Donald Trump the other day tweeted something dangerous (a sentence I fully expect we’ll get used to saying over the next four years):
I can only assume he’s referring to VoteFraud.org’s claim (promoted by InfoWars) that “Three million votes in the U.S. presidential election were cast by illegal aliens”.
Why is this so bad?
Well, for one it’s totally unsubstantiated. If there are really three million people voting illegally it would be a slam dunk for the Republicans, supporting all their voter suppression efforts over the last XX years, legitimizing Donald Trump’s popular vote victory, and likely allowing them to successfully pass a whole new barrage of voter ID laws.
But – wait, because here comes the first part I need a drink for – Gregg Phillips, the “voting integrity activist” responsible for this claim refuses to release the data!
Since then….nothing. So it’s safe to assume there is no evidence to base these claims on.
This is bad because it sets the stage for PEOTUS to delegitimize his popular vote loss. Donald Trump is going to win the Electoral College vote and become the next president of the United States, but he still lost the popular vote by over 2 million votes at last check. This means that he does not have a popular mandate for his extreme agenda – which is an important consideration as he continues to pack his cabinet with polarizing individuals with limited mandates of their own.
This delegitimization is also being used by hopefully soon-to-be-ex Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina as he tries to cling to power by claiming he only lost the vote in NC due to voter fraud. It’s been a nice smokescreen while he tries to pack the NC Supreme Court on his way out, too.
Lying about voter fraud delegitimizes democracy.
It’s that simple. Donald Trump and the Republicans won this election but are staring at the real data that shows their hold on the vote is precarious. They lost elections in historically Republican states like North Carolina, despite winning federally, because of their extremist platform. Lying about voter fraud in this way sets them up to claim future losses aren’t really losses at all.
It also sets up pushing through even more restrictive Voter ID laws in the wake of the Shelby County v Holder decision invalidating parts of the VRA. These laws in general have “radically discriminatory intent” and, had the law referenced in the linked NPR story not been struck down, may actually have tipped the NC election.
The highest-elected Republican in the country is pushing a dangerous narrative either out of ignorance or a desire to pass divisive, discriminatory laws that disenfranchise Americans. And he’s not even in office yet.
I need a drink.
Fittingly, here’s a recipe for the Smoke and Mirrors, a scotch-based cocktail guaranteed to help you read through Donald’s Twitter feed:
- 1.5oz Single Malt Scotch (old enough to vote, if you can find it)
- .5oz Benedictine D.O.M
- .5oz Byrrh Grand Quinquina
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Pour the above ingredients into a mixing glass. Smoke with applewood. (For a guide on how to smoke cocktails, check out this video)
Stir well with ice then serve in a chilled coupe glass with an orange twist for garnish. Enjoy!