Pardon My Perplexity, But Why Should We Be Gracious?

It is hard for me to understand the advice now emanating from Fox News and much of the rest of Conservatism, Inc.. These folks have gone into high gear instructing Donald Trump’s supporters to “graciously” accept Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Since we are not allowed to utter the word “fraud” to describe what has happened, are we at least permitted to refer to “irregularities”? I’m not sure that even that’s OK. 

At high noon on November 7, when Fox News anchor Chris Wallace announced his network was declaring Biden the victor in the presidential contest, he quoted Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who warned the outgoing president against saying anything “inflammatory.” Presumably, noting that scores of irregularities had taken place during the election in battleground states with Democratic governors and in heavily Democratic districts would have the effect of “dividing” our country. 

On Saturday night, several Fox News pundits were mulling over the question of why Republican congressmen were not yet flooding the newly and duly elected president with notes of congratulations. Marc Theissen stepped in to explain that Trump had “frozen” this natural process, by engaging in what seemed tiresome and unnecessary litigation. Karl Rove was bubbling over with delight as he explained that Biden, in his first remarks as president-elect, appealed to “healing and unity.” NeverTrumper and Fox News “all-star” Jonah Goldberg seemed profoundly relieved to see Trump and his “juvenile attitudes” go down to defeat. And former Florida Governor Jeb Bush tried to get out ahead of the others by “praying for our new president.” 

Although I could add to these examples, it might be best to come to my point. It is for me truly mind-boggling that after the Democrats and their allies behaved maliciously to undermine Trump’s presidency, his devotees are expected to act like kindly losers. I’ve heard from Republican leaders that Trump should “graciously concede,” although in the meantime, he may be allowed to investigate the election results with his lawyers pro forma. One might also infer that Trump lost in what is imagined to have been a fraud-free election. Somehow the fact that until now not nearly enough patently false ballots have turned up to change the election results means that the electoral process was entirely on the up and up. Unfortunately, too many irregularities occurred, which this website has documented, to permit such confidence.  

Perhaps our congratulators are scared that the new administration will follow Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s exhortation, quickly seconded by neoconservative columnist Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post, that those who openly supported Trump should be ridiculed and professionally isolated. In Germany, such a fate awaits anyone in public life who is known to have voted for the Alternative für Deutschland, the only significant non-leftist party in the German parliamentary spectrum. 

Ocasio-Cortez, Rubin, and other friends of Joe may have similar plans for dissenters in this country. And presumably the electronic media barons will be able to throw more of Joe’s critics off Facebook, Twitter, and Google. What’s to stop them, given that the guy whom they paid megabucks to elect has captured the presidency and is bringing along his leftist handlers? 

If these fraud games are permitted to work once, why shouldn’t Democrats repeat the same tactics in future contests? After all, who’s standing in their way if they resort to dubious ballot-counting once again? Certainly not our media conservatives and Republican regulars who want to get on with “cooperating.” 

Perhaps Biden’s party will keep the same playbook, with ballots arriving days after the election date, some of them unsolicited and being counted in rooms from which Republican observers are barred. The Democrats could roll this out again for the upcoming Senate run-off race in Georgia.  But such finagling may soon be unnecessary. President Biden could put Democratic electoral victories beyond Republican reach by issuing executive orders granting old and new illegals both citizenship and voting rights. It is highly unlikely that Biden or Harris would confer with Theissen, Rove, Wallace, or Goldberg before taking that action.  

Perhaps our GOP collaborators are not terrified that something sinister will befall them, unless they make nice to the Democrats. They may be trying to buy influence with the other side; and some, if not all, are happy to be rid of an administration that was turning off their lefty friends. But whatever they may intend, their policy makes no sense for our side. It is foolish to bestow goodwill on those who practice ruthless tactics, such as abetting and excusing violent riots, on their way to power. 

Appeasement and ingratiating language will not likely change the Left. It will simply embolden it to behave even more brazenly. 

A more sensible course would be to deny a Harris-Biden Administration any cooperation. Let them derail the country economically and socially and do it on their own. Meanwhile (by then former) President Trump could hold rallies in which he focuses on the coming disaster. Donald Trump, Jr. is showing the right spirit with his sober opinion on Twitter yesterday: “The best thing for America’s future is for Donald Trump to go to total war over this election.” I particularly like the call for “total war.”      

 

About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.

Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

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