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2020 U.S. presidential election

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Final Electoral College tally. To put how badly Trump fucked up into perspective: he was unpopular enough to be the first Republican in decades to have fucked up badly enough to lose Arizona and Georgia. In fact, he lost Georgia five times![note 1]
A guide to
U.S. Politics
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Hail to the Chief?
Persons of interest
Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power.
—Michael Cohen - Prophet Former Lawyer to President Donald Trump, predicting the future.[1]

The 2020 United States presidential election was held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The historically unpopular incumbent and liar extraordinaire[2][3][4][5] Donald Trump and his VP, former right-wing radio jock and current homophobic, sexist, racist, fly magnet[6] religious zealot Mike Pence, for the first time since 1993, were unsuccessful in seeking re-election against their Democratic challengers: regretful plagiarist[7][8] Joe Biden and police misconduct apologist[9][10][note 2] Kamala Harris (as well as a handful of third party candidates, none of whom were as popular as the ones in 2016.) Biden ultimately recieved 306 Electoral College votes versus Trump's 232.[11] Since there were no faithless electors in 2020, Biden actually secured a higher total than Trump (who was awarded 304 electoral votes in the 2016 U.S. presidential election due to two defections) despite the two theoretically having earned the same total in their election years. Trump had called his 2016 victory a landslide, and Biden cited that statement to also claim a mandate.[12]

The Democratic primary itself was almost as intense and bitter as a general election, and its disappointing selection of (mostly) lousy candidates set the grim tone for the general election contest, widely seen as one of the most profoundly bleak in the United States' post-war history. Issues were characteristic of the nation's deep problems: police brutality, domestic extremism, infamous legislative gridlock, SCOTUS reform, and eventually a pandemic of viral pneumonia - mismanagement of which has killed a massive number of Americans and wrecked the country's economy.

The election was absolutely disastrous for any incumbent, let alone against a candidate who avoided most in-person campaigning. Granted, polls consistently underrepresent support for Trump by anywhere from 3 to 8 percent,[note 3] so the election was somewhat close even though a blowout win for Biden and the Democrats was predicted. Ultimately, since Democrats favoured voting by mail (you can guess why), Democratic mail ballots came in like a tsunami, and Biden was soon able to flip the three Rust Belt states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania (all by decent, albeit not high, margins). The most insulting loss for Trump, however, was when Georgia and Arizona also went blue, for the first time since 1992 and 1996 respectively (again, not by high margins, but yikes).[13] Ultimately though, the Electoral College tends to misrepresent elections, since Biden held the massively higher share of the popular vote. A 7 million margin between the two, to be exact. Gee, thanks Electoral College!

Trump classically had a mental breakdown upon this realization and began shamelessly abusing America's justice system with a torrent of baseless and ludicrous lawsuits. Despite the best efforts of his incompetent army of goons, this tactic failed miserably. As of early January 2021, Trump had REFUSED to concede, despite the members of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) Executive Committee – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency declaring "There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised".[14] After having exhausted all legal options to contest the vote, Trump attempted a coup as a last-ditch effort, which sawed off the legs of his platforms (Twitter, Facebook and most other sites banned Trump immediately), shifted the Republican party in days, and has resulted in him achieving the stellar record of being the only president in US history to be impeached TWICE!

Trump left office with his approval rating hovering dangerously close to post-Watergate Nixon levels. Only 38.6% of Americans approved of him, and over 57% disapproved.

Precursors[edit]

Besides the 2018 midterm elections, many other things sparked it could be a hard year for Donald Trump to get elected. While Mike Garcia did flip California's 25th district, and they flipped the Attorney Generals in Mississippi and Kentucky, Republicans still lost some ground. This includes

  • Kentucky gubernatorial election - In Kentucky, the governorship flipped after just 4 years of the GOP controlling the govenership, ending 4 years of straight Republican control.
  • Virginia legislative elections - Democrats flip both branches of Virginia legislature, giving Democrats full control for the first time since 1993.
  • Other elections - Democrats picked up a net of 2 mayoral elections by gaining 3 but losing 1 in Aurora, Colorado.

Why is it this way?[edit]

A good question to ask. The ridiculously high stakes and extreme circumstances of this election make the phrase "this is the most important election" seem real in a way similar to 1860. In bitter irony, there has been a ticking time bomb since 1860 that has primed the country for this level of extreme in politics.

Buchanan and the Civil War[edit]

See the main articles on this topic: James Buchanan and the American Civil War

Buchanan's presidency had not only an eruption, but the after-eruption. Thanks to cheerleading the Southerners and their ferverent racism and slave holding, it set the stage for the bloody civil war straight after. Sure enough, Abraham Lincoln singlehandedly took down the Confederacy, but unfortunately resulted in his assassination. Unfortunately, Reconstruction wasn't so great, and Lincoln's successors bungled it, badly. The wounds of the war were never healed, and the South's extremism remained deep-rooted. In a mean of fairness, nobody really could've known how bad the situation was at the time, but it all leads back to Buchanan's disastrous failiure to calm the South, instead openly supporting them, and this leads straight into...

