They’re still rioting in Portland, not that you would know it from stories in the New York Times. Last night’s rioting was dedicated to Trans Remembrance Day. For as long as they could, this was all blamed on Trump, but the concern remains that when Biden takes office, nothing will change because this isn’t about Trump, they have no greater respect for Biden and the new administration will be caught in the untenable situation of having to deal with the protests and rioting in perpetuity. Unless, of course, it’s never reported and no one knows it’s still going on.
But where once this rioting appeared to be the rioting to watch, their alter egos are about to take their place in the pantheon of the righteous because they believe, with the same religious fervor as any true believer, that the Dems have stolen the election. They, as Patriots, have heard the call that it’s left to them to save democracy, save America, and they plan to answer.
No hard evidence of widespread fraud, no success in the courts or prospect of it. You can have a theory that a bad thing was done, but only facts will establish it. You need to do more than what Rudy Giuliani did at his news conference Thursday, which was throw out huge, barely comprehensible allegations and call people “crooks.” You need to do more than Sidney Powell, who, at the same news conference, charged that “communist money” is behind an international conspiracy to rig the U.S. election. There was drama, hyperbole, perhaps madness. But the wilder the charges, the more insubstantial the case appeared.
The claims are wild, outrageous and utterly baseless. People want to argue about whether a claim of widespread election fraud doesn’t justify action, ignoring that their argument begs the question of whether there was any such fraud. They rely on allegations repeated among their crowd, except Tucker Carlson, who was summarily excommunicated, and can’t understand how any “rational” person doesn’t see the anomalies in the vote that are so clear and certain to them.
Much as it’s as substantively vapid as the cries about “systemic racism” that capture the hearts of the left, they are moved by the most righteous of passions to defend America from being stolen right before our eyes. So what if conservative pundits, not to mention the Never Trumpers who would be expected to side against them, say that Rudy has lost his mind and there is no evidence to show that any of this happened? The answer to those not ready to take the full plunge is “what if.”
At minimum, there are serious questions that this grand fraud happened, and isn’t that enough to give them their day in court, to hear them out, to let them gather the evidence and prove that America is being stolen? What reasonable person wouldn’t want to know the truth?
And they are ready to take up arms to save the nation. They are ready to die for the nation. They are, in their minds, patriots.
The facile response is that this “gaslighting” is Trump’s fault, as he refuses to accept that he has been rejected and humiliated, but that gives Trump far more credit than he could ever deserve. He was never concerned about anything beyond his own self-enrichment and self-aggrandizement, so why would he care now about the harm this does to democracy, to America, to the lives of the useful idiots who inexplicably believe him?
At the next level is the media, which has forsaken credibility to be part and partisan, speaking its “moral clarity” when people just wanted the facts. We now have a nation that no longer shares a common factual reality, with the left seeing cops constantly slaughtering black people in the streets and the right seeing the ghost of Hugo Chavez pulling the levers of voting machines. People disinclined to be a member of either tribe don’t know what’s left to read.
Thoughtful conservatives like Peggy Noonan can try their best to explain the fact that there is no evidence behind Rudy and Sidney’s wild cries, but as long as Republican politicians enable the deception and pander to their most passionate supporters, they will continue to be believe in the righteousness of their cause. Indeed, there may be no way, short of Trump admitting it was all a grift, to alter the trajectory of this cause. And there is no chance Trump will ever admit to being Trump.
The Patriots are armed, both with their passionate certainty that they are defending the nation and with guns. The question is what they will do with them. What does a true Patriot do when his nation’s existence is being threatened?
For the moment, they hope that some judge, some Trump judge perhaps, will finally rule their way and the evidence, the truth, will come out. So far, this is going poorly, with case after case being tossed for the abject failure of evidence, wild allegations being revealed as baseless if not just plain dumb. But like their alter egos, they marshal a litany of excuses as to why judge after judge, even Trump judges, refuse to give them their “what if” moment, to let these claims play out in court and hold up the process of a cheater assuming the presidency.
It won’t be long until the elections are all certified, the electoral college takes its vote and the presumed president-elect becomes the president-elect. It won’t be long until all the filings by Rudy’s strike force strike out in their last at bat. Then what?
Will the Patriots accept the reality that the election was fair and the outcome decided? There was a question of whether Trump would acquiesce in a peaceful transition of power or resist, refusing to leave the White House, refusing to admit that he was a loser. But he’s just one old man who would be easily escorted out of the Oval Office by the Secret Service.
But the Patriots might not be as easily moved. Will they accept a peaceful transition of power or will they be the next tribe of true believers to take to the streets, with the same passionate zeal and righteous certitude as their Antifa cousins, sacrificing their life for the cause?