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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 2 weeks ago

We’ll probably never know

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For the 74 million who voted for Trump, they want one thing for sure: to know the truth.
by: Matt Walsh Editor & CEO

As of this writing, the counting of presidential votes from the Electoral College was on hold because of a bunch of out-of-control idiots (the rioters).

Even so, the results, when finally counted, will be anticlimactic. Everyone already knows the outcome: Trump loses.

That’s the way it’s going to go, even though most of the 74 million Donald Trump voters have been hoping for a miraculous “trump” card and are convinced the results were cooked.

The outcome actually became clearer by the day over the past two months even in the face of persistent claims of cheating, unlawful behavior and crooked vote counting.

For Trump voters, it seemed destined to be so because they’ve felt all along that at least two of the key forces necessary to expose and reverse what happened Nov. 3 just weren’t there for them, namely:

  • The newspaper media, in particular the one-time great metropolitan dailies that used to be known for their dogged, relentless muckraking for justice.
  • The elected Republican legislators in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Arizona. Even though they controlled their state legislatures and had the power to stop preelection unconstitutional rigging, many diehard Trump voters have expressed that these lawmakers have cowered, that they are blow-with-the-wind politicians who talk tough at their own election times, but when it comes to hard, controversial decisions, they stay in the bounds of establishmentism.

You can certainly see that in some of Florida’s own Republican congressional delegation (see box).

First: the newspapers.

In the heyday of newspapers — post-Watergate and pre-Facebook, Google and Big Tech — America’s metropolitan daily newspapers were regarded as credible and trustworthy. If there was a hint of government corruption, they would have shined the light on it.

In those days, the Knight-Ridder newspapers of the Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer and Detroit Free Press and the then-St. Petersburg Times became legendary for exposing government corruption. Reporters in those days lived to expose crooked politicians.

What’s more, editors and reporters were careful not to take sides politically. One example: Tom Fiedler, the Miami Herald political editor whose reporting exposed Gary Hart’s extramarital affair, ending Hart’s 1988 presidential candidacy, was so adamant about not showing favoritism that he did not vote in elections.

Today, of course, the landscape is far different. Newspapers are weakened financially and don’t have the resources they once did. What’s more, as a result of clear cases of bias over the years in two of the nation’s most prominent newspapers (The New York Times and The Washington Post) and among network and cable TV “personalities” (it’s difficult to call them news reporters), the media, unfortunately, have lost much of their credibility as trustworthy, straight news sources. Everyone knows the vast majority of the mainstream press is liberal and doesn’t shy from it. The result: Good luck finding a Trump voter who accepts what they print and broadcast.

But here’s what is making this public media scorn and skepticism far worse: social media.

If you read the Detroit Free Press’ straight chronology and narrative of what occurred on election night inside the TCF Center, you see the picture from all sides — replete with good and bad actors from both political sides. The narrative allows readers to make their own conclusions.

But what jumps out in the reporting of events inside the TCF Center is how social media posts became gasoline on a fire — the instant shooting of information into the ether world unfiltered, unchecked, without context.

It’s easy, then, to see how Trump voters are convinced that crookedness and fraud turned the election — especially when you multiply these viral fireballs flying all over the country.

To be sure, there were — and had to be — irregularities and wrongdoing. There always is. Everyone knows Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are notorious for political corruption.

But in the end, given the 150 million-plus votes cast; the hundreds of allegations, signed affidavits and lawsuits swirling in the contested states; the confusion; the rumors; the Big Tech censoring — given all that, Trump voters feel, unlike the days of old, there is no unbiased mainstream national media they can trust to present the truth.

And it’s not just Trump voters. The Rasmussen polling firm recently reported 47% of voters believe fraud determined the outcome — with 75% of Republicans believing it; 33% of Independents; 16% of Democrats.

Talk about tragic.

Lawmakers — state and national — haven’t helped. They were complicit in creating the chaos in the swing states.

In Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, Republicans controlled their legislatures. And in each of these states, as explained by constitutional lawyer and commentator Mark Levin, the Republican legislatures allowed their states’ executive and judicial branches to usurp their constitutional authority and change their states’ voting laws and practices.

As Levin has repeatedly noted, the Second Amendment to the Constitution says, “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors …” As he says, only legislators can change elections laws.

But in Georgia, the secretary of state in March signed a consent decree with the Democratic Party on how the state will handle signatures on absentee ballots. In Michigan, Levin reports, the secretary of state mailed out 7 million ballots. “The problem is,” Levin said, “under Michigan law, you have to request a ballot and need some identity requirements.

“In all four of the battleground states, the executives and the judiciary had more impact and more input into the election laws leading up to this election than the state legislatures did.”

In short, except for small bands of Republican lawmakers in those states, Republican lawmakers, including Republican Govs. Brian Kemp in Georgia and Doug Ducey in Arizona, haven’t put up much of a fight.

That brings us to what was expected Wednesday in the Capitol — objections to the election results. (That is, until Trump protesters turned into idiots.)

Prior to the mayhem, Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas were expected to be among at least 12 senators ready to vote to reject the electors from the disputed states unless and until an electoral commission is appointed to conduct a 10-day audit of the returns in the disputed states. In the House, more than 100 Republicans said they would object to the outcome as well.

We had to wonder: And what of Florida’s Senate and House Republicans?

You would think, given the intensity and public interest in this historic issue, they would let their constituents know where they stand on the issue. But when we checked the websites of the 16 Florida Republicans in the House and Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, only one member — Rep. Bill Posey of Rockledge — had posted any information on his official website, stating his position on the presidential elections.

And as of this writing, we knew of nine Florida Republican congressional members who said they planned to object to the Electoral College results on the House floor:

  • Matt Gaetz, Fort Walton Beach
  • Kat Cammack, Gainesville
  • John Rutherford, Jacksonville
  • Michael Waltz, Daytona Beach/Palm Coast
  • Bill Posey, Rockledge
  • Scott Franklin, Lakeland
  • Greg Steube, Port Charlotte
  • Brian Mast, Port St. Lucie
  • Byron Donalds, Naples

For Florida’s Trump voters, this list tells them a lot. They’ll at least know there are nine Florida congressional members willing to take a stand for the person for whom they voted.

But of course, that’s of little consolation. It’s likely Trump voters will never know the whole truth of whether the results were real or rigged. But they’ll always have the feeling that the never-Trump Republican establishment let them down.

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