Moving On | Opinion | Salt Lake City Weekly
Support the Free Press | Facts matter. Truth matters. Journalism matters
Salt Lake City Weekly has been Utah's source of independent news and in-depth journalism since 1984. Donate today to ensure the legacy continues.

News » Opinion

Moving On

Taking a Gander: Trump's claims of election fraud are going nowhere fast



After being slammed by the courts for his unfounded lawsuits and frivolous election challengesin Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevadaand Georgia, Donald Trump's toddler-esque tantrum shows no sign of easing. Supported by a ceaseless wave of naysaying and rabid disinformation, his lemming-base continues to soil itself with his seditious hype.

Sadly, while it may be only a game to him, his nonsensical—if not maniacal—B.S. has overshadowed the most imminent needs of our country. We have an out-of-control pandemic, staggering unemployment and growing numbers of homeless, but, like all children, Trump can only ask, insistently, "Mommy, can I go out to play now?" During a time when America needs the strongest and most competent leadership, he's cementing his legacy into the trash-heap of history. (So, what? People are suffering and dying, but it's time for another round of golf.)

Mired in delusions and fantasies, Trump fallaciously claims a landslide-victory and boasts his amazing pandemic leadership. But a humble concession is well beyond his capacity. Oh, yes, he did agree to allow the Biden to start staging his staff appointments—as if blocking the workings of our democracy was somehow his exclusive right—but he also made it clear that that token acknowledgement was simply a good-faith sitcom episode—not an admission of defeat. (Can anyone's head really be that thick?) Though both sad and frustrating, we need to remember that Trump couldn't be doing this were it not for an army of ignorant, toxic enablers.

In an effort to understand, what seems at first look to be a remarkable stupidity, I've been venturing into the far-right media. After a couple of weeks of reading the likes of Fox News and Epoch Times, I have developed a degree of empathy for the Trumpers. They've simply been scammed.

But, while it's obvious that Fox has experienced a gradual change of heart, the Epoch Times spews endless projectile-vomit. If there's a conspiracy theory, Epoch Times is on it. Just like their liar-in-chief, there are no articles that present—unless they're forced to—any solid facts. Three weeks after the election, Epoch continues to maintain that Trump won by a landslide, and that the election was not only flawed but totally fraudulent. Citing a massive conspiracy, the publication revs its readership with the standard Trump lies. In acts of desperation, and despite a mountain of contrary evidence, the publication runs toward the cliff, ignoring the legal defeats—while Trump spends many of his waking hours in the fetal position, sucking his thumb.

The latest assault to his ego: He doesn't own the courts despite believing them to be "his judges." (After all, he appointed them.) Hopefully, our judicial independence is still mostly intact. To date, his frivolous legal claims about election fraud have come to a grinding halt. In all, over 30 of the without-merit cases have been dismissed for lack of evidence. Most of us are releasing our breaths, encouraged by what looks like the independence of the courts. That's the way it was meant to be—no Republican or Democrat judges, just the steady balance of Lady Justice and a healthy separation of powers.

It eludes me how any attorney—sworn to be an officer of the court and bound to standard of truth—can have the audacity to burden the courts with cases that, at best, are a joke, and, at worst, are an assault on our democracy. Most deserve disbarment.

Trump's Republican supporters should get the picture: If Trump's bought-and-paid-for federal judges won't rule in his favor, doesn't that suggest that this whole crisis is a mere circus? When his own "people" are coming down hard on the president, it should be a clear message to his supporters.

In the background are the Republicans, the official obstructers of voting rights. Shamefully, they did everything in their power—from gerrymandering to scraping for reasons not to acknowledge mostly minority votes—to keep the poor, disenfranchised or Democrat voters from being heard. There was a time when the Republican Party stood for the American way; now it is the party that stands between the people and the most basic tenets of democracy.

As any American should know, we have a system for electing our public officials, including the president, and it has worked for the past 244 years. And, oh yes, we had to make adjustments because of the pandemic, but, if anything, mail-in voting has facilitated and streamlined the election process. Instead, it has reinforced the fundamental principle—that every adult American, with only a few exceptions, is allowed to cast a vote. Any unnecessary barriers to free elections are slams at the Constitution.

Nothing in Trump's presidency has taken us by surprise. From the beginning, he has brashly declared that he is not subject to the law, and that election results are not facts; they are merely numbers that can be tabulated, manipulated and discounted according to political whims of the present banana-republic leader.

America, it is time now to move on. We need to leave behind the chaos of the Trump presidency and welcome in a new age of fact, reason and human kindness. Sorry, Donald, but it really is over.

The author is a retired businessman, novelist, columnist and former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and the beloved ashes of their mongrel dog.