The Southern Strategy[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Southern strategy

Tricky Dick Nixon employed the Southern Strategy, which was effectively giving the undercover pinky finger to all the white supremacists in the South of America. Surprise, surpise, the racism of the South had not truly expired, and it was lingering. Nixon, being the dodgy asshole he was, brought that right back to the surface, which not only enabled and excused their racism, but turned the Republican party into the perfect breeding ground for racial extremism. Guess what, that isn't even it... God forbid.

Presidency of Ronald Reagan[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Ronald Reagan

Saint Reagan, despite the fact that he was way less right-wing than he was made out to be, became an idol for the Republican party. The perfect anti-establishment candidate, he set the state for future Republican Presidents. Throwing out policy for good-old rhetoric, COMMIES EVERYWHERE, wackiness, and science denialism, it's a terrible thing to idolise, and so too would future Republicans throw out logic in turn for a good deal of nothing. Even George H. W. Bush being a relatively good Republican President could not save things; the party had a vision, and they would carry it until the end.

And we arrive at now...[edit]

With a radicalised South thanks to the old Democratic Party, an electoral strategy destined to corrupt a party forever, and an idol for the party, we can see where this ended up.

We got Dubya, who capitalised on everything to bring a brand new dynamic of anti-intellectualism to center stage, all while he and his administration told tall tales about why they were going to war in Iraq. The damage had set in for good now, and the party of Lincoln was sunk into the abyss. No matter what you think of Obama, he was a centrist President at the absolute worst time, as centrist policy would even set the idea of "inaction" even further forward. The country was primed and ready for Trump to cruise right in. And we have seen the damage that was done.

No wonder the stakes were so fucking high. Now Biden, knowing or unknowing is left with the arduous challenge to fix this mess, and steer the USA away from the collateral damage caused by historical ineptitude. God knows if anyone can do it. It's one giant century and a half long shitfest.

The key issue[edit]

Coronavirus[edit]

At this point, you could actually begin and end this section with this issue, as the worst pandemic in over 100 years has inevitably dominated the minds of voters and caused a dramatic effect on the lives of so many Americans. As of March 3, 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the United States worse than any other country, with over 516,000 deaths and over 28.7 million infections.[15]

If that's not bad enough, the leader of the free world has denied, lied, politicized, and basically flipped the bird at every chance to look like a leader as well as ignored or worsened the underlying circumstances that made the pandemic especially bad such as leaving vacant the pandemic response team, failing to address the debilitating healthcare infrastructure, and helping to widen the gap of income inequality.[16][17] Bear in mind, Trump stated that Obama should have resigned after the Ebola crisis, which killed FOUR Americans.[18] Needless to say, many Americans are not pleased with Trump's handling, which has hurt his approvals considerably.[19] In October, the virus finally caught up with Trump, infecting him, his wife, and a rapidly growing number of White House officials.

Other key issues[edit]

Racial Issues[edit]

On May 25, 2020, an African-American man named George Floyd was brutally murdered by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin. This sparked outrage throughout the country, with many taking to the streets and protesting. The question is now how to handle this issue, such as whether some police funding could be re-allocated to other agencies better served to help people. Not helping is that the president is not interested in solving these issues but is very interested in scaremongering about how Antifa and BLM are "terrorists" (rhetoric sure to delight the white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Trump's base) to secure re-election.[20][21]

Trade[edit]

While unemployment is at 7.9%, the U.S. is currently engaged with a trade warWikipedia with China, and tariffs with countries including the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. Further, trying to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement resulting in the United States–Mexico–Canada AgreementWikipedia, which is mostly the same.[22]

Immigration[edit]

Trump is basically running concentration camps...[23][24]

Have fun trying to fix that crime against humanity mess.

Healthcare[edit]

The GOP is still insistent on saving America from the death panels repealing the Affordable Care Act, despite not having a plan to replace it, or a plan in general beyond destroying it.

The Democrats are somewhere between 'the ACA is more or less fine as is', to 'scrapping it entirely and replacing it with Universal health care'. With Covid-19 having hit the United States hard, healthcare accessibility has arguably become even more major of an election issue: one party is clearly campaigning to expand access, while the other is clearly campaigning to limit it.

Climate Change[edit]

Trump and Pence don't believe in climate change, and both support the fossil fuel industry. As president, Trump has pulled America out of the Paris AgreementWikipedia and doubled down on everything dirty: coal, oil, ancient diesel engineWikipedia, while also opposing wind turbines because they ruin the view of his shitty golf courses cause cancer kill birds.[25] Biden and Harris support the "framework" of the Green New Deal and a "limit" on fracking.

