Did Donald Trump Win The 2020 Election By A Large Margin?
Trump and his lawyers made this claim. Is it true?
If you have doubts or have not yet made a decision, I’d like to share some insights to help you out.
After the 2020 election, these claims of Trump winning by a large margin were being made, and I took them seriously. I did the work to figure out what was true. Here’s my story.
The Key Question
I’ve been following politics closely for almost 20 years, so it’s important to recognize that an election system involving millions of people is always going to have problems. I’ve witnessed this across elections in America. The key question is, did any of those problems become large enough that they would alter the outcome of the presidential election?
In 2016, there were a lot of election issues, but because Trump won, Republicans didn’t bring attention to them. None of them rose up to the level of a presidential result changing, so the winner was declared and we moved on.
“PS. Think about the bizarre coincidence that there’s almost a 100% correlation between people who believe an election was stolen and those who support the losing candidate. If you think that correlation is weird, then you are probably WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic). If you think that correlation is not in the least surprising, then you are probably not WEIRD.” - Scott Summer, There's nothing "WEIRD" about conspiracy theories
It’s losers that care about the problem. The further these claims are carried is determined by how much the loser wants to carry that torch. Trump is uniquely positioned to carry it far.
My Experience In the Georgia Voting System
The older voting system in Georgia was not as transparent as it is now. Before 2020, Georgia had us vote in the booth on a computer and the vote was put onto a plastic card with an electronic chip in it. We would then give that card to the poll worker and they did something with it. I don’t know what happened or how.
As a voter in this older system, there was no way for me to know if the vote I cast was input onto the electronic card correctly and whether that vote was properly processed.
The new Dominion voting system was more transparent and obvious and it had a paper trail. The ballot was clear, physical, and secure.
Because I think about the ways the system could be manipulated and ways to leverage technology for improving things, I found the new system incredibly smart and secure, when I voted in 2020.
The computer helped me select my votes but it printed my vote out on a paper ballot. Every voter could clearly see and verify their vote was correct.
I then inserted my print ballot into a lock box. There was an electric counter but because the printed ballots were retained, there was a backup to manually count. It turned out the electronic counter was more accurate than human counters.
After I voted, I told my friends how much more slick and secure the new system was. It was wild to see this same system demonized days later when the claims of fraud were being made. What a contrast between my experience and these claims! I exited the voting location thinking this is the most secure voting we’ve ever had only to see the onslaught of claims about Dominion voting systems that it was the opposite. Plus, if Trump had won Georgia, it would not have changed the outcome of the presidential election.
Something was off.
My Journey to Find the Truth About the 2020 Presidential Election
There are a variety of things I did to sort through the noise and get to the truth but I’d like to share the main one because it’s the most powerful.
Trump and his lawyers; including Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell held multiple press conferences where they would make multiple claims of fraud. I watched these and then I read their legal filing in the court system.
In the press conference, they would say (metaphorically speaking) “the wall is painted purple” and in the court filing, they would say “the wall was painted green”. Meaning, they said one thing to the public and something drastically different in court. Very quickly, it became clear they were lying. This happened over and over again. This inconsistency is what one would expect if the claimants that the election was stolen were corrupt.
If the legal system was corrupt, we would expect to see strong cases made in court (consistent with the press conferences) with dismissal and counterclaims by the court that were weak and incoherent. This is evidenced by the 60+ court filings and the diversity of them.
One of the January 6th insurrectionists, Steven Ayes (highlighted in the photo), testified before Congress and he shared a similar experience when he was asked whether he still believes the election was stolen. Here’s what he said.
"Not so much now. I got away from all the social media when January 6th happened. Basically deleted it all. I started doing my own research and everything. And for me, for something like that to actually take place, it’s too big. There’s no way you can keep something like that quiet as big as something like that. With all the lawsuits being shot down one after another, that was mainly what convinced me.”
You can watch his whole testimony here.
You don't have to take my word for it. The press conferences and the legal documents are all available for you to do your own research.
If The 2020 Presidential Election Were Stolen, What Would I Have To Believe?
So in my own way in 2020, I asked the question; if Trump were to have won the election by a large margin how would it have been stolen?
Jordan Peterson, in his conversation with Gad Saad about abandoning ideology, came up with a more complete framework than mine, so I share it below.
“To believe that Donald Trump won the 2020 election by a large margin you’d have to believe…
- the electoral system in the United State is broken to the degree that fraud is widespread and pervasive and of sufficient magnitude to move a [presidential] election.
- people as close to Trump as Mike Pence have become part of a conspiratorial network or who have been shut down by those have been able to put sufficient pressure on him.
- the judiciary in the United States, which I believe has ruled something like 60 times against his claims and one time in favor, has become uncontrollably corrupt, even on the Republican side, even when those Republicans were nominated by Trump or Trump's people.
- the only person standing on moral high ground through all of this, has been Trump.”
Do you believe all that? Some people do. Some people don’t want to decide.
I thought and hoped this issue would be resolved in the political process, but that has not happened, so I’m speaking out now, in my own little sphere of influence.
The Tyranny of Possibility
“The situation in which “everything is possible” is, indeed, Arendt’s diagnosis of what is distinctly totalizing in totalitarian dictatorship. It is the world-historically unique manifestation of the human capacity to will a world existing “only in ideas” (ideology) into actual reality. If we fail to achieve a sense of impartiality—what Arendt calls a “common sense”—then what is lost, along with the democratic warrant for the pursuit of truth (factual as well as rational), is the common world altogether.” - Michael Weinman, Hannah Arendt and the Loss of a Common World
The counterarguments to the outcome of the 2020 presidential election continue to lean on the possibility of an illegitimate outcome; how it could have happened, not how it did happen.
