More people question the legitimacy of a Trump presidency obtained via an Electoral College margin of victory obtained by illegal means. Others have posted opinions, to be addressed today, that disparage this position.
The gist of one comment on Facebook was Trump is “our” president and we have to be behind him. However: 1) Blind following of those in office goes against the grain of principles The Framers sought to infuse in the Constitution: The Framers looked at the base impulses of human beings and the constant struggle to keep in check efforts to act on those impulses; and 2) Republicans never said President Obama is “our” President and we must stand behind him—e.g., DT was a “birther” and GOP leaders sought to undermine President Obama from the outset.
Another person observed Premise of the argument DT’s presidency is illegitimate is that Russian interference in the 2016 elections affected the outcome of the election, and since that cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and the evidence by now is gone, argument that DT’s presidency is illegitimate is futile. There are serious flaws to this person’s observation.
1) Placement of “Premise” at the front of that post is not necessarily everyone’s premise, especially if meant to render futile the reasons some (like me) give that DT’s presidency is illegitimate.
2) This view places a premium, for would-be thieves of elections (or for any who commits any crime), on destruction of evidence. There are various ways to prove matters in court. “Circumstantial evidence” is “based on inference and not on personal knowledge or observation.” Black’s Law Dictionary, pocket ed., 1996, p. 235. “The reason for treating circumstantial and direct evidence alike is both clear and rooted: ‘Circumstantial evidence is not only sufficient, but may also be more certain, satisfying and persuasive than direct evidence’ ... and also the Court never has “questioned the sufficiency of circumstantial evidence in support of a criminal conviction, even though proof beyond a reasonable doubt is required.” Desert Palace, Inc v Costa, 539 U.S. 90, 100 (2003). Here each day brings us more evidence of collusion, and points for inference. between DT’s campaign and Russia.
3) “Reasonable doubt” is the highest standard of proof in our court system. One may argue, however, that the “clear and convincing” standard applies to an election challenge. “Clear and convincing” still is a heavy burden. More, later, on this point.
4) SPOLIATION OF EVIDENCE. “Spoliation” is the “intentional destruction, mutilation, alteration, or concealment of evidence, usu. A document; if proved, this action may be used to establish that the evidence was unfavorable toward the party responsible.” Black’s, supra, at p. 588. For example: election officials in at least one “swing” States, seized voting machines, purportedly to “update” software, the day after the 2016 elections. Election officials in that State were Republicans. Evidence, in that instance of altered software, is gone, but inferences can be drawn against the party that destroyed the evidence.
Russians, under rule of a murderous dictator, enjoy freedoms of speech and press: to “agree” with those in power. (“Russian man sentenced to penal colony for insulting officials online,” The Guardian, 11/27/17.) Trump agrees with Putin and states his admiration for autocrats. We face loss of our freedoms under this regime.
Trump apologists retreated from an early position of denial Russia interfered with our 2016 elections. Next they fell back to deny Trump, et al, colluded or conspired with Russia. A final stand is to deny Russia’s interference affected the election outcome.
The Third Reich retreated from North Africa and the Soviet Union. Wehrmacht troops fell back from Normandy and Eastern Europe. The final stand of the Reich to Last a Thousand Years was in a single bunker of the Chancellery in Berlin. Evil was defeated, but millions died, much of the World was destroyed, and most of the cities of Germany were reduced to rubble—because of the sick dreams of a psychotic narcissist. I do not compare Trump to Hitler—Trump might be as sick as Hitler was but Trump is not as smart. Hitler was no genius, and neither is Putin, whose hands pull the strings today of the sitting President of the United States.
The damage Putin can do to the United States and the World only grows the longer Trump is in office. Putin’s rigging of the 2016 elections should be declared void. We must defeat evil once again.