"Possible" rejection of results[edit]

Trump's attacks on mail-in voting, which surged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as his repeated refusal to confirm that he would accept defeat[26], sparked widespread fears that if Trump was defeated, he would reject the results and resort to a variety of extraordinary measures to remain in power.[27] Spoiler warning: this is exactly what happened. Though most congressional Republicans dismissed such a scenario[28], nothing about the GOP's behavior over the past four years suggested they wouldn't just shut up and comply with Trump. Some Republican politicians dropped less-than-subtle hints about their plans to follow the Dear Leader and disregard electoral norms, with Utah Senator Mike Lee openly tweeting "We’re not a democracy."[29], and "Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity [sic] are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that."[30] Trump himself doubled down, declaring that "the only way we're going to lose this election is if this election is rigged."[31]

The day after Election Day, with the race remaining too close to call in several crucial states, Trump declared victory, baselessly claiming that Democratic ballots counted that day were fraudulent. With the Trump campaign mounting lawsuits against the results in several states, it seems likely that the race will drag on for several weeks, making 2000 look like a walk in the park.

Never mind! Biden's been called by basically everywhere now. Only Trump is crying and screaming as his legal challenges fail. See bottom section for more comedié.

Background noise[edit]

Again: 2016 redux, jet fuel, more intense.

  • SCOTUS - Self-explanatory... Wait, Ruth Bader Ginsburg just died? Oh, dear...
  • Student loan debt - It's $1.6 trillion, and it's really starting to wreak havoc with things like the housing market and birth rates.[32]
  • Tech Giants - The massive size of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple with increasing dominance in all markets and size, in a manner that reminds one of Standard Oil CompanyWikipedia and Ma BellWikipedia
  • Allies - Trump has done a reasonably decent job of embarrassing the United States and pissing off most of its allies. Whoever is next will need to patch up these relations.
  • Taxes - Trump will likely seek to increase tax cuts for his wealthy friends who haven't quite reached billionaire status... while most Democratic candidates hint at or promise they will reverse these cuts. Some will impose new taxes, including a possible tax on high-tech companies. Republican hysteria about new taxes is already rampant on social media.
  • Russia - 2016 election aside, Russia is still being Russia: with the ongoing Russian military intervention in UkraineWikipedia, the annexation of CrimeaWikipedia, weapons sales to NATO ally Turkey, the 2018 poisoning of Sergei SkripalWikipedia, and the emerging front with them in the Arctic as the ice melts.
  • Iran - Trump, in his quest to destroy everything to do with Obama, left the Iran nuclear dealWikipedia.[33] After reimposing sanctions on Iran, Iran returned to enriching uranium. Further, several incidents have occurred between Iran and other nations in the Strait of Hormuz, ratcheting up tensions between Iran and the United States.
  • China - The U.S. has had the highest GDP in the world since the 1920s. Since Deng Xiaoping's market reforms in the 1980s, China has been on a fast track to steal America's championship belt. Somebody decided to pull America out of our multilateral trade deals, and the PRC has been very quick to fill that void, gaining international prominence and recognition, especially since they're starting to lead the world in new industries such as 5G and Renewable energy. It's very clear that Trump's "trade war" hurt Americans more than China as our manufacturing sector didn't get the boost that Trump wanted and the US-China trade deficit only increased.
  • Racism - When all else fails, play "the race card"...at a time when race and ethnicity is part of a national discussion of police brutality that clearly targets people of color.
  • Democratic Schism - Democrats agree Trump needs to go. Still, his rivals are split on whether he represents the symptom of a larger problem that mandates radical change or if this was a fluke and they should stick with Clinton-era policies. This divide, with progressives claiming that moderates support half-measures that make issues worse and moderates claiming this is hysteria that could alienate voters, will undoubtedly be used by the GOP to cost the Democrats the election by lowering turnout and making them so divided they cannot govern effectively if they win, setting the stage for Republicans to take back power.

The terrifying reality is that by November, almost everything in this list could be irrelevant since we could very well enter an economic meltdown on the scale of 2007 by then.

Never mind, it happened!

The parties[edit]

Democratic Party[edit]

After a long primary that came to a rather sudden and unceremonious end, in part due to coronavirus hitting right as the primary season started, the Democratic party settled on former Vice President to Barack Obama, Joe Biden; alongside Kamala Harris for vice president.

Joe Biden official portrait crop.jpg


Joe BidenWikipedia
Age: 78
Former Vice President of the United States, former Senator from Delaware, and former member of the New Castle County Council.

See the main article on this topic: Joe Biden

Joe BidenWikipedia announced his bid for President on April 25, 2019.[34] and won the nomination on August 28, 2020.

Advantages:

  • Authored the Violence Against Women Act and helped pass it. Actively involved in a campaign against sexual assault on college campuses.[35]
  • Supports tuition-free public college[36] and universal pre-kindergarten.[35]
  • Supports progressive taxation and closing tax loopholes.[35]
  • Wants to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines and implement universal background checks.[35]
  • Considers climate change to be an "existential" threat, having orchestrated U.S. involvement in the Paris Climate Accord.[35]
  • Championed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), wants to give undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors a path towards citizenship and increase border security.[35]
  • Favors international cooperation and multinational alliances such as NATO.[35]
  • Is generally a nice person. While usually your "niceness tier" doesn't matter in a political setting, his opponent is fucking Donald Trump.[note 4]
Disadvantages:

Biden is simply nuts. He is a (possibly) immortal man, who emerged from the ground like a zombie for this election, never stopping a moment in the art of gaffe. Speaking of...