If the outcome was legitimate, there would never be any evidence to demonstrate that Trump won by a large margin.
If we hold the truth with an open hand, we’ll follow the evidence to the conclusion it leads us to.
If we choose a conclusion first, we’ll look for the information that affirms us and ignore that which challenges it. This is the blinding vulnerability of allegiance (to a person or ideology), and it is where the tyranny of possibility intersects with this issue.
Endless speculating can be done to manipulate and control people; people that want or need the person to be telling the truth or the idea to be true (perhaps out of fear or disgust). They then can become participants in perpetuating the tyranny of possibility; if it could happen, they're bad, so it must have happened.
To claim that something did happen because it could happen is to base our claims on superstitious cynicism, not evidence.
Evidence must demonstrate how it ACTUALLY happened.
In the most extremes, this possibility of the election being stolen is leveraged by intentionally nefarious actors (as it looks to be the case with 2000 mules).
I've made false accusations against people based on possibility and poor jaded superstitious reasoning and so my lessons learned here are also informed by my own failures on this front.
The Credibility of The Claimants
While evidence to demonstrate that Trump won by a large margin doesn’t exist, we must focus on what does exist and the credibility of those claiming it does.
What is their track record?
How do they respond when it's discovered they're wrong?
Trump, in 2023, said evidence existed that proved he won by a large margin and that he would release it (like he said over and over again in 2020) but he failed again to do it, again. So he’s regularly demonstrated that he says it exists and then doesn’t deliver. And he persists in his claims still. This is a pattern of deception.
"Unlike more traditional forms of propaganda, the firehose of falsehood does not aim primarily at persuading the public of something that is false (although this is a welcome result). Rather, it floods the information environment with so many lies, half-truths and theories that the public becomes disoriented, confused and distrustful of everyone." - Jonathan Rauch, Trump's Firehose of Falsehood
Trump is a master of leveraging the tyranny of possibility against his political rivals whom his supporters despise. People trust Trump and so even when all the evidence is against him, they trust him over it.
Until Trump breaks their trust, or the Trump tribe adopts a practice of questioning Trump, requiring him to demonstrate his claims, they’re unlikely to change their minds.
Thus, I am reminded of this powerful quote from Hannah Arendt in her book, The Origins of Totalitarianism inside the section about propaganda.
“In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true... Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.”
Where Do You Stand?
Evaluating the claim that Trump won by a large margin, we have to 1), accept that Trump did not win the 2020 election by a large margin, 2), accept the premise that he did, or 3), remain agnostic and choose not to decide either way (deferring to the other groups).
Which way have you gone?
Because I’ve gone through being politically radicalized before, I don’t want that for you. Because the truth has been obscured to me at different times in my life, I don’t want that for you. And because I’ve been an agnostic on the sidelines, allowing bad actors to hurt people I care about while I say and do nothing, I don’t want that for you either.
That’s why we need each other. Together, we can get to the truth.
I’ve compiled a collection of the best resources for determining the truth on this topic. Some are mentioned above. Others include:
The firm Trump hired to find fraud couldn’t find it
More information about the 64 court cases filed
Another testimony of a Jan 6 convict who changed her mind
How the US attorney’s office and FBI failed to track down fraud that would alter the election outcome
How many of the Jan 6 insurrectionists were manipulated by their leaders
People around Trump did not believe the claims of fraud (Including Ivanka Trump, Bill Barr, Richard Donaghue, Matt Oczkowski, Alex Cannon, and Kellyanne Conway)
Giuliani admitted to making false statements about the Georgia poll workers
Fox stars including Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity, among others, in private, bashing election fraud claims
Examples of Republicans attempting voting fraud
- Sydney Powell pleaded guilty to several counts of conspiracy to interfere with the 2020 election
Details on all the claims and data problems with the 2000 Mules documentary
And more… Check it out here.
If you have others to add, send them my way.
- Read: Dear Republicans, Are You Really Going To Make Us Ride The Trump Train All The Way To Hell?
- Watch or Listen: Interview: Changing Hearts — Loving Those Who Hate You — With Daryl Davis
7 False Claims Made by Trump's Attorneys About Georgia's 2020 Election
The following comes from Jenna Ellis' guilty plea hearing.
"On December 3rd of 2020, the defendant did appear before a meeting of a Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee in Fulton County, Georgia, with co defendants William Rudolph Lewis Giuliani, Ray Sterling Smith III, and other individuals associated with Donald J. Trump for President Incorporated, also known as the Trump campaign. During the subcommittee meeting, Giuliani and Smith, acting as attorneys for the Trump campaign, made the following false statements.
- "One, that at least 96,600 mail-in ballots were counted in the November 3rd, 2020 presidential election in Georgia, despite there being no record of those ballots having been returned to a county election office.
- Two, that 2,506 felons voted illegally in the November 3rd, 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
- Three, that 66,248 underage people illegally registered to vote before their 17th birthday prior to the November 3rd, 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
- Four, that at least 2,423 people voted in the November 3rd, 2020 presidential election in Georgia who were not listed as registered to vote.
- Five, that 1,043 people voted in the November 3rd 2020 presidential election in Georgia who had illegally registered to vote using a post office box.
- Six, that 10,315 or more dead people voted in the November 3rd 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
- And seven, that Fulton County election workers at State Farm Arena ordered a poll watcher and members of the media to leave the tabulation area on the night of November 3rd, 2020 and continue to operate after ordering everyone to leave."
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