Opinion: Tangled In the Rigging
A collection of (seemingly) random, unconnected, North Carolina-related Trump-facts
I’m just going to lay some things out. I’m not suggesting they’re connected in any significant way, or what they add up to, or whether they add up to anything. Taken in whole, they’re just … interesting, is all.
1. Last Monday, Trump introduced a new narrative plank to his presidential campaign, a suggestion that the election would be “rigged.” The source for this theory is, quite obviously, his ass. Nonetheless, earnest journalists, election officials, and even the President have taken the time and energy to point out that it would be damn near impossible to “rig” a national election overseen at the state and county levels.
2. Academics who intentionally hack the often archaic and unreliable voting machines used throughout the United States are increasingly worried that machines in key voting precincts—in key counties, in key states—are vulnerable to hacks by domestic or foreign operators. Such as those in Russia, who hacked the Democratic National Committee, and whom Trump openly invited two weeks ago to spy on his opponent.
3. Trump is a walking case of psychological projection. “Something I saw early on w/ Trump: most negative things he says about others are actually describing him,” Tony Schwartz, who ghostwrote The Art of the Deal for him, tweeted last month. “Read his tweets with that in mind.”
4. Wake County is one of 25 counties in battleground states that Politico identified Monday as crucial for Trump to take to have a chance to win the Presidency. “Trump, who has tended to run better with voters without college degrees, got trounced in the primary in Wake earlier this year. He will need to cut into Clinton’s advantage here in North Carolina’s second-most populous county since Clinton is likely to roll up the score in Democratic Mecklenburg County (Charlotte).”
5. Seven of every 10 Trump voters in North Carolina believe that if Hillary Clinton wins the election, it will have been because the election was rigged, according to the results of Public Policy Polling results released Tuesday. Four of every 10 believe ACORN will steal the election for Clinton. (ACORN ceased to exist in 2010.) Four of every 10 believe Clinton is, literally, “the Devil.”
6. Trump is campaigning today in eastern North Carolina, where the core of his support consists of old-time “Jessecrats,” fans of former U.S. Senator Jesse Helms. “I don’t think the urban areas are going to go heavily for Trump,” Raleigh-based GOP consultant Marc Rotterman told The Washington Post. “So you have to get an overvote in eastern North Carolina. It’s essential that they turn out that vote.”
7. At 10 p.m. Sunday, with 90 minutes’ advance public notice, the Wake County Board of Elections held an emergency meeting by phone to appoint a new member. The board said it had to act quickly to meet a federal court order in the county’s redistricting case, which involves county commission and school board districts the court ruled unconstitutional.
The new member? Edwin “Eddie” Woodhouse Jr., a former spokesman for Jesse Helms and a cousin of North Carolina Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse.
8. Onstage in Wilmington today—referring to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ strikedown of North Carolina’s voter ID law, which illustrated clearly the General Assembly’s deliberate effort to prevent as many black people as possible from voting—Trump said this:
“Why aren’t we having voter ID? In other words, I wanna vote. Here’s my identification. I wanna vote. As opposed to somebody coming up and voting 15 times for Hillary. Well. And I will not tell you to vote 15 times. I will not tell you to do that, OK? You won’t vote 15 times, but people will. They’ll vote many times.”
UPDATE: So, yeah. Now there’s this.
We now know a couple of things for certain. Trump knows, somewhere in his diseased brain, that he is going to lose. That’s what compelled him to talk about a rigged election. A person who thinks he can actually win doesn’t pre-emptively accuse his opponent of cheating. That’s loser’s talk.
And here’s the other thing: He’s willing to unleash however many armed lunatics exist out there to kill Hillary, or kill her judges, or kill whatever they see, whatever he meant, it’s all “burn this bitch down” anyway. There’s always been an unhealthy dose in the Trump phenomenon of a classic abuser’s attitude: If I can’t have her, no one will. We all need to brace ourselves for some things we haven’t seen in decades in the United States. From here on, even the best case looks ugly as sin, or violence.