For months, polls showed Joe Biden ahead in the presidential race by double digits. The public was not concerned, we were inscrutably assured, about Biden's rambling, inarticulate and often completely nonsensical statements. The last-minute revelations of his son Hunter Biden's role in potential political corruption was just a "Russian disinformation campaign." The anemic attendance at Biden's (and Kamala Harris') sparce public appearances, we were told, was better proof of their overwhelming voter support than the tens of thousands of people who waited in line to attend President Donald Trump's rallies.
None of this was intended to depress the turnout of Trump voters. It was not pollster miscalculation. It was deliberate and designed to create the impression that Biden's election was a sure thing — an impression that would become useful later.
The refusal of Fox News to call the states of Florida and Texas for Trump was not an abundance of caution. Why would the network refuse to call Florida with 98% of the votes in but call Arizona with over a million Election Day votes yet to be tallied?
Consider: Only moments after its polls closed, California was called for Biden as well. States that had already been called for Biden — plus Arizona and California — then gave Biden the appearance of having more electoral votes than Trump, creating the impression that Biden was ahead. This manipulation of the public's perception of unfolding events would echo the earlier polls and begin to reinforce the idea in at least some of the public's minds that Biden was — or would be — the victor.
Amazingly, this call would also be the trigger for swing states in the Midwest, Nevada and Georgia to suddenly stop counting votes, with Trump up in almost every single state. It would then be much easier to calculate the number of votes Biden would need to capture the lead. While we were told that ballot counting had stopped, in fact, bins and boxes and bags of ballots were being delivered and counted in the middle of the night — and, in many cases, 100% percent of them would be for Biden.
Statistically impossible. But remember those polls and electoral vote tallies. And remember also that, several weeks ago, Axios used the term "red mirage" to explain what the public was going to see on Election Night: Trump would appear to be winning, but the flood of mailed-in ballots (that Democrats had insisted were necessary to protect the public from COVID-19) would sweep Biden to victory.
Even Biden's self-designation as the "president-elect" is propaganda, since one is not the president-elect until one is elected. And that does not take place until the electors have cast their votes and Congress certifies the vote. (In typical Biden fashion, even this bit of hubris isn't original; former President Barack Obama created his own sign and seal for "the Office of the President-Elect" in 2008.)
The networks' proclamations last Saturday that Biden had been elected president were more of the same. Those throngs of joyful people crying, singing, shouting, screaming in the streets of Washington, D.C., and other major cities (throwing COVID caution to the winds) were exactly what was intended. As with the polls, the "red mirage" predictions and the election night calls, this manipulation of public sentiment has been crafted to leave President Trump with two options, both unpleasant.
Trump and his team are challenging vote tallies in several states, alleging fraud and other procedural irregularities. This is legal and unremarkable. Manual recounts are frequent — automatic in some states — when vote totals are close. But you would never know that from listening to the media, which has been reinforcing the Democratic Party narrative that Trump is an aspiring dictator or a lunatic who will have to be dragged from the White House.
If, on the one hand, those allegations turn out not to be true — or if they are true but do not affect enough votes to flip the states Trump needs — then he loses the election.
But the alternative appears worse. If Trump's challenges prove successful, if he flips some combination of the contested states so as to win the election, the master manipulators behind the scenes will have convinced millions of Americans that the legal challenges were abuse of process, that such a result will be illegitimate, that the presidency has been stolen. Trump's first term will look like a honeymoon compared with what he will/would be facing after two, three, four weeks of Biden voters celebrating what they were told was Biden's victory, what they have been told for months would be Biden's victory.
And that brings us to other, more ominous aspects of the media manipulation. It's implausible that anyone high up in the Democratic Party or the major media planned last summer's riots in reaction to the death of George Floyd; antifa's ongoing violence in Portland and other cities; or the "occupation" of Seattle. But the Democratic mayors of these cities didn't stop them either. The threat inherent in the confluence of these events is clear: Accept the results of the election as we have announced them — or face the wrath of the mobs we have whipped into a fervor.
In a bitterly ironic twist, a huge majority of the nearly 72 million Americans who voted for Trump already believe that that fraud has irreparably compromised the election. According to a poll released earlier this week, 70% of Republicans do not believe that this election was free or fair.
Propaganda thrives in a climate of deceit. The body politic is infected with it. We desperately need laws that protect the integrity of our elections and minimize the possibility of manipulation. If the ongoing challenges to state vote tallies reveal widespread fraud — even if it is not enough to change the election results — that alone will be a beneficial result.