23 votes

Why Republican voters say there’s ‘no way in hell’ Trump lost

40 comments

  1. [16]
    Akir
    Link
    Every single person I've ever talked to on the right does this exact same bullshit - they take all of the people they don't like and pretend that they're a single person. It's extreme...

    Ruddy said Newsmax isn’t saying that Biden stole the election - but they’re also not calling him the winner given that Trump has valid legal claims. “The same media who said Biden would win in a landslide now want to not have recounts,” he said in a phone interview.

    Every single person I've ever talked to on the right does this exact same bullshit - they take all of the people they don't like and pretend that they're a single person. It's extreme strawmanning. And it drives me absolutely insane.

    If there were just one thing that caused the division here in the US, this is exactly what I would blame. It makes it impossible to talk to people who do this. How on earth could you ever give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who is vaguely progressive if you think that they're part of this secret cabal of people who are trying to take over the country and ruin everyone's lives? And the thing is that no matter how much you explain that not everyone has the same thoughts and feelings, they are so reliant on that idea and it is reinforced so frequently by the media they consume that there is no way to remove that assumption from their minds.

    But you know what? I'm going to join the people on the right in this case, and agree with them on one point: fuck Fox News. They're the ones who told their viewers to not trust real news, so they can go ahead and suffer while they are abandoned by the extremists they created. They created the cult, so it's about time they started feeling some of the consequences.

    30 votes
    1. wycy
      Link Parent
      It was a landslide. They defined Trump's 2016 306-232 victory as an "electoral landslide" despite popular vote loss. Biden's 306-232 victory is definitionally an electoral landslide--not to...

      “The same media who said Biden would win in a landslide now want to not have recounts,”

      It was a landslide. They defined Trump's 2016 306-232 victory as an "electoral landslide" despite popular vote loss. Biden's 306-232 victory is definitionally an electoral landslide--not to mention the massive popular vote lead.

      17 votes
    2. [12]
      streblo
      Link Parent
      The fact that the uber-rich cannot see the writing on the wall that they cannot control this populist cult of fact-deniers baffles me. Why are billionaires giving their money to a process defined...

      The fact that the uber-rich cannot see the writing on the wall that they cannot control this populist cult of fact-deniers baffles me. Why are billionaires giving their money to a process defined by it's wanton recklessness for democratic norms and stability? Sure, some people got extremely rich when the USSR fell but those were largely people without much to lose.

      13 votes
      1. [11]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        Many of them don't anymore, though it's a bit late. The Democrats had a sizeable money advantage this year. Often, it didn't help. A funny thing about influence is that sometimes it only works...

        Many of them don't anymore, though it's a bit late. The Democrats had a sizeable money advantage this year. Often, it didn't help.

        A funny thing about influence is that sometimes it only works when you tell people what they somehow wanted to believe already. It's easier to promote conspiracy theories than to debunk them. Advertising effectiveness isn't just a matter of money.

        To make an analogy to epidemiology, people are more susceptible to some memes than others. Everyone has their weak spots, stuff that they will uncritically repeat or reshare because it's "too good to check." Some have more weak spots than others.

        8 votes
        1. [10]
          bkimmel
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          To me (I used to work for the DNC) this is the biggest sea-change in politics that the party hasn't come up with a strategy for yet. The Clintonian "raise, spend, bury" tactics worked so well for...

          The Democrats had a sizeable money advantage this year. Often, it didn't help.

          To me (I used to work for the DNC) this is the biggest sea-change in politics that the party hasn't come up with a strategy for yet. The Clintonian "raise, spend, bury" tactics worked so well for 30 years that the entire party infrastructure is still ossified around them. It reminds me of a story my Military Science professor told me about Claymore mines in Vietnam: patrols would set them facing outward around their camps at night and blow them off in the morning to disrupt any Viet Cong waiting to ambush them. In the beginning this worked so well for the patrols that did it, it became SOP. After a while they started taking massive casualties and finally figured out it was because the VC were turning the claymores around at night and facing them towards the camp.... Same thing with paid media.

