Simcha Fisher: In which a real American explains the election

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US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump delivers an address on 8 January televised to the nation from his desk in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. PHOTO: CNS/Carlos Barria, Reuters

Here’s the low-down on what’s been going on over here

When The Catholic Weekly hired me a few years ago, they made a few things clear: We’re really Catholic; we’re not terribly uptight; we spell things weird sometimes; and most of all, we do not want to hear about American politics. All of this was fine with me, especially that last part. Even in those innocent days of 2016, American politics was already just about intolerable, and I didn’t want to hear about it, either.

But here we are in 2020, and I’m getting a steady stream of Australian friends and readers helpfully giving me the inside scoop about what goes on in these United States. So either you’re all a bunch of masochists deliberately exposing yourself to our political system as some kind of elaborate form of penance, or else there is some part of you that can’t look away.

So be it. I will indulge your unholy fascination with this ominously pulsating egg sac we’re calling an election season. You want to hear about American politics? Hold onto your butts.

The short version is, Trump repeatedly promised his followers that, if they elected him, they would get tired of winning. And so it has come to pass! They are so tired of winning that they, in fact, lost.

Really, that is what happened. I know it hurts some of you to hear this, for some reason, but he lost. Lllllllooooosssssssttttt, lost, lah-lah-lah-lost, L.O.S.T., as in “lost the election,” as in “did not win the election,” as in “failed to secure victory in the election,” as in “you can take those ridiculous flappy flags off your boat now, you weirdo.” He lost because, even though a shamefully high number of people did vote for him, one cannot win an election simply by being shameful. No, not even with the help of the [haunted house music] electoral college.

Simcha can’t understand why so many Aussies are obsessed with US politics.

But Trump is, as he has told us repeatedly, is an amazing businessman. You can tell he really knows how to run a business because he has been involved in over 4,000 lawsuits in the last three decades. Some people may say that being in that many lawsuits proves that you are, in fact, a terrible businessman, and that if you really knew how to manage money and people, you wouldn’t have to go running to the courts every time it looks like you’re in trouble, and you definitely wouldn’t put people in the position of constantly dragging you to court for acting like an ethics-free monster.

Some might say that this legal record, in conjunction with the fact that Trump ran a $413 million inheritance into the ground is overwhelming evidence of that he is a worse businessman than my five-year-old, who recently became enraged at the family for refusing to buy $10 tickets to her disco party just because said tickets were kind of damp. Also, we’ve all been to her disco parties before, and they are no fun.  Also, we don’t have ten dollars.

Some people may say that being in that many lawsuits proves that you are, in fact, a terrible businessman

Well, as long as we’re looking for evidence, let’s take a look at why Trump’s team is going to court now. They are allegedly trying to show that there has been such widespread voter fraud, it’s not yet possible to say that he lost. People are fasting and praying and signing petitions and going on Jericho Walks so that the truth will out and our Lor’n’savior Donald Trump will ascend again to his rightful throne.  And they’re filing lawsuits.

You may not realise this, but the American legal system so is incredibly byzantine and arcane that if you wish to have your case adjudicated, you have to present what is called “evidence.” Not “someone told me he saw something fishy” or “I was expecting more Trump votes, but these were all Biden votes, and that’s fishy” or “I had a dream that a fishy van called ‘the Fraudmobile’ drove up and made snickering sounds in my general direction while I was using the restroom near the voting machine, and I woke up feeling fishy” but actual admissible legal evidence.

President Donald Trump talks to reporters after signing the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act at the White House in Washington April 24, 2020. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

Here’s how the Trump team is doing so far. If you don’t want to click on that link, I’ll summarise: As of my writing, they have filed about a dozen lawsuits in various states. The lawsuits have all been thrown out of court. Because they are not real lawsuits. They are not even fishy lawsuits. They are garbage.

We may be kind of a mess in the United States, but we’re actually pretty good at holding elections. Fraud is not unheard-of, but it is rare, and it would not only have to have happened, it would have to have happened at an extraordinarily high level to change the results of the election. Yes, even with the help of the [haunted house music] electoral college.

So the reason I said “why they are allegedly going to court” is because while Trump’s fans may think he has some chance of actually winning the election, but his lawyers don’t. They are, like Mr. Wensleydale, deliberately wasting our time. Why?

Some have speculated that the plan is for the Trump team to stage a coup, and never actually vacate the White House. Considering that they only recently figured out how to work the light switches, this seems unlikely. Another theory is that they are buying time while they shred any remaining evidence of criminal wrongdoing. This is possible, but also unlikely, partly because the shredder is even harder to work than the lights.

We may be kind of a mess in the United States, but we’re actually pretty good at holding elections.

The third possibility, which is not actually a possibility but a foregone conclusion, is that the Trump team is dragging its feet and filing frivolous lawsuits as one final cash grab to wrap up four years of pure, unadulterated grift. Trump doesn’t believe in anything but money, and once he became reconciled to the fact that his “let’s pretend I’m running for president so I can sell a new TV show” grift got away from him and he accidentally became the actual president, he settled his hindquarters in for a long term grift — one that comes along with the power to pardon anyone who scratches your hindquarters for you.

And you can hardly blame him. Dude has an insane amount of personal debt, and so does his campaign, and he definitely doesn’t know how to make money legitimately, and he’s going to need some funds to defend himself once he finally leaves office. So he is asking people to donate to his legal fund so that justice may be done, and he and his party are keeping that money.

That is what is happening. Now you know.

So to all my Australian friends who keep urging me to respect the legal system in my own country and let these lawsuits work their way through the system, I’ll tell you the same thing I told my five-year-old: Get that wet thing out of my face. If you’re really that tired of winning, you can go take a nap.

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