In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, host Chris Wallace confronted Kellyanne Conway about an altered video involving CNN reporter Jim Acosta that the Trump White House had spread on Twitter.
“Well, Chris, first of all,” Conway said, “What do you mean by edited, or as others are saying, ‘doctored video?’”
“The video was altered, and there are experts who have looked at it,” Wallace said.
“By that, do you mean sped up?” Conway said. “Oh, well that’s not altered, that’s sped up.”
That’s not altered, that’s sped up. And up is down and black is white and truth is fiction and we are screwed if we allow this all-out assault on the very concept of reality to continue. No nation, no business, no human endeavor can survive long should it surrender its grip on what is real.
On Monday, President Trump ventured still deeper into that alternative world when he claimed in a tweet that forged ballots had been discovered in the Florida elections, then insisted that only those ballots that were counted Election Night should be considered legitimate.
That is a lie being used to support a travesty. Despite separate investigations by state police and state elections officials ordered by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, there is zero evidence of Florida ballots being forged or of any other form of criminality, and zero evidence that ballots are “massively infected.” With his demand to stop the voting, Trump is basically insisting that the right to vote be stripped from hundreds of thousands of citizens who took the time to legally vote by mail or absentee, including soldiers serving overseas and elsewhere in this country, and there are simply no grounds for doing so. In short, what Trump, Scott and others are trying to engineer is a massive vote fraud.
It is reprehensible for the president of the United States to falsely undermine faith in our electoral process in hopes of short-circuiting the counting of legitimate ballots that he fears may go against his party. It is also extremely dangerous, because people who are told by their leaders that they are being cheated of victory will naturally refuse to accept any outcome other than that victory. And once that happens, democracy is no longer tenable.
Yes, our vote-counting apparatus is archaic, underfunded and disorganized, including here in Georgia. But it is particularly true in Florida, where Scott has been governor for eight years, where Republicans have had a firm grip on the state Legislature for even longer, and where 18 years ago we endured the Gore-Bush controversy.
It is humiliating for a prosperous, high-tech nation that thinks of itself as the birthplace of modern democracy to continue to experience such delays and obstacles to a fair, transparent vote count. Furthermore, what Trump, Scott and others are doing sounds like something out of a Third World country, with the ruling junta demanding that vote-counting cease because they might lose.
Count the votes. Count every vote, then live with the results, even if or especially if the results are not to your liking. Also, stop lying.