The thought of another Trump presidential term horrifies those who still haven’t recovered from the first one, and thrills those who’d like to see him finish what he started.
This week’s message goes out to the latter: the best thing you can do to ensure either Trump or a likeminded candidate wins in 2024 is to stop insisting the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ (that Trump himself continues to say that isn’t doing him any good either).
Unfortunately, many disgruntled Trump supporters believe the system is so ‘rigged’ and that the ‘deep ‘State’ destroyed everything that it’s not even worth voting anymore because the other side’s going to cheat anyway. Congratulations, you’ve just been played like a fiddle by that other side.
To date, President Biden has been so inept that just about any GOP challenger can beat him, but that won’t happen if Trump’s base stays home. It’s a travesty that Biden was elected once, but, like it or not, he really did get more votes than Trump did. Let’s understand why, and not let it happen again.
Once we dispense with all the unproven allegations – overseas vote-changing databases, Trump votes dumped into the river, boxes of phony Biden votes pulled out from under tables late at night (“I saw it on TV!” some will say – but what exactly do you think you saw?), and a pillow salesman insisting he has smoking-gun evidence that will blow this scandal wide open – the logical question is: how could Trump, whose rallies are packed with thousands of wildly enthusiastic supporters, lose to Biden, who barely generated enough of a crowd to field a baseball team? On a related note, how in the world did frail, boring Biden manage to gain more votes than Democrat superstar Barack Obama?
Those are very good questions indeed. And even if we don’t find satisfying answers, it doesn’t mean we should automatically conclude the election must have been stolen. Analogously, just because we can’t understand why there’s so much suffering in the world doesn’t mean it logically follows that there is no God.
First, let’s consider that in 2020, Biden received 81 million votes, compared to Obama’s 69 million in 2008 and 65 million in 2012. That seems awfully fishy at first glance, but keep in mind that Ronald Reagan (1984) and Richard Nixon (1972) who each won an astounding 49 out of 50 states in their reelection bids, received just 54 million and 47 million votes, respectively. Remember, with every election, the overall population grows.
The vital statistic, then, is not the number of votes a candidate received, but the percentage among actual and eligible voters.
Obama received 52.86% of all ballots cast in 2008 and 51.01 in 2012. In 2020, Biden received 51.26%, a slight decrease from the Democrat’s share in 2008 and a slight increase from 2012, but, generally, all three are almost identical.
In 2008, 57.1 percent of those eligible to vote actually did, compared to 57.7 in 2012 and 66.8 in 2020. Thus, when Biden (not Obama) was the candidate, not only was the total number of eligible voters larger (239 million), but so was the percentage, which explains why almost 30 million more Americans voted in 2020 than 2012, the last time Obama was on the ballot. To those who wonder how Trump could lose even though he gained 8.4 million more votes than in 2016, it’s because so many more people turned out, on both sides. Based on their respective voter allocation percentages, if every eligible voter voted, Trump would have gained about 50 million more votes from 2016, and still would’ve lost.
Even so, rigged-election theorists point to Obama’s unquestionably greater popularity among Democrats compared to Biden, by turning to the 2008 Democratic Primary, in which Obama and Hillary Clinton battled it out for the nomination, receiving a combined 95.38% of the party vote among them, with Biden capturing a paltry two-tenths of 1 percent! Obama had 17 million votes among Democrat primary voters, and Biden a measly 81,000.
But consider that in 2016, when Trump out-campaigned 16 other Republican Primary opponents, Lindsey Graham got just 5,666 votes, or two hundredths of 1 percent! Conservative favorite Mike Huckabee, also a candidate, did slightly better, gaining 48,937 votes, or 1.6 tenths of percent. Yet if Trump declared in 2018, that he wasn’t running again and the choice was between Graham or Huckabee vs. a 78-year-old rapidly deteriorating Biden, would you Trump voters have stayed home, simply because you weren’t wildly enthusiastic about the GOP nominee?
Well, just like you consider the current president to be a disaster, so did Trump-bashers consider the previous one. It doesn’t matter that they preferred Obama to Biden, it’s that they could stomach the alternative if Obama were to lose – John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 – far more so than another four years of Trump. Remember, they didn’t vote in droves in 2016 because they never thought Trump had a chance of winning in the first place, because the media told them Hillary Clinton had it in the bag and would run away with it in a laugher. They woke up (no pun intended) and decided they weren’t about to stand by idly and watch Trump win again. And it didn’t help that Democrat governors made it easy for them by enabling voting by mail and neighborhood dropoff boxes. It’s a wonder they weren’t allowed to vote by a smartphone app.
Simply put, Democrats are the party of candy, and Republicans the party of broccoli. Make it easier for everyone to vote, and the Dems will win. Until everyone’s had too much candy, get a mouth full of cavities, realizes that sugar and corn syrup don’t really count as vegetables, and votes Republican again.
In 2024, many Biden voters will have buyer’s remorse and switch sides. But that won’t matter if you’re still insistent that the other side categorically cheats.
Accept that we were outplayed in 2020 and stop whining about it like Gore voters in 2000 who wanted umpteen recounts.
Just like Trump-bashers in 2020, let’s wake up and make sure the person we consider the nightmare candidate doesn’t win in 2024.