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The Election That Cried Fraud

Can anyone really fault the media apparatus in the United States and around the World for not taking the allegations of electoral fraud or misconduct being made by the Trump campaign and Republican bloc seriously?

For four years we have been conditioned to ignore or homeopathically distil President Trump’s every utterance. He is a pathological liar – this cannot be contested, even if you support him. He tells it how he sees it, in every moment and with no regard for how he may have previously seen it (even yesterday or an hour ago). What Trump says, like a good ol’ Bible verse, cannot be taken literally literally.

It should come as no surprise to team Trump that people have thus tuned your shit out. The archetypal boy that cried Wolf! is you. All but the most pro-Trump media outlets are not taking any allegations of misbehaviour, fraud or mistake seriously. The story being pursued is how outrageous and nefarious these claims of fraud themselves may be, not whether the claims actually have any merit.

Yes, in fairness, there are too many within the Media that harbour a thoroughly deranged, visceral hatred of Trump, and cannot see past this to the more troubling question of why, despite the President’s obvious deficiencies, Biden merely won this election by the skin of his teeth and Hillary lost hers.

Still, a word of warning – in a country as large and divided as America, it seems near-impossible that not even a single ballot was mishandled, slipped from sight or was even deliberately manipulated.

Do I think that the scale of any such ‘mishandlings’ has been enough to swing the election to Biden? No.

Do I think that there has been a nationwide conspiracy orchestrated by the Democrats or their proprietors to swing the election to Biden? No.

But the point remains, there is a story to be told here. The best outcome is that all allegations backed by evidence are brought before courts and judged on their merits. We must be prepared to accept that in some cases wrongdoing will be found. We should expect that in most cases it won’t be.

There are two opposing camps within America, both simultaneously believing they are witnessing an attempted coup d’etat by the other side. This is a precarious position to be in. Words like coup don’t even register with us – surely those things don’t happen here? Yet tens of thousands of Americans believe just that is happening right before their eyes.

The worst outcome is that all claims are dismissed out of hand, and evidence (or the lack thereof) is not properly examined, leaving a sizeable minority of the country believing that the election was stolen from them and that the justice system and media are complicit in the theft.

We must trust in the legal system, trust in due process. If there is no evidence, there is no evidence. If there is, we have a moral obligation to see that it is not quashed. It is much better that the election result be proven correct in a hundred courts in a dozen or more states, than the allegations are dismissed.

This will likely turn out to be Trump’s last great lie – but journalists and truth-seekers must prove it so, not assume it so.