  • Ridiculous number of gaffes past and present. Literally machine-like in this respect; "Poor kids are just as bright as white kids",[37] "Go to Joe 30330",[38] "The bills that the president. Excuse me, future president [Cory Booker]",[39] etc.
  • Accused of sexual assault by Tara Reade, a former staff assistant in his Senate office.[40]
  • His reputation as a connected old white guy might contribute to further disaffection from people who just went through 4 years of it.
  • Opposes the legalization of marijuana.[41]
  • Wants to give everyone the option to buy into Medicare, and believes that "Health care is a right, not a privilege",[42] but he would still veto a Medicare For All bill if it passed Congress due to its "costs".[43] Supports reinstating the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.[44]
  • Supports the death penalty.[45]
  • Voted for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act[note 5][46] and the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.[note 6][47]
  • A supporter of free trade, he voted for the disastrous NAFTA agreement[48] and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China,[49] and endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership outsourcing jobs to foreign countries.[50]
  • His history as a crusty neoliberal establishment Democrat:
    • Originally voted for Don't ask don't tell[51] and the Defense of Marriage Act,[52] but supported the DADT repeal[41] and the legalization of same-sex marriage[53] later in life.
    • Although he personally opposes abortion, his Senate voting record on the topic is more mixed.[41] Biden voted for the Hyde Amendment preventing federal funding for abortion and continued to support it until a few months ago when he got shit from everyone over it. Now admits the error of his ways.
    • Proudly supported bills such as CALEA and voted for the USA PATRIOT Act, making mass surveillance of American citizens as well as arresting innocent people suspected of being terrorists perfectly "legal" in the name of ending terrorism,[54] and its 2005 reauthorization,[55] but changed his mind as Dubya's ratings dropped.
    • Voted and loudly campaigned for the Second Iraq War,[56] but later opposed George W. Bush's troop surge and authored a withdrawal strategy.[35]
    • Author of the infamous Crime Bill of 1994Wikipedia from which he cherry-picks the assault weapons ban and Violence Against Women Act, and doesn't mention some of the other more controversial provisions included.
    • His horrid treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation fiasco is remembered even worse now after Brett Kavanaugh.[57]
Senator Harris official senate portrait.jpg
Kamala Harris
Age: 56
Senator and former Attorney General for California
See the main article on this topic: Kamala Harris

Kamala HarrisWikipedia, former Attorney General, and currently Senator for California. Ran for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, but dropped out of the race in December 2019.[58] On August 11, 2020, she was announced as Biden's pick for vice president.[59]

Advantages:

  • Supports Medicare for All.[60]
  • Supports legalizing marijuana.[61]
  • Supports sanctuary cities.[62]
  • Wants to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and give middle-income families an annual cash payment of up to $6,000 per family.[63]
  • Supports the Green New Deal.[64]
  • Wants to cancel student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients who start businesses that maintain operation in disadvantaged communities for three years.[65]
  • (Supposedly) Supports decriminalizing sex work. (See bottom)[66]
Disadvantages:
  • Her past as a prosecutor is not something all parts of the party find ideal, especially in light of the George Floyd protestsWikipedia during Spring and Summer of 2020 and conversations of deep flaws in law enforcement and the legal system more broadly.
    See the main article on this topic: Kamala Harris § Criminal justice
    • Prides herself as a so-called "progressive prosecutor".[67][68]
    • Sponsored some incredibly reckless truancy laws, including making it a misdemeanor for parents whose children are truant too many times without a valid excuse, which carried up to a year of jail time and/or a $2,000 fine, something which she is only now regretting.[69][70]
    • Mixed on the death penalty.[71][72]
    • Mixed record on decriminalizing sex work despite current support[73]

Republican Party[edit]

Republican party won in 2016... So they have incumbent Donald Trump and Mike Pence returning as vice president. The party basically shut down challenges from other candidates for the task. You can read about that here.

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore 4.jpg
Donald Trump
Age: 75
President of the United States
(Incumbent)
See the main article on this topic: Donald Trump

Advantages:

  • The economy (Stonks market). Well, Trump took care of that one.[74] [75]
  • He still has the Cuban vote.[76]
Disadvantages:
  • He wants to be a dictator... Which is bad. He has constantly, for the past four years, threatened to not accept election results.[77][78][79]
  • Is a gigantic asshole in all respects that count, to the point where it actually matters in this election.
  • Over 400,000 have died from coronavirus under his presidency.[80]

The scumbag whose most remarkable thing of note in the last 4 years was that a fly landed on him during the 2020 debate.[81]

Mike Pence February 2015 cropped color corrected.jpg
Mike Pence
Age: 62
Vice President of the United States
See the main article on this topic: Mike Pence

Advantages: Helps shore up the evangelical vote and establishment Rs. Pence is also dull and invisible, which is how Trump prefers it.