          My #1 and #2 candidates in the primary were Buttigieg and Yang because their comms leads (Smith and Sanchez, respectively) seem to be the only ones that have mastered the new reality that earned media is everything now... Reflected in the fact, I believe, that these two candidates were the ones that punched the highest above their weight class. I'm hopeful that we'll find a way to engage more broadly with those approaches in the next cycle or two, but a certain Roy Rogers quote comes to mind: "I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat".

          11 votes
          1. [9]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            I supported Yang and thought Buttigieg was somewhat interesting, but both candidates lost pretty badly, so I'm not sure what conclusions we can draw from their campaign strategies? Biden won, and...

            I supported Yang and thought Buttigieg was somewhat interesting, but both candidates lost pretty badly, so I'm not sure what conclusions we can draw from their campaign strategies? Biden won, and he won decisively in the primaries. It wasn't by the margins we might hope for in November, but it's still better than what anyone else did.

            4 votes
            1. [5]
              bkimmel
              Link Parent
              Biden's team are no slouches (I worked with a lot of his senior aides at various points and they are, to be sure, consummate professionals) but it's worth remembering that he started in the lead....

              Biden's team are no slouches (I worked with a lot of his senior aides at various points and they are, to be sure, consummate professionals) but it's worth remembering that he started in the lead. Buttigieg won Iowa and Yang is now nationally known and both of them began the primaries as virtual unknowns. It's easy to forget that they leapfrogged like 20 or so other campaigns of candidates who had been in politics for decades. It's true they didn't win, but when you consider a campaign with respect to where they ended versus where they started in terms of recognition/polls there's a fair case to be made those were two of the best-run outfits in the primary; specifically, to the point I made earlier, because they were making better / more creative use of earned media. Go read the article on Lis Smith: that hustle in booking her principal on every outlet was the equivalent of millions and millions in paid media. Sanchez is so weird and creative, it was gasoline on the fire of Yang's name rec. The thing they have in common is that they both use paid media but they didn't lean on it the way the rest of the party - even more "progressive" candidates like Warren - did.

              10 votes
              1. [4]
                MimicSquid
                Link Parent
                Does this looks like an age division as opposed splitting by political stance? Buttigieg and Yang seem like they were on the young end of the candidate pool this year, and there's definitely a...

                Does this looks like an age division as opposed splitting by political stance? Buttigieg and Yang seem like they were on the young end of the candidate pool this year, and there's definitely a sense that the olds don't really understand the internet as it exists today.

                2 votes
                1. [3]
                  bkimmel
                  Link Parent
                  Are we talking the candidates or their campaign staff? Some of the oldest candidates had some of the younger staff. Conversely younger candidates like Beto had O'Malley as his CM before she went...

                  Are we talking the candidates or their campaign staff? Some of the oldest candidates had some of the younger staff. Conversely younger candidates like Beto had O'Malley as his CM before she went to Biden... She's not old, but she's been in Federal politics for like 25 years or something.

                  3 votes
                  1. [2]
                    MimicSquid
                    Link Parent
                    I suppose I'd assumed that there'd be a correlation between candidate and staff ages, but it sounds like I'm wrong?

                    I suppose I'd assumed that there'd be a correlation between candidate and staff ages, but it sounds like I'm wrong?

                    2 votes
                    1. bkimmel
                      (edited )
                      Link Parent
                      I suspect that there is some correlation, it just might not be as strong as you think. A friend once wryly observed, as we passed a gaggle of twenty-somethings on Capitol Hill in DC crowding...

                      I suspect that there is some correlation, it just might not be as strong as you think. A friend once wryly observed, as we passed a gaggle of twenty-somethings on Capitol Hill in DC crowding themselves into a bar for dollar-fifty beer night, that these kids were drafting legislation an hour ago that effected billions of dollars and how nowhere else on earth had so much responsibility left in the hands of broke children (which we also were at the time, but still). The same dynamic crosses over into campaigns. There aren't a lot of forty-year-olds at the staff level.

                      6 votes
            2. [3]
              moocow1452
              Link Parent
              Anti-corporate sentiment appears to be building in the house, least on the Democratic side. That's not translating to the executive branch, and while you can go back and forth on why that is, I...

              I'm not sure what conclusions we can draw from their campaign strategies?

