Tags: Donald Trump | Hillary Clinton | electoral | heffernan | los angeles times | new york times

Disparaging Nation's Legitimate Processes Hypocritical, Harmful

Disparaging Nation's Legitimate Processes Hypocritical, Harmful
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Monday, 30 July 2018 01:27 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The left's self-delusion plumbs new depths.

In the presidential debates leading up to the 2016 election, when then-candidate Donald Trump refused to confirm that he'd accept the electoral results in advance (he feared election fraud by his opponents), Hillary Clinton, with horror, condemned Trump as a betrayer of our ideals, and an enemy of our Constitution.

When candidate Trump surprised Clinton and her supporters by winning the presidency, the shock appears to have dangerously unhinged them — and possibly her as well.

The latest manifestation of this shock is the astonishing op-ed in the July 28 Los Angeles Times by Virginia Heffernan, formerly of The New York Times, and a graduate of the University of Virginia — and Harvard.

Heffernan previously created a stir by writing that she was a believer in creationism, because of the aesthetic appeal of its narrative involving God, which was so much more delightful than a soulless "Big Bang."

Heffernan's Wikipedia biography lauds her as a "playful, stylish and erudite writer."

Perhaps her op-ed, entitled "Was The 2016 Election Legitimate? It’s Now Definitely Worth Asking the Question," is a spoof, but the arguments she makes do appear calculated to appeal to those with only a superficial understanding of our republic.

Her arguments could could even well be dangerously destabilizing.

They are the very things that Hillary Clinton purported to fear.

Thus Heffernan asserts that President Trump’s was a "shady victory," an "incongruous victory," because "A nation devoted to majority rule has a minority president," who "squeaked into office on an electoral college technicality."

That much may actually be true, but then Heffernan descends into fantasy and declares that Trump’s victory was one "using dark money," "voter suppression" and "Russian disinformation," with "a massive assist from the Russian military," which, she claims "hacked voting software and a voting-system manufacturer."

These are, of course, unproven claims, and, indeed, there is not one shred of evidence confirming that any of these purported misdeeds affected a single vote. Similarly, without basis is Heffernan’s implication that Donald Trump is a criminal who holds on to "ill-gotten power and money."

Virginia Heffernan, like Hillary Clinton, does not seem to have grasped the far more likely possibility that Trump legitimately won the presidency because of the brilliance of a constitutional scheme that demands more than a mere majority of the popular vote, but often requires the achievement of support by a majority of the states composing our polity.

A glance at the red state/blue state map of the 2016 election will show that Trump — by astonishing margins — won the votes of a large majority of the counties of our nation.

His support was broad and deep, if not numerically superior (and, indeed, it’s not inconceivable that some of the margin of the popular vote Clinton secured was the result of voter fraud, as Trump apparently believes).

We now know that the popular vote and, thus, the Electoral College were rigged in John Kennedy’s favor by corrupt politicians of the Democratic Party.

Thus, if anything, the fear of manipulation shouldn’t be laid at President Trump’s door.

And, of course, it’s not just the constitutional scheme that explains Trump’s victory.

A majority of those who voted for Donald J. Trump appear to have done so because of his stand on appointing justices faithful to the Constitution. A promise he has kept.

Hillary Clinton’s dubious maintenance of an unsecured server on which she stored classified information; the fact that she and her husband have grown astonishingly rich in government service (talk about "ill-gotten" gains), as well as the fact that compared to Donald Trump she was far less energetic, far less appealing, and represented failed policies of the past rather than creative solutions to the nation’s problems, explain her loss better than what Virginia Heffernan labels "Russian interference and Trumpland complicity."

Clinton’s failure to campaign in crucial swing states in which Trump was an impressive presence didn’t help her cause either.

There is aesthetic appeal (and maybe even more) in the biblical story of creation, but Virginia Heffernan, Hillary Clinton, and too many of her supporters (in spite of their impressive elite educations) don’t seem to be living in reality.

They have conjured up a fantasy to explain their own failings.

Perhaps this is a problem which can be solved only by some psychological experts in cognitive dissonance. When Heffernan writes a piece disaparaging our constitutional scheme and a legitimately elected president she (perhaps unwittingly) contributes to the undermining of the popular commitment to the rule of law on which our republic is based.

It's "the resistance," Hillary Clinton, and her supporters like Virginia Heffernan who are placing us in the peril that Clinton accused Trump of embracing.

Hypocrisy is nothing new in politics, but it's always shameful and disturbing.

Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, the Legal Affairs Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and a contributor to The University Bookman. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and has taught at Rutgers University, the University of Virginia, and University College, London. He has often testified on constitutional issues before committees of the United States Congress, and is the author of "Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered" (Regnery, 1994) and "Law Professsors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law" (West Academic, 2017). Presser was recently appointed as a Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado's Boulder Campus for 2018-2019. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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StephenBPresser
Perhaps this is a problem which can be solved only by some psychological experts in cognitive dissonance. When Virginia Heffernan writes a piece disparaging our constitutional scheme and a legitimately elected president she (perhaps unwittingly) contributes to undermining.
electoral, heffernan, los angeles times, new york times
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2018-27-30
Monday, 30 July 2018 01:27 PM
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