The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
I posted this at Instapundit, where the readership, and some of the bloggers, have been unvaryingly pro-Trump:
I know this isn't going to win me any popularity contests with most Instapundit readers, but I'm here to express my opinion, not to reflect readers', so here goes.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud that could plausibly be said to have cost Trump the election, nor even a single state. It's true the media and big tech was overtly pro-Biden, and while that's not good for democracy it's also not illegal or fraudulent, and thus has no bearing on whether Biden won the election or not. And all that is why Trump's lawyers lost every single case they brought before judges of all parties and ideologies, including a dozen or so rulings by Trump-appointed federal judges who would undoubtedly have preferred that he won.
But it's more serious than that. Even if you accept any of the not-completely-crazy theories I've seen of how the election was "stolen," at best that gets Trump to a narrow victory in the Electoral College. Yet the president continues to insist not just that he won, not just that the election was stolen, but that he won in a "landslide."
There is no excuse for political violence, and Trump, admittedly, did not ask anyone to engage in violence. However, if you tell people that their votes didn't count, that the election was a sham, that the election you lost wasn't even close but in fact a landslide in your favor, it's only natural to expect that some people will be inclined to resort to violence, because the whole point of elections is to settle political matters without violence. If the election process is a total fraud, then violence is to be expected.
Even in the face of the violence yesterday, Trump, while telling the rioters to go home, also continued to insist that he really won in a landslide, thus continuing to foment violence. He is unfit to be president. And no, that doesn't excuse all the examples of bad behavior on the left over the past 4 years, and that bad behavior undoubtedly created an atmosphere in which violence becomes more acceptable (not least by the tacit and sometimes explicit acceptance of the mass violence last Summer). But the basic moral principle of "two wrongs don't make a right" still applies. Sometimes f you fight fire with fire, you burn down your house.