Sunday, November 08, 2020

Fruitcakes, Red Dawn... and "Stealing an Election"

The best man at my wedding (the wonderful Tim Formby, who is substantially more fit at age 56 than I will ever be) grew up in the east Texas town of Corsicana. (If you've heard of Corsicana, it's probably because of Collin Street Bakery... which ships fruitcakes all over the world.)

Kids my age grew up during the Cold War... where pretty much every bad guy on TV shows were Soviet spies and movies like RED DAWN informed our worldview. For Tim & his friends, that meant long discussions about how to defend Corsicana in case of the U.S.S.R. sending troops to invade the U.S. of A. Questions like "which bridges get blown up?" and "how do we cache the proper weapons?" led to plans, notes, and even hand-drawn maps. 

I bring up this bit of semi-ancient history to ask for the same kind of thoughtfulness from those who are supporting President Trump in questioning the legitimacy of the election results. I know that presenting well-researched fact checks doesn't seem to quell their doubts, so I'm hoping this might assist. (If you do want to look at reporting on these issues, I'd suggest The Dispatch Fact Check.)

Here's what I propose... grab a piece of paper and write out a detailed plan for stealing the presidential election. Take into account what would need to be done and who would need to be involved. List all of the different county, state, and federal entities that would need to be compromised in some format to explain margins of 20,000+ votes in multiple contested states. Determine what kind of expertise you would need and what kind of resources & communications protocols would be necessary. 

Operational security is going to be an important consideration - how are you going to keep all of those involved from leaking information and/or getting caught? The more individuals that are a part of the conspiracy, the more difficult this will be. If you choose to operate in individual cells to foster secrecy, you will need to account for coordination and control.

Chuck Colson, Richard Nixon's hatchet man who became a follower of Christ and the founder of Prison Fellowship, noted that his belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ was supported by his experience inside a cabal around the President.
“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”
I'm guessing by now you have a lot of notes (and your plan is unlikely to involve blowing up any bridges). This leads to an important philosophical principle (which I've posted about earlier this year): Occam's Razor. The Latin aphorism is commonly rendered as "the simplest explanation is most likely the right one."

So, does your plan make sense? Is it plausible? Moreover, is it inside the realm of possibility outside of an X-Files episode? 

I am not doubting that there are irregularities in the voting process and even occasional attempts to steal elections. (The most recent major attempt was done on behalf of a Republican candidate in North Carolina.) But none of those are large enough or expansive enough to explain the result of the 2020 presidential election. In the words of one of my favorite L.A. bands, Adam Again:
When I touch you with Occam's razor
I will cut you between truth and lie
Meanwhile, talking about Collin Street Bakery reminds me of how good the pastries are at their retail store in Corsicana. And writing about Tim makes me want to get Fortress America (the board game) to the table again.

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