              Anti-corporate sentiment appears to be building in the house, least on the Democratic side. That's not translating to the executive branch, and while you can go back and forth on why that is, I think it's a conversation the Democrats are going to have to have the next time they put up a presidential candidate.

              4 votes
              1. [2]
                stu2b50
                Link Parent
                I mean that's just the difference between local and national politics. When AOC talks about healthcare for all, for breaking up big tech, for bigger and better corporate regulations, for higher...

                I mean that's just the difference between local and national politics. When AOC talks about healthcare for all, for breaking up big tech, for bigger and better corporate regulations, for higher corporate and income taxes, her section of New York loves it.

                On the other hand, you'd get eviscerated for that in much of the midwest, and in much of the sunbelt, especially ones with high latino populations (cough florida cough).

                And its the midwest (the famed blue wall) and the sunbelt that are the kingmakers in national politics.

                6 votes
                1. bkimmel
                  Link Parent
                  Exactly. And it can't be exaggerated how devastating it was to turn that seat from an engine that protects vulnerable Dem incumbents to one that attacks them.

                  Exactly. And it can't be exaggerated how devastating it was to turn that seat from an engine that protects vulnerable Dem incumbents to one that attacks them.

                  4 votes
    3. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Strawman attacks are a natural conclusion when someone's ideology is backed into a corner with no logical way forward.

      Every single person I've ever talked to on the right does this exact same bullshit - they take all of the people they don't like and pretend that they're a single person

      Strawman attacks are a natural conclusion when someone's ideology is backed into a corner with no logical way forward.

      5 votes
    4. skybrian
      Link Parent
      They did, but at least they did a reasonable job of calling the election, so that's a bit better than some of their conservative competition.

      They did, but at least they did a reasonable job of calling the election, so that's a bit better than some of their conservative competition.

      2 votes
  2. [9]
    Flashynuff
    (edited )
    Link
    This is an irresponsible article. Reuters should not be framing the arguments of fascists as a neutral 'both sides' issue, regardless of how quaint the diner is they're found in. It legitimizes...

    This is an irresponsible article. Reuters should not be framing the arguments of fascists as a neutral 'both sides' issue, regardless of how quaint the diner is they're found in. It legitimizes the idea that these arguments are based in any sort of reality. If you want to know why fascists want to disregard the election, you should not be asking the fascists!

    12 votes
    1. [5]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      I'm not sure if I'm missing sarcasm, but I will assume onwards that this isn't sarcastic. The article doesn't present it in a "both sides" way. It's more of a light character study in the people...

      I'm not sure if I'm missing sarcasm, but I will assume onwards that this isn't sarcastic.

      The article doesn't present it in a "both sides" way. It's more of a light character study in the people who believe Trump's claims. The central question is really: "Why do these people not believe Biden is the winner", which is a question worth investigating, since it's clearly a problem that 65 million people believe in a conspiracy theory.

      The implied truth as written in the article is that Biden was the winner, and there was no fraud.

      Some quotes from the article

      Trump’s legal onslaught has so far flopped, with judges quickly dismissing many cases and his lawyers dropping or withdrawing from others. None of the cases contain allegations - much less evidence - that are likely to invalidate enough votes to overturn the election, election experts say.

      ...

      Most repeated debunked conspiracy theories espoused by Trump, Republican officials and conservative media claiming that millions of votes were dishonestly switched to Biden in key states by biased poll workers and hacked voting machines.

      ...

      The widespread rejection of the election result among Republicans reflects a new and dangerous dynamic in American politics: the normalization of false and increasingly extreme conspiracy theories among tens of millions of mainstream voters, according to government scholars, analysts and some lawmakers on both sides of the political divide.

      20 votes
      1. [4]
        Flashynuff
        Link Parent
        one side: the other side: My issue with this article is that I think implied truth is not good enough for this situation. It is certainly worth understanding the self described motivations of...

        one side:

        It may not be the last time. Many Republicans see attacks on election integrity as a winning issue for future campaigns - including the next presidential race, according to one Republican operative close to the Trump campaign. The party, the person said, is setting up a push for “far more stringent oversight on voting procedures in 2024,” when the party’s nominee will likely be Trump or his anointed successor.

        the other side:

        Other Republicans urged patience and faith in the government. Charlie Black, a veteran Republican strategist, does not believe Republican lawmakers will continue backing Trump’s fraud claims after Biden is inaugurated. They will need White House cooperation on basic government functions, such as appropriations and defense bills, he said.

