The Era of Rhetorical Tricks


Here’s an interesting thing I’ve noticed in general commentary and in private email threads that I’ve somehow found myself to be on:  Everything is a rhetorical trick.  “Experts” and “intellectuals” are apt to devolve into lists of acronyms to prove how smart they are rather than answer the simple question of whether they actually care whether fraudulent techniques of media, politics, and even the electoral process won Biden his victory.  Not whether it’s correct, but whether they care if it is or isn’t.

It seems they think their clever arguments will continue to deceive the public.  Or maybe they’re just so thoroughly trained and acculturated to them that they don’t even realize what they’re doing.

This must be something like the tyranny of “white logic” that those who espouse “antiracism” see in our “institutionally racist” society, only it isn’t a racial category but a class one.  Our betters think they’ve structured logic itself such that they win at every turn.

So, put forward the opinion that the 2020 election was fraudulent, and the response will be that there is no evidence.  Points out evidence of obvious fraud, even throwing in conspicuous “errors” or “mistakes,” and the Bidenites will note that the incidents, even in the thousands, do not add up to enough votes to have made a difference.  It’s a tally of specifics.

If, on the other hand, you point to the bigger picture and note how implausible it is that, with scarcely any campaigning or visible enthusiasm (and a half century in the public eye), Joe Biden was able to shatter every vote record on the books, including that for Barack Obama, or maybe you note the statistical implausibility of the voter turnout and vote swings in key cities and the complete failure of almost every bellwether county to predict this outcome for the first time in decades, then the claim is that this is not “evidence.”

The fraud-skeptics’ methods cannot be overcome, because they are total.

In short, to “prove” impropriety, they apparently would require Trump supporters to document and prove beyond the shadow of a doubt every single suspect vote.  Some of them will go so far as to point out that this is impossible because the mailing materials were separated from the mailed-in ballots long ago.  To them, this isn’t evidence of potential taint; it’s taken as evidence that there was no fraud because fraud cannot be proven.

This is as much as to say that fraud only exists if it is proven in court, and the disappearance of evidence means it can never be proven in court, so therefore, there can have been no fraud.  This was the most fraud-free election in the history of the universe!  It’s an intellectual trick to allow the beautiful people to comfortably believe what they want to be true.  They make it safe to believe a falsehood because they feel they have this protective barrier of logical impossibility.

This same social cohort, by the way, has demonstrably different standards in different circumstances.  A single anecdote of bias in an individual somewhere in the country is sufficient evidence that some large group or organization is something-ist.  On the other hand, statistical evaluations of police stops or pay rates is sufficient evidence of “institutional something-ism” without a single instance of bias being proven, or even specifically alleged.  Never mind the claims of the same cohort about the supposed crimes and illegitimacy of Donald Trump.

None of this matters, because they consider themselves the judges of what counts, with no objective measurement.  This is why they devolve into credentialism.  Obama was “scandal free” because they chose not to count anything that happened under his administration as a “scandal.”  It’s a tautology.

Just so, they claim that no fraud has been proven or even alleged, except by “crackpot lawyers,” because, naturally, no lawyer but a crackpot would allege such a thing.  See how neat and tidy that logic is?  There cannot possibly be evidence because anybody who brings forward evidence cannot be believed simply by the fact that he or she brought forward evidence.

Then, if you somehow get past that circular defense, you must deal with their assertion that our legal system is the central (even the only) tool for figuring out what’s true.  In other circumstances, the same people will either cite the corruption of judges to explain an outcome they didn’t like or, more intellectually, acknowledge that judges aren’t really tasked with discerning deep truth, but merely determining how the law should apply.  I’ve heard this from police, judges, and ethics commissioners:  “The behavior you’re complaining about may very well be wrong and unjust, but my job is only to make final determinations applying a particular body of law to a specific situation.”  Except when it isn’t.

When this cohort thinks the law is not in their favor, you will find them qualifying each judge’s name with the political party under which he or she was appointed (as in, “Republican-appointed judge”).  When they think they will get their way from a judge, you can expect a dramatic elevation of that politically appointed or elected person.  He or she will instantly become something more like the judges of the Old Testament, who were much closer to “wise kings.”

Those of us who believe this election to have been a sham should stride confidently through these rhetorical tricks.  If we’re correct, then a majority of Americans did not vote for the ostensibly incoming administration.  Even large numbers of people who hoped for a Biden victory believe there was fraud involved.  Our time is better spent thinking about those Americans and how they can be reached and represented.

The insiders’ trick will work only if we turn away from that broad population of Americans in order to debate people who prove by their very arguments that they are immune to persuasion.