There’s a real fear manifesting around newsrooms and in government conference rooms around the country. Donald Trump and many of his top surrogates are hammering two ideas: voter fraud is going to steal the election from him and media bias is so rampant that the polls (which he once touted) are false.
Regarding the latter, I wholeheartedly agree. The media is biased in favor of Democrats. It’s important to note that they’re not biased specifically against Republicans; they hate Libertarians, socialists, Green Party candidates, and anyone who doesn’t have the (D) next to their name. Of course, that means that their arch nemeses are anyone with the letter (R) next to their name, but it’s important to understand that they stand supporting Democrats rather than opposing Republicans. It’s subtle, but it’s important, particularly as we strive to build a new conservative party.
With that out of the way, let’s address the former: voter fraud. Does it happen? Absolutely. Is it enough to swing an election? In some cases, yes. Is it enough to swing this election? Not at all. Unless something bigger than anything in Wikileaks’ bag of tricks comes out soon, Hillary Clinton is going to win many states that were once considered swing states by very large margins. If we’re being generous, voter fraud can account for a percentage point or two (though it’s usually much less than that). Spreading the notion that Trump would win Pennsylvania without voter fraud when polls show him down by nearly 7 points is ludicrous. This is why the media bias plays. He can’t just say the votes were rigged when he loses. He has to point out that the polls were rigged ahead of time as well.
The question that everyone seems to be asking is “why?” I’ll sound pompous by saying this, but it’s been blatantly obvious for months. Trump doesn’t care if he wins or loses the election. He has a win-win scenario. If anything, he is much better off if he loses the election. His long-time goal of having a Trump media empire to play with until he dies and to solidify his kids’ future is in play today. He knows that he needs video of Hillary Clinton killing baby animals to be leaked in order to have better than 6-1 odds of winning this thing. That’s the biggest reason that his rhetoric has been sharply shifted towards blaming everyone in recent weeks. He blames the GOP. He blames the crooked media. He’s pre-blaming voter fraud.
All of this is a setup to secure a lucrative mandate from his fervent base to get all the backing he needs for his media empire.
The GOP is crooked, so he needs Steve Bannon to clean them up. The media is crooked, so he needs Sean Hannity to set them straight. The system is broken, so he needs a platform to set it straight. This election has been his launching pad for something even bigger than the Presidency. This is a play for real, permanent power. He wants what Rupert Murdoch has, which is sad considering that Murdoch’s team is partially responsible for building what could become their most direct competitor.
This is also why I get annoyed by questions like, “Why is Trump’s son-in-law discussing creating a Trump television network?” The answer has been right there in front of us all since a couple of months after he launched his campaign. I suspect there are plenty of people who saw it coming before he even launched.
Does this mean that he’s trying to throw the election? No. He wants to win. He’s been trying to win. However, he’s been holding his media empire in his back pocket the whole time. It’s enabled him to get where he is today. He’s not a bold “straight talker” because that’s just his personality. Most don’t give him enough credit to realize that he’s cunning and calculating. He’s been able to take risks with his actions and words that are only possible when someone knows they have a safety net waiting down below if they fall off the edge. He wasn’t attempting to cheat political death when he made his bombastic attacks starting on day one. He needed the attention. If the attention won him the election, so be it. If it lost him the election, so be it. Either way, he wins in the end.
The second reason that he’s making all of these claims is because his ego demands it. He’s a winner. Every loss must be spun as a win. He didn’t fail with his multiple business collapses or bankruptcies. He wants us all to believe he was brilliant, making moves and staying a step ahead of disaster the whole time. The whining against voter fraud and media bias are simply scapegoats he’s creating so he can look an interviewer in the eye and said that he would have won if the system had been fair.
In retrospect, it’s clear that Trump was inevitable. He was going to do the damage he’s done to this country whether we liked it or not. It’s a bonus for him that he found enough people to like it. Now, he has a base that will follow him long enough to put their credit cards into his subscription-based media model. Love him or hate him, the way he’s played the party and the country is a masterpiece.
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