Disadvantages:


Time line[edit]

The 2020 US presidential election campaign officially began in the summer of 2020; in reality, the campaign began days after Trump's election in 2016. Trump announced his bid for reelection in 2017.[note 7][82] At the same time, media speculation about possible Democratic candidates began, and candidates suggested or even confirmed their candidacies as early as 2018. The first debate for Democratic candidates was held in early 2019, followed by the primary season in early 2020. Conventions were held in the summer of 2020 and were followed by debates, intense campaigning and negative political ads, Trump theatrics, social media hysteria, and the actual election in November 2020.

Party conventions[edit]

Four parties held conventions in 2020; the Democratic Party, Republican Party, Green Party and Libertarian Party.

Debates[edit]

There were debates scheduled for the 2020 presidential race, three for the presidential nominees, and one for the vice-presidential nominees.

Date Day of the week Location City and State Type Moderators
29 September, 2020 Tuesday Case Western Reserve UniversityWikipedia Cleveland, Ohio Presidential Chris WallaceWikipedia
7 October, 2020 Wednesday The University of UtahWikipedia Salt Lake City, Utah Vice Presidential Susan PageWikipedia
Canceled October 15, 2020 Thursday Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Miami, Florida Presidential Steve Scully
October 22, 2020 Thursday Belmont UniversityWikipedia Nashville, Tennessee Presidential Kristen WelkerWikipedia

Each debate was 90 minutes long (1 hour, 30 minutes) from 9:00 to 10:30 pm ETC, with no commercial breaks.[83]

The first and third presidential debate (Cleveland and Nashville) were divided into six 15-minute segments. The topics of these segments were selected by the moderator and announced a week in advance. The second presidential debate (Miami) would have been a town hall format using people from around Miami. The vice presidential debate consisted of nine 10-minute long segments.[84] On 2 September, 2020, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the moderators for the debates.[85]

The first "debate"[edit]

The first debate was a complete disaster, with both Trump and Biden constantly interrupting each other, while poor Wallace had to literally beg them to stop[86]- which Trump and his supporters, to the surprise of no one, were not pleased about. One of the few things people took away from this Arnab Goswami-like shouting match "debate" was the following quote from Mr. Biden:

Will you shut up, man?
Joe Biden, after being interrupted during the debate for the umpteenth time

And the following ridiculous quote from Mr. Trump:

You just lost the left, you just lost the radical left!
Donald Trump, after Biden said he doesn't fully agree with the Green New Deal

Internationally and domestically, perhaps the most significant quote once again came from Trump, who was explicitly asked to condemn white supremacists and Neo Nazis, and only had this to say:

Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.
Donald Trump, actively calling upon them to be ready to brutalize his opponents if things don't go his way.

The only (possibly) redeeming moment? Joe Biden defended his son, Hunter Biden, about his drug addiction. [87]

My son, like a lot of people … had a drug problem... He’s fixed it, he’s worked on it. And I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my son.” [88]

In speculative terms, Biden debated in a format very unorthodox compared to his usual style. There is a possibility that his team, or he himself, thought "Trump's gonna ramble, so fight fire with fire". Unfortunately, the much better strategy is to just wait it out and deliver confident remarks. You cannot equal the Trump blabbermouthing.

The second presidential debate[edit]

The Friday following the first presidential debate, held on 29 September, 2020, President Trump announced he had tested positive for coronavirus. The 2nd presidential debate, scheduled for 15 October, 2020 was only 13 days after the announcement of the positive test, which would still fall within the CDC's recommended quarantine timeline of 14 days. Further in the days following the announcement, it was revealed that the Trump administration made no attempts to inform the Biden campaign of the positive test, and that Trump had not actually been tested before the debate as was required due to him 'arriving late'.[89][90]

The Commission announced on 8 October, 2020 that the 15 October debate would be done virtually, to ensure physical separation of the candidates and moderator due to concerns over Trump's positive test. However, the Trump campaign almost immediately slammed this change and said they would have no part in the debate. Instead, they'd hold a rally at the same time as the debate on 15 October. After that announcement, Biden agreed to do a town hall, the type of debate scheduled, on ABC with George Stephanopoulos.[91][92] The following day, on 9 October, 2020, the Commission released a statement that the 15 October debate would not be held, citing statements from both campaigns indicating they would take part in alternative events on the 15th. The last debate on 22 October, 2020 occured as expected.[93]

How it went down[edit]

Elections, stressing you right into your current age of 74. See results!

