Thomas Gallatin / December 6, 2022

What Did Trump Really Say About the Constitution?

Trump’s comments were ridiculous, but as usual his deranged critics went even further overboard with their denunciations.

Donald Trump’s Achilles heel is his own narcissistic self-assurance, which translates into him always being right when he decides that he is. Which is always.

The 2020 election had plenty wrong with it. From media and Big Tech interference to bulk-mail balloting, it was not a fair election, even if most of the problems were arguably “legal.”

Trump, however, cemented in his own mind and in the minds of his most faithful followers that there was no possible way he could have lost the election. To this day, Trump has doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down on his claim that the election was “rigged” and “stolen,” though he and his legal team tended to focus on counting votes instead of the aforementioned real problems. Furthermore, any Republican or conservative who dares to question Trump’s claim is immediately smeared as a RINO and part of the problem.

Trump’s MO has long been to never admit defeat. While this may be a calculated tactic to show toughness for making business deals, it is not a characteristic of good leadership. Yes, there is a long line of leaders throughout history who shared this “my way or the highway” ethic, but most of them were tyrants who always placed their own interests ahead of the rights and needs of the people.

The United States of America is not a democracy but a republic. Our system of government rests upon the populace electing representatives whose power is both delineated and limited by the Constitution. Superseding all elected officials’ authority is the Constitution. It is the standard for governance of the people. So, when individuals seeking power appear to call for all or parts of the Constitution to be ignored, changed, or terminated, this should immediately raise red flags.

Over the weekend, just in time for the critical Georgia Senate runoff, Trump issued his latest 2020 election fraud rant by posting on his social media site Truth Social the following message:

So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION?

He added:

A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections.

Trump was responding to new Twitter owner Elon Musk’s release of the “Twitter Files” exposing internal documents that show how the company colluded with Democrats and federal law enforcement to censor damaging stories — primarily the one about Hunter Biden’s laptop revealing Joe Biden’s corruption — ahead of the 2020 election. Twitter’s collusion with Democrats is indeed a scandal that is still being unpacked. Big Tech clearly interfered in the 2020 election on behalf of Joe Biden and the Democrats. This interference may have swung the election in Biden’s favor, as there have been reports indicating that a significant number of Biden voters would not have voted for him if they had known the Hunter Biden laptop story was not fake news but genuine.

However, election interference and election fraud are not synonymous.

Russia interfered in the 2016 election, but that does not mean that Trump’s election victory was fraudulent or illegitimate. Trump won legitimately no matter how much the Washington establishment, the Leftmedia, and Democrats angrily denied it as they fomented their baseless Russian collusion conspiracy theory.

It’s understandable that Trump, after seeing Twitter’s latest revelation, would see this as vindicating his loudly expressed claims of the 2020 election being rigged and stolen. “You can see why President Trump is pissed. He should be,” argues Ben Shapiro. But his response is “jumping on a rake with both feet.” Instead of the story being Twitter’s malfeasance, now the Leftmedia can more easily ignore that and focus on Trump’s would-be authoritarianism.

Besides, feelings don’t make facts, and try as he might, Trump was not able to provide the necessary facts to prove his voter fraud allegations in court. That’s primarily because he was barking up the wrong tree.

Trump is playing that classic political game: conflation. Musk revealed that interference took place, not fraud. Nothing Musk revealed shows that voter fraud occurred in 2020. None of the “Twitter Files” show any illegally cast ballots, voter suppression, rigged voting machines, or intentionally uncounted ballots. Trump has made all these claims in support of his “stolen election” assertions, though he failed to deliver legitimate legal evidence to prove any of them in a court of law, at least on a scale significant enough to change the results in even one state.

But of course, to Trump, if he believes it, then that’s all the evidence he needs.

The way forward, however, is not to endlessly litigate the past as if it could be changed but to push for election integrity and better voter information so future contests are trustworthy. Yet here we are once again contending with apocalyptic headlines about Trump and the Constitution.

Did Trump really call for the “termination” of the Constitution? The short answer is “No.” Trump always has been rather imprecise with his language, and as some have keenly observed, “listen to what he means, not what he says.” Thus, it’s easy to see how some concluded that he was attacking the Constitution.

“The fake news is actually trying to convince the American people that I said, I wanted to ‘terminate’ the constitution,” Trump later asserted. “This is simply more disinformation and lies.”

In reality, Trump was attempting to argue that the 2020 election’s “massive fraud” was so egregious that it served to not only undercut all the rules regulating America’s electoral system, it also effectively allowed for “terminating” those election stipulations within the Constitution. Therefore, the only remedy Trump sees is to throw out the declared 2020 election winner, Biden, and have himself recognized as the winner, or hold a new election.

The trouble Trump runs into is there is nothing within the Constitution that would support his desired action. The Founding Fathers were clearly not foolish men. Indeed, they designed a government around the very insightful conclusion that, given the opportunity, men are naturally more bent toward doing evil rather than doing good. They therefore designed a system to limit evil’s power while also keeping open the opportunity for powerful good.

Here’s where Trump’s assertion that the “Founders … would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections” falls apart. Of course the Founding Fathers would not condone election fraud, but they also recognized that, due to the nature of mankind, the complete elimination of all fraud was a pipe dream. Hence the justice system the Founders established in order to tackle instances where fraud arises.

The Founders’ answer to Trump’s fraud complaint would be consistently as it has been: Take your case and your evidence to the courts. Trump did, at least with some of his claims, and failed to prove his fraud allegations.

He then pivoted and sought to “prove” his fraud claims in the court of public opinion, where he has failed to convince anything approaching a majority of the American public. Indeed, as more investigations have been done, no smoking gun of “massive fraud” — in the sense of illegal voting or vote counting — has been demonstrably proven. Allegations are not proof. Those who originally gave it at least some sympathetic credence have become tired of the mostly vacuous claims. It’s time to move on, many of them advise.

They can’t because he won’t. As veteran journalist Brit Hume put it, “It’s one more example of the burden that Donald Trump imposes on the party he is associated with.”

Again, that’s Trump’s Achilles heel. He can’t admit defeat. Ever. He’s made the “stolen election” one of the main features of his 2024 campaign platform, which is why he decided to weigh in on the “Twitter Files” revelation. No one is happier about his tirade than leftists who can make hay out of it.

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