        “People will come to see we still have a functioning government,” Black said, and Republicans will become “resigned to Biden, and see it’s not the end of the world.”


        The implied truth as written in the article is that Biden was the winner, and there was no fraud.

        My issue with this article is that I think implied truth is not good enough for this situation. It is certainly worth understanding the self described motivations of fascists, but it needs to be accompanied by a critical analysis of their actual motivations. Otherwise, it's not really an article about "why Republican voters say there’s ‘no way in hell’ Trump lost", it's just an article about the fact that they are saying that.

        6 votes
        1. [3]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          1, those aren't actually two sides. A Republican can hold both beliefs: that weakening trust in the election is beneficial strategically for the party and that Republican lawmakers will give up...

          1, those aren't actually two sides. A Republican can hold both beliefs: that weakening trust in the election is beneficial strategically for the party and that Republican lawmakers will give up soon enough. In fact, it's probably the modal outcome that Republicans will continue to weaken institutional trust in the election but that it won't manifest this cycle.

          2, that isn't even a false "both sides" between the OAN reality and reality. Those are two actual beliefs held by actual lawmakers, that some Republicans really are pushing election fraud as a strategy and that some Republicans aren't. I don't see the issue in presenting that as is.

          It would be a problem if Reuters tried to present the "the election had massive fraud, Trump is the winner" as a viable alternative, but they did not. I fail to see how presenting the fact that actual Republican lawmakers are trying to use this as a strategy is bad. They are. And people need to know that.


          but it needs to be accompanied by a critical analysis of their actual motivations.

          But it did. Literally the quote you had

          Many Republicans see attacks on election integrity as a winning issue for future campaigns - including the next presidential race, according to one Republican operative close to the Trump campaign. The party, the person said, is setting up a push for “far more stringent oversight on voting procedures in 2024,” when the party’s nominee will likely be Trump or his anointed successor.

          That's why the Republicans are OK-ing the fraud claims.

          And as to why the ordinary Americans are pushing it, that's because they do believe it, there's no deeper motivation. People believe Trump won.

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            Flashynuff
            Link Parent
            If that's supposed to be critical analysis, I don't think it's very good. Yes, Republicans are going along with the fraud claims because they think it can help them win. Yes, ordinary Americans...

            If that's supposed to be critical analysis, I don't think it's very good.

            Yes, Republicans are going along with the fraud claims because they think it can help them win. Yes, ordinary Americans legitimately believe that Trump won. These are facts that are right to be reported.

            However, a critical analysis might ask "Why is remaining in power more important to Republicans than respecting what is a clear victory for Biden?", "What has caused these people to believe Trump won in spite of explicit evidence to the contrary?", "Why has right wing media continued to propagate what is outright false?", or "What is meant by 'far more stringent oversight on voting procedures', and how does that call to mind something like Jim Crow?"

            My primary point is that without an actual explanation of what's going on here, the only thing this article does is publish the views of fascists unchallenged on an established and respected news site.

            5 votes
            1. stu2b50
              Link Parent
              You can criticize the depth of the article - in the end, it's not a deep investigative front page story, it's just one additional story published today - but I fail to see how it "publish the...

              You can criticize the depth of the article - in the end, it's not a deep investigative front page story, it's just one additional story published today - but I fail to see how it "publish the views of fascists unchallenged". Literally everywhere in the article challenges the views. There is not one piece that gives anything but the tone of "here are some crazy people, saying crazy things".

              In the end, Reuters is a much more international outlet than, say, the Times. The reason this article exists is that elsewhere in the world, it's very likely you woke up, saw Biden had won, went "huh, that's nice", and then a week later say reports of the "million MAGA march" and wondered WTF is happening.

              So yes, it's going to seem a little light to someone who is highly engaged and connected with US politics. However, it absolutely does not give a "voice to fascists" or anything. If someone read this article, and came away believing that the Election-fraud believers were anything but conspiracy nuts, I worry for their reading comprehension.

              It's a fine article for what it is.