Short answer: Tearful Trumpie and Pencie the Prick lost re-election. *fist pump*

Long answer: It wasn't going to be that simple. Trump looked to have the initial advantage at first, winning Florida and leading in the other key swing states. Unfortunately, he had not considered that the world was in a pandemic,As usual... which was followed by an overwhelming proportion of Democratic mail-in and absentee ballots running in. Having proclaimed victory prior, he quickly went insane upon the realisation that he was going to lose decisively, screaming to stop counting the ballots on Twitter.[94][note 9] His endless stream of lawsuits in response to such have been near-universally turned down, despite his rugged attempts to fill America's justice system full of his goons (See Authoritarianism of Donald Trump). But considering just how much of a bully Trump is, you would naturally expect people to tire quickly.

On the 7th November 2020, the mail votes swung so incredibly hard to Biden in Pennsylvania that he fell off the swing.[note 10] He won Pennsylvania by a decent-sized margin, enough so to be out of recount range, giving him enough electoral votes to win the presidency.[95] While both Biden and Harris were eager to start the transition process, Trump of course would not accept this result, leading to a mental breakdown that everyone has taken a chuckle out of, while his personality cult that persisted through his presidency began to crack wide open from the inside. It only got worse for Trump, Biden then swiftly took Arizona (Yes, the birth state of Barry Goldwater,[WTF?!] thank you Navajo Nation for making it happen)[96] and even fucking Georgia[97] in some of the biggest electoral upsets in American history.

Oh, and Trump's hair seems to have gone gray (like, no really, see right) since losing. It's a very bizarre state of affairs, and maybe possibly a case study on why stress is bad for you? Nobody really knows the answer to this peculiar phenomenon, but karmadillo is a bitch as some may say. Either way, one extra chuckle from the shitfest can never be passed up.

Normally, this would be time to say "The election is over". In this case, Donald Trump's mental breakdown was only just getting itself going.

Fraud claims[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Voter fraud
If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullshit.
—Bill Barr, Trump's Attorney General from 2019-December 2020[98]
It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.
—Jordan Levitt (Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law)[99]
This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together...
—Judge Brann (district court judge from Pennsylvania) [100]

Before[101][102] and after his loss, Donald Trump has claimed the 2020 election was rigged. He has largely pushed this, objectively false,[103] conspiracy theory by rage and despair tweeting on Twitter.[104][105][106] Despite the utter lack of evidence, half of Republican voters believe the election was rigged.[107]

In the days following the election after it became clear that Trump had lost the election but that he had refused to concede and was continuing to make false claims about voter fraud, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley became increasingly alarmed that Trump would attempt stage a self-coup similar to what Hitler did on March 23, 1933 (a "Reichstag moment" in Milley's words).[108][109][110][111] This was prescient on the part of Milley because Trump did attempt to stage a self-coup on January 6, 2021, and Milley took steps preceding the coup to assure that Trump would not be able to seize control of the military if a coup attempt did happen.[108][109] This is one of those rare cases when a Nazi analogy is valid.

Many of the false claims were initially propagated by Russell J. Ramsland Jr. with his company Allied Security Operations Group, Ramsland tried unsuccessfully to push similar false claims in 2018 but at that time no candidate took his bait.[112] In 2020, the false claims were incorporated into failed lawsuits by Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, and by Trump surrogates (Louie Gohmert and Rudy Giuliani).[112]

Some of the most popular fraud claims include:

"Zombies voted!!"[edit]

Trump supporters have accused dead voters of casting ballots.[113] These bogus claims were bolstered by Tucker Carlson, of Fox News.[114][115][116]

"Poll Challengers were not allowed to watch Ballot Counts!!!"[edit]

Elections allow a certain number of challengers into counting areas to watch ballot counters. In Detroit, for example, MAGA supporters claimed they were being denied their right to watch the count. In reality, they were kept out because the number of challengers - Democrat and Republican alike - had already been met and those individuals were already inside the building. [117][118]

“Votes were deleted!!!!”[edit]

Donny has used Twitter to claim that Dominion Voting SystemsWikipedia deleted 2.7 million votes.[119] The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISAWikipedia) and National Association of State Election Directors (NASEDWikipedia) refuted that claim.[120] The statement from those organizations said “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” [121] The Washington Post examined this claim by reviewing voter data in 10 key swing states, comparing the vote count of counties that used Dominion machines with the vote count of counties that did not. The results were similar. Trump won 81% counties that used Dominion (compared to 79% of those that did not), Biden won approx. 51% of the votes in counties that used Dominion, compared to a little over 50% in counties that did not. Nothing in these numbers suggests that any fraud took place. [122]

“Ballot machines were made by Hugo Chavez!!!!!”[edit]

In a stunning moment of stupid brilliance, Trump’s lawyers held a press conference where they claimed, on live television, that the ballot machines that Dominion used were actually from Venezuela and made “at the direction” of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, a man who had been dead for over 7 years. Interesting how Venezuela, a country lambasted by Trump and his Republican ilk as a piss poor socialist nation that’s incapable of providing the basics for its own people, is somehow able to infiltrate and rig an election in the world’s only superpower at the behest of a president who has been dead and buried in the ground for almost a decade.[123]

