It’s a new year. What was your resolution? Here’s one for Michael Gerson — and for many others.
Gerson suffers acutely from Trump Derangement Syndrome. He also, we should note charitably, suffers from other serious ailments, and we should wish him well. But while it’s true that reading his 794th screed on Trump is more appropriate for the Lenten season than for this one, it’s also true that a quick look may be beneficial as we head into a new year which will see elections across the country.
In his recent column titled “What if the Jan. 6 report just doesn’t matter?” Gerson is so fixated on Trump, whom he thinks is evil incarnate, that he seems unable to grasp either why the “January 6 Report” may not matter or what could be done (or what could have been done) to make it matter. It’s his column, of course (and the Bezos Post’s), and if he wants to shout into the wind, that’s his business. But cui bono?, as they used to ask when students studied the classics, which Princeton has now declared to be white supremacist.
Gerson writes that the House committee “seems intent on exploring and exposing all the elements of former president Donald Trump’s plot against America: the spurious and dangerous legal theories that fed and informed his plan to overturn the 2020 election, [and] Trump’s direct incitement of violent and criminal behavior on the part of his supporters …” Gerson’s problem is that he’s assuming as true precisely what is supposed to be determined. He’s in good company, of course: that’s exactly what the House committee is doing. Gerson should calm down and take a more realistic view based not only on Trump’s shortcomings but also on the perfidy of his enemies.
The record has now convincingly established that Trump did not incite his followers. The texts from Jan. 6 make that clear. People who persist in saying otherwise simply aren’t interested in the truth.
Gerson writes: “According to the Pew Research Center, roughly two-thirds of Republicans say that Trump ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ won the 2020 election.” They may be wrong, of course, but why do they say that? And what is it that they really mean?
If those Republicans mean that enough ballots were stolen or altered to effectuate the Biden victory, the response has to be that that is something that has not yet been proved and is not likely ever to be proved.
But perhaps they take a larger view. Republicans argued that Pennsylvania’s voting laws were changed by the legislature in violation of Pennsylvania’s constitution. It’s true that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case that sought to have that change held illegal, but, if the law change was indeed illegal, the court’s refusal didn’t make Pennsylvania’s changes to the law legal. If you rob a store in California but take away goods worth less than $950, you will not be prosecuted. But not being prosecuted doesn’t make your conduct legal.
In addition to the changing of voting rules, there was the suppression by the mainstream media of the Hunter Biden laptop story. Many people know about Biden’s laptop now. But a poll taken shortly after the election showed that enough Democrats said they would have voted for Trump if they had known about the laptop to have changed the outcome of the election.
And of course there has been non-stop vilification of Trump from even before he got elected, up to and including today — and it will not stop soon.
Under all those circumstances, why should anyone be surprised that a lot of Republicans think the 2020 election was stolen — “stolen” really being just a word to indicate the corruption of the electoral process by the Democrats and their allies in the media and Big Tech?
But here’s another point, and perhaps the most important one: the Democrats also know they “stole” the election, which is why they are so frantic to change the election laws: they’re not sure that without Trump on the ballot they can steal the next election too unless they eliminate the requirement for voter IDs. Has Gerson given any thought to that? Or is his TDS so serious that he’s joining in the Democrats’ perverted claim that voter IDs are RACIST! — even though 80% of Americans (and 69% of blacks) support them?
The good news, as we head into a new year, is that the gulf between Americans may be closing. According to a recent poll, 60% oppose Biden’s Build Back Better plan’s payments to illegal immigrants (you can’t make this stuff up), 81% oppose the tax credit of up to $50,000 for print journalists (you really can’t make this stuff up) — and there’s a lot more too. Biden’s popularity is now down at 45%, Trump territory, which, for many, is deliciously ironic, given that Biden has the media with him.
The Democrats know they’re in trouble, which is why they’re banging the Jan. 6 drum. Gerson needs to step back, take a deep breath … and resolve to let Trump go.
New Year’s Eve is a good time for him, and many others, to make that resolution.
Daniel Oliver is Chairman of the Board of the Education and Research Institute and a Director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was Executive Editor and subsequently Chairman of the Board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review.
Email Daniel Oliver at Daniel.Oliver@TheCandidAmerican.com.