              14 votes
    2. [3]
      Autoxidation
      Link Parent
      I disagree. I think this offers a look into why these people believe what they do. Here, and on other left leaning places on the internet, it's easy to think many of these people are stupid,...

      I disagree. I think this offers a look into why these people believe what they do. Here, and on other left leaning places on the internet, it's easy to think many of these people are stupid, insane, or crazy, but the reality is many are making rational decisions based on the information they are being provided, especially in context of past information. Many have been conditioned for years to reject any news they perceive as left leaning or biased and to seek out sites like Breitbart/OANN/Fox News and now Newsmax that fit their beliefs and misinformation being peddled by people like Trump and Giuliani. These people are trapped in these media bubbles and unwilling to look outside of it or seek information outside of it.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        cmccabe
        Link Parent
        I agree that this is a value of these type of articles. However, I don't think the behavior described is rational. It is better to point out that biases and logic fallacies underpin much of the...

        I think this offers a look into why these people believe what they do.

        I agree that this is a value of these type of articles.

        However, I don't think the behavior described is rational. It is better to point out that biases and logic fallacies underpin much of the thinking. For example, you said:

        Many have been conditioned for years to reject any news they perceive as left leaning or biased and to seek out sites like Breitbart/OANN/Fox News and now Newsmax that fit their beliefs

        ...this is a classic case of confirmation bias.

        3 votes
        1. Autoxidation
          Link Parent
          Yes. They've been slowly conditioned to not trust the "liberal media." If you put yourself in their shoes, and take them at their word they genuinely believe that other media isn't trustworthy,...

          Yes. They've been slowly conditioned to not trust the "liberal media." If you put yourself in their shoes, and take them at their word they genuinely believe that other media isn't trustworthy, and that they believe the information presented to them by those rightwing sources, they're responses to things like Biden's victory are rational from their information stream. People like Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity hitched up to Trump and Trumpism, as did Fox News. Now that Fox News is seen as bucking against Trump, many on the right instead choose to believe Trump over Fox News, and are migrating to Newsmax and OANN (if they hadn't already).

          4 votes
  3. [14]
    skybrian
    Link
    It’s funny how for many years, computer scientists were pointing out flaws in voting machines (remember Diebold)? I think those problems were mostly fixed? The conspiracy theorizing is rooted in...

    It’s funny how for many years, computer scientists were pointing out flaws in voting machines (remember Diebold)? I think those problems were mostly fixed? The conspiracy theorizing is rooted in previous actual problems, repeated in garbled form.

    12 votes
    1. [3]
      vord
      Link Parent
      While there has been some progress, it's far from fixed: https://www.npr.org/2019/05/02/718270183/trips-to-vegas-and-chocolate-covered-pretzels-election-vendors-come-under-scruti There's also an...

      I think those problems were mostly fixed?

      While there has been some progress, it's far from fixed:

      https://www.npr.org/2019/05/02/718270183/trips-to-vegas-and-chocolate-covered-pretzels-election-vendors-come-under-scruti

      There's also an article I remember but can't find at the moment, where a Republican that has a large stake in a voting machine company then wins first election by ~53,000 votes after having his machines installed. Then another Republican has those machines installed elsewhere and wins next election by exact same margin.

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Interesting that this article from last year was in part about who was going to get the contract in Georgia, and briefly mentioned Dominion who apparently won. Also, this was about replacing...

        Interesting that this article from last year was in part about who was going to get the contract in Georgia, and briefly mentioned Dominion who apparently won. Also, this was about replacing voting machines that don't have a paper trail with machines that do, which was the most important thing that the computer scientists wanted.

        Could the manual vote count that Georgia just finished have even happened in previous years?

        3 votes
        1. vord
          Link Parent
          Likely not. But this is why voting hardware and software should be simple, open, and publicly auditable. Anybody with access to transistors and a soldering iron should be able to replicate a...

          Likely not. But this is why voting hardware and software should be simple, open, and publicly auditable.

          Anybody with access to transistors and a soldering iron should be able to replicate a voting machine.

          8 votes
    2. [8]
      streblo
      Link Parent
      The US should go back to paper ballots. The fact is, you can have the most secure voting platform ever, but a layperson cannot audit it. Paper ballots are simple and verifiable. The fact that...