The lawyer in question who most heavily signal-boosted these claims, Sidney Powell, is the former attorney of Michael Flynn, and has also promoted QAnon. Shortly after getting into a public spat with Tucker Carlson over her apparent refusal to provide on-air evidence to her claims, she was unceremoniously dumped by the Trump legal team. Her subsequent court filings, which she made despite no longer representing the Trump campaign, were littered with elementary misspellings (including two completely different misspellings of 'district' on the header) and formatting issues (like failing to add spacing between words).[124]

Dominion Voting Systems responded to this bullshit on January 8, 2021 by suing Powell for defamationWikipedia, seeking damages of $1.3 billlion. [125]

Another voting software company, SmartmaticWikipedia, who also was mentioned heavily in the baseless fraud claims, responded to this bullshit on February 4, 2021 by filing a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against not only Powell, but Rudy Giuliani, Fox News, and three Fox News hosts: Maria BartiromoWikipedia, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine PirroWikipedia. [126]

"Trump Won the bellwethers!"[edit]

Trump's supporters have cited the fact that Trump managed to win 18 out of 19 counties that have voted for the winner of the presidency since 1980.[127] However, correlation does not imply causation. These counties and states just happened to have been on a streak (the most impressive being Velencia County, NM, which has voted with the winner every election from 1952-2016)[128]. As any smart gambler will say, improbable streaks sometimes happen and while what happened in those counties wasn't truly random the streaks will at some point come to an end. Fivethirtyeight argues that this happened because their demographics are now whiter and less educated than the national electorate as a whole. In fact, they noted that a dramatic shift occurred in 2016 when 16 of the counties that were bellwethers beginning in 1980 broke their streaks and voted for Hillary Clinton; those counties were more diverse and educated, the types of voters that broke heavily for Clinton. While in the ones that Trump won, Trump managed to win them by higher margins than the national popular vote (unlike Obama who won them much closer to his popular vote numbers).[129] While they voted with the winners it is inaccurate to say that those counties caused the candidate to win. Their previous performances are not predictive of future results.

Additionally, Trump's supporters have falsely claimed that no presidential winner in history has lost both Florida and Ohio. As a matter of fact, John F. Kennedy won his election in 1960 while losing the Sunshine and Buckeye states. The Constitution does not say that the winner of a particular state (or states) wins the election, rather the candidate that gets the majority of electoral votes does. All that this proves is that there are winning combinations which don't involve those two states. The predictive values of those bellwethers to the national outcome might as well have been as good as the Washington Football Team's performances between 1932 and 2000.[130]

"The Vice President can arbitrarily reject electoral ballots"[edit]

This appears to be a reference to then Vice President Richard Nixon's actions during the counting of the electoral ballots in 1961. During that election the new state of Hawaii entered into a prolonged recount which was still occurring when the state's electors were required to submit their votes. At the time it appeared that Nixon was leading over Kennedy and the state's three Republican electors had their votes certified and approved by the governor. However, the Democrats also met and cast their votes for Kennedy and when the recount was finished it showed that JFK had won by 115 votes. The governor then certified the Democratic slate but sent both slates to Washington. When Hawaii's votes came up Nixon counted the votes for JFK and nobody in congress objected and they were added to Kennedy's official tally.[131]

Several Republicans made a false analogy to this situation to 2020. In fact Louie Gohmert attempted to sue Vice President Pence into doing this to the states that Biden had flipped [132] and right up to January 6, 2021 Trump was encouraging Pence to do just this. But these situations are were not remotely the same. First Hawaii's votes would not have affected the outcome, Kennedy won 303 to Nixon's 219 and Harry Byrd's 15. Had they voted for Nixon, JFK would have won 300-222. Second, and more importantly, Kennedy had in fact won Hawaii; all Nixon did was acknowledge that fact. Yes, Hawaii had technically missed a deadline but what was more important was that Hawaiians were being accurately represented.

Finally, if the Vice President had such a power what would have stopped then Vice President Al Gore in 2001 from disqualifying Florida's disputed votes and essentially declaring himself the winner of the 2000 election?

U.S. Capitol insurrection[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 2021 U.S. Capitol riot

After two months of being inundated by baseless fraud claims and conspiracy theories, Trump supporters' fervor reached a head when they successfully stormed the U.S. Capitol to disrupt the counting of electoral votes during a joint session of Congress on January 6th, a misguided attempt to overturn the election in Trump's favor. The rioters occupied the building, including Congressional offices and chambers, for several hours before eventually being removed by the Washington D.C. National Guard. At least five people, four protestors and one police officer, were killed. One protestor, 35-year old Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt, was shot and killed by Capitol Police attempting to breach the Senate chamber. Another was trampled to death while (ironically) carrying a "Don't tread on me" flag.

