bush. Of course, the denials just opened the floodgates, and women are rushing forward to tell the same story about Trump. At this point, no one gives a damn about Bill Clinton’s past because Trump’s behavior just makes him look hypocritical.

Is it any wonder that the operative word this week–in almost all of Trump’s tweets and speeches–is “rigged.” Others have written about how irresponsible and, frankly, unpatriotric and un-American it is for Trump to call into question the sanctity of our electoral process, and I won’t go into that other than to say that, if violence does result from unhappy Trumpistas after the election, we know whom to blame.

As for me, I’m content to know that, finally, inevitably, Trump knows he’s lost. Roland Barthes once wrote that expressing love to another is an “affirmation of extreme solitude.” We tell other people we love them because we understand we are alone, and we hope that they will love us in return and rid us of our loneliness. In the same way, Trump’s assertions that he would be winning, save for a “rigged” system, is a pathetic acknowledgement that he’s lost, and he knows it.

Expect to hear “rigged” even more often over the new few weeks, as the scope of Trump’s loss sinks in. I’ll smile every time I hear it.

 

 

Advertisements

Top Ten Reasons I Support Trump

December 15, 2015

Many of my friends have expressed shock and dismay when I’ve told them I plan to vote for Donald Trump in the Republican primaries and (God willing) the general election. To clear up some confusion, I thought I would just give a list of the excellent reasons I support this great man.

10. He’s going to “make America great again.” Who could argue with such a simple yet detailed plan? Some people say it can’t be done, but the Donald knows better. America won’t be great until he says so.

9. When Trump is president, those hedge fund guys won’t be robbing us blind anymore. Instead of paying 23.8% in capital gains taxes, they’ll be paying 25% in income tax. That’ll show ’em.

8. This country used to be a peaceful place where people of all races were treated equally and prospered. But then 11 million murderers and rapists showed up. We need to get rid of them and put up a big wall to keep them from coming back. It may take 20 years and $600 billion to do the job, but dammit, it’s worth it.

7. Two words: weaponized hairpiece.

6. Trump is our adversaries’ worst nightmare. Putin, the ayatollahs, the Chinese–they’d all be quaking in their boots if they had to face him across the table instead of some idiot diplomats who know what they’re doing.

5. Our budget deficit is out of control, and the best way to deal with it is to cut taxes by $11 trillion over the next 10 years.

4. Just admit it: Muslims are scary. We’ll never have peace and security as long as there are people in our country who make us afraid.

3. Diplomacy is overrated. Let’s just bomb the shit out of everyone.

2. Someone has to close up the Internet. Only foolish people value freedom of speech.

1. He’s the perfect man for our times: ignorant, greedy, narcissistic, and afraid.