      The US should go back to paper ballots.

      The fact is, you can have the most secure voting platform ever, but a layperson cannot audit it. Paper ballots are simple and verifiable. The fact that voting machines even allow these conspiracies to exist is reason not to use them.

      10 votes
      1. [3]
        andre
        Link Parent
        Texas is backwards in many ways, but I think the voting process (in Dallas at least) was well done. Present your ID to a poll-worker. They validated it on an internet connected tablet and handed...

        Texas is backwards in many ways, but I think the voting process (in Dallas at least) was well done.

        1. Present your ID to a poll-worker. They validated it on an internet connected tablet and handed me a paper ballot.
        2. Insert paper ballot into electronic voting machine and make your selections
        3. Machine prints human-readable results on the paper ballot. Verify it printed what you wanted
        4. Insert ballot into electronic vote counter. You see the total number of votes counted go up by one
        16 votes
        1. scissortail
          Link Parent
          Yep, I really think this ought to be the standard. Electronic records with a paper backup that the voter can verify with their own eyeballs.

          Yep, I really think this ought to be the standard. Electronic records with a paper backup that the voter can verify with their own eyeballs.

          5 votes
        2. Ellimist
          Link Parent
          Also live in DFW, although one of the smaller suburbs. Early voting was a breeze. Line moved fairly quickly and as you described. Present ID, get paper ballot, make selections on machine which...

          Also live in DFW, although one of the smaller suburbs.

          Early voting was a breeze. Line moved fairly quickly and as you described. Present ID, get paper ballot, make selections on machine which mark the paper ballot, give it to vote counter machine. Easy peasy.

          3 votes
      2. skybrian
        Link Parent
        I do like scanned paper ballots. Since I vote by mail I don't even see the machines anymore. But it can be a bit more complicated when you want to support multiple languages and accessibility, so...

        I do like scanned paper ballots. Since I vote by mail I don't even see the machines anymore. But it can be a bit more complicated when you want to support multiple languages and accessibility, so it's useful if they are there for some.

        When they are using a machine, it often prints a paper ballot and shows it to you, so you can double-check.

        The problem is that as we've seen, none of this matters when people want to believe in conspiracy. A meme doesn't have to reflect reality. In a way, it's fighting the wrong war.

        4 votes
      3. [2]
        meff
        Link Parent
        What are some paper ballot styles in use? Are these like scantron style ballots?

        What are some paper ballot styles in use? Are these like scantron style ballots?

        1 vote
        1. streblo
          Link Parent
          Here in Canada it's a bit different because in the states the ballots are huge and you guys vote on a bunch of things we do not so this is not apples to apples but a ballot looks like this:...

          Here in Canada it's a bit different because in the states the ballots are huge and you guys vote on a bunch of things we do not so this is not apples to apples but a ballot looks like this:

          https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/images/E201_004ef.jpg

          You just x your selection and each polling station counts these by hand with monitors watching the process and can very clearly understand what is going on.

          6 votes
      4. suspended
        Link Parent
        It's all paper ballots here in Maine. We know how secure it is so we are keeping it.

        It's all paper ballots here in Maine. We know how secure it is so we are keeping it.

        1 vote
    3. [2]
      NaraVara
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Much like Trump himself, I feel like many of his elderly acolytes have started to reach that stage of life where they begin losing their sense of time where they can't keep track how long ago...

      Much like Trump himself, I feel like many of his elderly acolytes have started to reach that stage of life where they begin losing their sense of time where they can't keep track how long ago things are. I mean, I'm in my mid-thirties and even I occasionally catch myself thinking about things that happened a "few years ago" that actually happened 10 or 15 years ago. I can only imagine that as you get older that compression gets worse. The 90s must feel as close to them as 2010 feels to me.

      3 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        I guess, but see my other comment. Some things just got fixed this year?

        I guess, but see my other comment. Some things just got fixed this year?

  4. ras
    Link
    He's so close, yet so far away.

    “If I’m being manipulated by Trump ... then he is the greatest con man that ever lived in America,” Caleb Fryar said. “I think he’s the greatest patriot that ever lived.”

    He's so close, yet so far away.

    10 votes