Many of the protestors were wearing or carrying QAnon paraphernalia, in addition to standard Trump and MAGA attire. Among the participants in the insurrection were Baked Alaska, Nick Fuentes, the Q Shaman, and West Virginia state legislator Derrick Evans. In a stunning lack of opsec, many rioters did not wear masks and live-streamed or photographed their activities to social media, which made subsequent identification by law enforcement a breeze. Several have already been charged.

Many journalists and commentators noted the stark contrast between law enforcement's relatively gentle (if not outright passive) treatment of pro-Trump protestors, compared to the harsh and often excessive treatment of Black Lives Matter and other social justice protestors earlier in the year. Several Capitol and Metro D.C. Police were disciplined or resigned in the wake of the episode. A more thorough investigation is currently pending.

Aftermath[edit]

The incident lead to the mass-purging of pro-Trump and pro-QAnon accounts on social media platform, particularly Twitter. After refusing to condemn the insurrection, Trump was suspended by Twitter, and later permanently banned. Subsequently, Trump finally conceded the election to Biden in a video posted by the official White House account, much to the dismay of his supporters online, some of whom began conspiracy theorizing that the video in question was a deepfake or otherwise false.

The alt-right militant circle-jerk cesspool social media app Parler was subsequently removed from the Apple App Store and the Google play store. The following day, Amazon Web Services (AWS) terminated Parler's web hosting for being an alt-right militant circle-jerk cesspool not moderating or removing extremist content,[133] citing 98 examples of posts which exhorted or encouraged violence, including a suggestion that Trump's own vice president, Mike Pence, should be executed [134] for treason due to his failure to overturn the results of the election, which he never had the power to do.

Parler CEO John Matze stated that this could put Parler offline for "as long as a week" while they moved to a new host, stating that they had "many competing for our business."[135] Matze, or at least the company he works for, then immediately proceeded to demonstrate that he's full of shit contradict him by suing AWS in federal court, claiming that AWS's removal of hosting services would be a "death blow" and "Without AWS, Parler is finished as it has no way to get online," the complaint said. "And a delay of granting this TRO by even one day could also sound Parler's death knell as President Trump and others move on to other platforms." [136] On January 13th, Matz finally admitted to Reuters news service that Parler might never come back, stating that "It’s hard to keep track of how many people are telling us that we can no longer do business with them"[137]...and nothing of value was lost.[citation NOT needed]

Law enforcement action against rioters / insurrectionists[edit]

As of Wednesday, January 13th 2021 federal prosecutors had already charged 70 individuals in connection to the incident with charges pending against 100 more amidst calls for those involved in the incident to be added to the federal no fly list.[138]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. He lost the general election in Georgia, then he lost the recount, then he lost the recount of the recount, then he was a major factor in the GOP losing the two Senate runoffs and with them control of the Senate. And that's not even getting in to his numerous failed lawsuits, his failed attempt to try and threaten the Georgia Secretary of State to "find votes" for him, and even more failed attempts to overturn the results in that state
  2. While we at RationalWiki are glad America has finally elected her first female, black, and Asian-American VP, we were hoping it would be someone with more of a spine. Eh well, chances for redemption?
  3. Fact of the matter is polling based on "This guy or that guy" is a bad form of measuring an election. In reality, some will say "Definitely", others "Possibly", then others "I don't know yet".
  4. Though, go in carefully, else you'll get pwned like Paul Ryan got in 2012. Trump was unfortunately too much of a blabbermouth to actually have a debate.
  5. Which repealed most of the Glass-Steagall legislation.
  6. The Wall Street bailout.
  7. Seriously, he filed paperwork with the Federal Election CommissionWikipedia to start fundraising for the 2020 election on 20 January 2017, the day he was inaugurated.
  8. Moved due to the 2019-20 COVID-19 outbreak.
  9. Ironic, because he genuinely thought he was going to win in every fiber of his being. Also ironic, because, had the counting been stopped at the time of that tweet, Biden would've won much more than the 270 electoral vote threshold.
  10. Before that point, Biden was hundreds of thousands down in Pennsylvania. Then the mail-in ballots came in. The rest is history.

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  113. The dead voter conspiracy theory peddled by Trump voters, debunked
  114. Fox News host Tucker Carlson apologizes for erroneously claiming a dead man voted in Georgia
  115. Fact check: Evidence undermines Trump campaign's claims of dead people voting in Georgia
  116. False claims of voting fraud, pushed by Trump, thrive online
  117. Chaos erupts at TCF Center as Republican vote challengers cry foul in Detroit
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  119. Fact check: Dominion voting machines didn't delete votes from Trump, switch them to Biden
  120. Did Dominion Voting Systems Delete 2.7M Trump Votes?
  121. JOINT STATEMENT FROM ELECTIONS INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNMENT COORDINATING COUNCIL & THE ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR COORDINATING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES
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  130. Pardon the offensive term for this "rule" but the article appears not to have been updated since the team changed its name.
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  138. US identifies over 170 capitol rioters for possible criminal charges"voanews.com article"