It’s been another historically close election and while the media who covered and campaigned for Joe Biden want to push President Trump off the stage, it’s not over just yet.
President Trump should explore all legal avenues to ensure that the outcome is marked by integrity and reliability. Those routes to the victory he and his more than 70 million supporters want, are few and narrow, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t seek to address possible irregularities or nefarious activity in the process.
His doing so isn’t just good for him and his quest for a second term.
It’s good for the country.
When Americans question the integrity of our elections, that doubt strikes to the very core of our democracy and the promises made to every citizen in the Constitution.
Donald Trump fought for every single vote.
As the contest draws to a close, he should keep fighting legitimate issues, but not be so obstinate as to think that force of will alone will now be enough.
The president faces, a significant three-pronged challenge.
He has a numbers problem, a legal problem and a public perception problem.
Additionally, time is growing short for the Trump team to begin articulating a set of issues that they can successfully litigate to change the course of the election.
We’ve all seen the videos and heard the accusations.
There are clearly legitimate issues to be raised in the courts and the campaign needs to be more organized and more aggressive in raising them.
It's important for people to keep in mind at this sensitive time that it's the Trump campaign and its allies that bear the burden of proof to not only expose irregularities or fraud, but if they expect courts to take definitive steps to disqualify ballots, initiate recounts, or change established counting procedures, the Trump team will have to show irreparable harm.
Evidence in each state must be presented for adjudication this week.
There is a clear constitutional issue in Pennsylvania regarding procedural changes made by their state supreme court. In Nevada, universal mail-in ballots have allegedly led to thousands of deceased or non-residents voting in the election.
In Georgia and Michigan, glitches in their electronic voting system have also been shown to have manipulated thousands of votes.
In Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania the issue of meaningful access is also very real.
You can’t analyze signatures, postmarks or view other components of a ballot to determine whether it should be challenged from 10 or 20 feet away.
The Georgia secretary of state has already indicated that they will go to a full recount – but without meaningful access for campaign observers, ballot defects are unlikely to be uncovered.
The president for his part — whether he means to or not — is clearly telegraphing that he's on the defensive. He knows many in the public are beginning to move on from the election.
Americans are fickle and impatient. His Tweets and statements in the week after the election have at times made broad and vague accusations of widespread fraud and illegitimacy in the process.
Those weren’t helpful to his cause.
He may be proven right (as he often is), but now is not a time for political pronouncements.
It’s time for clear, concise, and well-reasoned legal arguments.
Trump should take a page out of the Bush-Cheney 2000 team’s communications and legal strategy. George W. Bush didn’t speak to the nation on election night.
He made very few public statements during the more than a month-long process.
Bush left the task of explaining to the American people why the recount was necessary to esteemed attorneys and spokespeople like James Baker, Ted Olsen, Ben Ginsburg and others.
They were not political consultants, campaign operatives or people who had controversial public personas. Every day, the Bush lawyers gave both the media and the public a steady diet of what the campaign was doing to ensure the integrity of the process and why they felt, given the applicable law, they were right.
The Trump campaign’s approach to the legitimate questions above has thus far seemed disjointed, scrambling and more of a political operation than a legal one.
That needs to change fast, not just in Pennsylvania but every state where there are issues that not only should be litigated but also could impact the overall outcome.
To date, we still don’t know who is leading this multi-state legal strategy or who the principal spokesperson is for the overall effort.
Joe Biden and the Democrats believed their own press, took voters for granted and barely campaigned. They relied on a fawning liberal media and Big Tech to put their finger on the scale for him.
Those allies did that again on Saturday morning.
President Trump created a movement — one that helped make him a truly consequential president. But even many of the people who voted for him will tire quickly of generalities, disjoined messages and street theater on the courthouse steps without being presented a cogent rationale for how he can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and more importantly protect the integrity of our most sacred right — the right to vote.
Certainly a worthwhile cause.
Tom Basile is the host of ‘America Right Now’ on Newsmax Television, Saturday’s from 12pm - 3pm eastern. Basile has been part of the American political landscape from Presidential campaigns to local politics for more than two decades. He has served in government at the local, state and federal level including in the administration of George W. Bush in various capacities. He was an advisor to the provisional government in Iraq from 2003-04. From 2009-2011 he was the Executive Director of the New York State Republican Party. A columnist, commentator and former radio how, his new book "Let it Sink In: The Decade of Obama and Trump" provides a look back at the 2010s to prepare Americans to defend freedom in the 2020s. His critically-acclaimed book, "Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq,” chronicled his time in Baghdad fighting media bias and driving coverage of the Iraq war. In 2011, he was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year spread about political activism around the world. Basile is an adjunct professor at Fordham University and runs a New York-based strategic communications firm. He is a member of the New York Bar and sits on a number of academic and philanthropic advisory boards. Learn more about him at TomBasile.com or follow him on Twitter @Tom_Basile. Read Tom Basile's Reports — More Here.
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