“If the election was fraudulent, people are gonna have to make up their own mind. It’s not gonna be up to me. It’s gonna be up to the public. It’s gonna be up to, perhaps, politicians. I don’t think there’s ever been a case like this where hundreds of thousands of votes will be found. So we’ll have to see what happens.”
Literally none of that is right. Or close to it.
The election wasn’t fraudulent. All 50 states plus the District of Columbia certified the vote. The Electoral College count was affirmed by Congress. There has been no evidence of any sort of widespread voter fraud — whether nationally or in an individual state.
Now, consider what Trump says next: “People are gonna have to make up their own mind. It’s not gonna be up to me. … It’s gonna be up to the public.”
So if and when the “recount” ends and its Trump-loyal backers declare something like we can’t know who really won, then the former President’s supporters will look to statements like “it’s gonna be up to the public” and think that he is urging them to take to the streets.
And well, January 6 gave us a sense of what happens when you have an irresponsible leader pushing a debunked conspiracy theory on a group of people who have been fed lies about their government for years.
Whether Trump realizes it or not (and I think he does and just doesn’t care), giving people reason to believe that he actually could somehow wind up back in the White House and that the power to make that happen could well lie with them is the equivalent of pouring lighter fluid on a fire.
The Point: Don’t be surprised by what comes next. Words matter.