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  • Writer's pictureNancy Dafoe

You Can Fool Some of the People Some of the Time: A Look at Trump’s Seditious Claim of 2020 Victory

You Can Fool Some of the People Some of the Time

The old adage about deception, “You Can Fool Some of the People all of the Time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln. The adage sounds like something our 16th President might have said, but it turns out, that is not the case. The statement is most likely the work of French minister and writer Jakob “Jacques” Abbadie, according to all the historical evidence. Of course, that is not what many people want to hear, many “people being able to be fooled all of the time.”

Apparently, Trump forgot the ending of the adage and believed with all his too-sizes too small heart that you can fool enough of the people all of the time. Refusing to accept a loss, even before the election, Trump repeatedly told his supporters at his rallies, “The biggest problem we have is if they cheat with the ballots. That's my biggest problem.” Actually, Trump has much bigger problems, even beyond his exit from the White House as the Manhattan District Attorney will soon be telling him, and as his Putin connections have already likely told him about the overdue loans he owes.

You Fool Enough of the People Some of the Time

But Donald J. Trump bet it all on being able to fool some of the people all of the time. On that sad note, he was not wrong. With 74,223,755 Americans voting for Trump in the 2020 Presidential election, with voter suppression, gerrymandering, and 24/7 FOX, Breitbart, NEWSMAX, and other right-wing propaganda outlets in full tilt crazy conspiracy mode, Trump thought they would guarantee his victory, his indefinite reign on power. “NO WAY WE LOST THIS ELECTION!” Trump tweeted on Nov. 29, 2020.

But You Cannot Fool All of the People All of the Time

Trump forgot about the 81, 283,495 Americans he consistently ignored, demeaned, and tried to discount for the last four years and in the very election he needed so desperately to win. Those Americans voted for the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris ticket and a chance to preserve their democracy. Trump forgot the rest of the adage: You cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

On December 11, 2020, the United States Supreme found the Texas-AG Paxton-led lawsuit to overturn the 2020 Presidential election had no standing and no basis in law. “The suit, filed directly in the Supreme Court, sought to bar Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin from casting their electoral votes for Joseph R. Biden, Jr,” wrote New York Times writer Adam Liptak.

Even packing three conservative Supreme Court justices, Mr. Trump was unable to steal a victory. The Supreme Court gave no standing to the effort by Trump and prominent members of his party to deny Joe Biden his clear victory. In terms of numbers, Biden won by more than seven million votes, even more than Hilary Clinton’s large margin over Trump in the popular vote in 2016. Even rushing through the last-minute confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett just before the presidential election did not get Trump the illegitimate win he expected.

For those Trump cultists who claim no one has lost an election with the number of votes Trump received, we break it down into terms they can, hopefully, understand: The next biggest gap was the 1980 “Reagan landslide.” In that three-way contest, Ronald Reagan took just under 51% of the popular vote, in his “landslide” victory, a margin slightly less than Biden’s victory.

Unfortunately, You Can Fool Too Many People All of the Time

“The state of Texas’ motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing,” the court’s order said.What is left to say about a political party that would throw out millions of votes?” asked the New York Times Editorial Board on December 12, 2020. “The substance of a lawsuit filed by the State of Texas, and backed by more than 17 other states, would be laughable were it not so dangerous. Texas’ attorney general, Ken Paxton — who is under indictment for securities fraud — asked the Supreme Court to overturn the results of the presidential election in four other states. As a legal matter, this is the rough equivalent of objecting on the grounds that the other side is winning. As political rhetoric, however, it is incendiary…At least 126 Republican members of Congress — more than half of all House Republicans — rushed to sign a court filing endorsing the Texas lawsuit. That misuse of the legal system was not restricted to the fringes of the party,” according the Times Editorial Board. Even the omissions are suspect. Minority leader, Kevin McCarthy stated that his name was “inadvertently omitted” from the original list, McCarthy being not only treasonous to the country but a coward on top of it.

No Fooling All the People

Rather than creating a Republican platform designed to help a majority of the electorate, the GOP led by Trump tossed out the concept of a platform and ran on the strategies of voter suppression, deception, racism, sexism, and gaslighting.

In 2016, those deceptions prevailed, and Trump was able to fool enough of the people all of the time. In 2020, the adage came back to deliver relief: you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Come January 20, 2021, Donald J. Trump will be exiting the highest office in our land, dragged out kicking and screaming, tweeting and cursing, or walking under his own diminished power, whimpering and skulking. Good riddance.

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