Joe Biden, President-Elect?

This was the weekend on which the Democratic Party and mainstream media, totally ignoring legitimate concerns about widespread vote fraud in several states, declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election. 

Almost nobody said, “Hey, wait.” A friend of mine in Manhattan reported that people outside his window were cheering. 

Even the New York Post, recently demonized in other media for its Hunter Biden exposé, joined the chorus with a front-page headline reading “It’s Joe” and articles referring to him as the president-elect.

Ditto Fox News. On Greg Gutfeld’s Saturday evening program, a Biden victory was taken for granted by the host and all four guests—except for Tom Shillue, whose reminder that fraud was still under investigation was greeted by the other panelists with something that felt like unease.

One regular part of Fox News’ Saturday lineup was strangely missing. Only the next morning was it reported that Judge Jeanine Pirro’s show had been canceled because she had been planning to discuss the vote fraud. Fox News denied this. 

On the same evening, in Wilmington, Biden and Kamala Harris took part in a public event at which they effectively declared themselves president- and vice president-elect. 

The whole thing was bizarre. Trump hasn’t conceded; in several states, the numbers are very much in doubt. It’s getting hard to keep track of all the fraud claims. 

And yet the media, and the political and cultural establishment generally, all bought into it—the idea obviously being to present the whole thing as a fait accompli and thereby make it harder for the Supreme Court to hand the election to Trump. 

On Sunday, I looked at the Wikipedia page titled “President-elect of the United States.” It stated: “If the result of an election is unclear or disputed, no person is normally referred to as president-elect until the dispute is resolved.” Next to this sentence was a picture of Joe Biden with the caption: “As of November 7, 2020, Joe Biden of Delaware is the president-elect of the United States.”

Although Biden’s Wilmington speech was predictably semi-coherent, one point came through clearly enough. “Stop treating our opponents as our enemies,” he said. “They’re not our enemies. They’re Americans.”

That was rich, coming from a man who, on the rare occasions when he’d spoken up during the past couple of years, had parroted his party’s line that Trump voters are bigots, morons, and “ugly folks.” A man who’d taken part in the unprecedented, treasonous conspiracy to push the Russian-collusion lie and thereby unseat an elected president. 

Forgive and Forget?

Biden wasn’t alone in pushing this forgive-and-forget line. On Facebook, my page filled up with memes like this one: “Don’t lose friendships today over two men who don’t even know your names. It’s OK to have different political views and still be OK with each other.” 

That meme, and the others like it, were all posted by Trump supporters. But I had to respectfully dissent. These people, however pure their intentions, were calling for forgiveness without repentance. They were asking their fellow Trump voters to pretend that none of this ugliness had ever taken place—the years-long coup attempt, the rhetoric about “deplorables,” and finally, yes, the vote fraud. 

It was asking Trump voters to believe if they only affirmed the idea that Biden had won, their longtime Democratic tormentors would shed socialism, corporations would drop globalism, the deep state would quit its partisan perfidy, and journalists would go back to being journalists.

As former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted on Saturday night: “Resist. Overturn. Boycott. Surveil. Leak. Impeach. And now they tell us it’s time to heal. Where were they for the last four years?”

As it happened, many on the Left—and to me it seemed like most, not just many—weren’t exactly extending the hand of friendship anyway. They were gloating. Forget Kathy Griffin’s picture with the severed Trump head. Some of the images I saw this weekend on social media put that one in the shade. 

For four years, I bit my tongue while Trump-hating friends and relatives repeated lies about him and savaged those of us who supported him. Even as they ramped it up during the campaign, I hung in there. But this weekend they dialed their hate up to 11, and I found myself finally unfriending them, one after another. 

I’d been able to take their snottiness throughout Trump’s presidency. What I couldn’t take was their vicious post-election gloating. Even victory—and that’s what they claimed: victory—hadn’t tamed their rage. 

In some cases, their gloating even took the form of saying, in effect, “Yes, maybe there was chicanery in the election count—in which case, good!” In short, they actually cheered on corruption—the betrayal of the voters’ will, and of the Constitution.

Time for Revenge?

Then there were the multitudinous Facebook posts indicating that Democrats were preparing to take their revenge against Trump supporters. 

Even before the election, Bill Clinton’s secretary of labor, Robert Reich, now a professor at UC Berkeley, tweeted:

 “When this nightmare is over, we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It would erase Trump’s lies, comfort those who have been harmed by his hatefulness, and name every official, politician, executive, and media mogul whose greed and cowardice enabled this catastrophe.”

Naming names! That was on October 18. Meanwhile, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) was touting its Trump Accountability Project, which “catalogues (sic) the anti-LGBTQ statements and actions of President Donald Trump and those in his circle” for the benefit of “journalists and others.” In other words, the lazy, partisan hacks of the mainstream media don’t even have to make up their own lies about Trump being antigay. 

(Trump is, nota bene, the first president to enter office as a supporter of same-sex marriage, the first to hire an openly gay Cabinet member and the first to spearhead a campaign to rid the world of antigay laws. Some homophobe!) 

Post-election, this lust to punish the supporters of the election’s purported loser—a lust that was never seriously evinced among Trump voters in 2016—went into overdrive. On Friday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) posted: “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future?”

Key word: archiving! 

Also on Friday, Washington Post columnist and prominent NeverTrumper Jennifer Rubin tweeted, “Any R[epublican] now promoting rejection of an election or calling to not to [sic] follow the will of voters or making baseless allegations of fraud should never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into ‘polite’ society. We have a list.”

Several Trump supporters replied to Rubin’s tweet by asking to be put on her list. Put me down, too, Jen.

The next morning, Rubin was even more insistent: “It’s not only that Trump has to lose, but that all his enablers have to lose,” she said on Joy Reid’s MSNBC show. “We have to level them. Because if there are survivors, if there are people who weather this storm, they will do it again.” 

Nobody on Reid’s panel challenged her. 

So, no, it doesn’t quite seem a moment for reconciliation. Turn the other cheek to these people and they’ll finish you off and move on to the next chump. No, they’ve made it clear that if Biden does take office, they’ll be even more vicious and arrogant in power than they were out of power. 

Which means that we need to stand up more firmly than ever for freedom and America. 

Yes, it sounds pretty to say that people with different political views can “still be OK with each other.” Maybe that was true back when we all shared the same basic values. To watch the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debate is to recognize that the actual ideological and policy differences between those two men were minuscule. 

Today, no more. The people who put Biden in office are aspiring totalitarians and their unwitting, brainwashed tools. Never underestimate the deadly seriousness of aspiring totalitarians.  

About Bruce Bawer

Bruce Bawer is the author of While Europe Slept, Surrender, and The Victims' Revolution. His novel The Alhambra was published in 2017.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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