Unlike my last book review, I decided to use some of those Amazon dollars I had accrued over the years from various exploits on something useful and informative. Mollie Hemingway’s newest contribution to the discourse scores on both counts, and although I didn’t find a whole lot of new information to me in her book it’s a great one-stop shop in determining how the 2020 election (and, by some extension, the Trump presidency) careened off the rails.
Notice I say I didn’t find a whole lot of new information, and the reason I said that is because I keep an ear to the ground with news from a number of sources I trust to give me the straight skinny. On that count Hemingway is with me as I counted over 1,200 footnotes, and even though many are repeats of the same information source I can’t fault the amount of research on this one.
Mollie takes her time laying out the case, working her way through a number of events that began even before the moment that Donald Trump took office. By the way, I have to ask: have you ever noticed that an election won by a Republican is seldom considered legitimate in the eyes of the Left? Ever since Watergate, there’s almost always been some sort of scandal associated with a GOP victory – accusations of Ronald Reagan sending George H.W. Bush over on an SR-71 spy plane to delay the release of the Iranian hostages until after the 1980 election, the whole Bush v. Gore controversy in 2000, the Diebold scandal in Ohio from 2004, and Russia Russia Russia in 2016. (We got a break for a few years when Reagan was re-elected in enough of a landslide to preclude those questions and Bush followed on his coattails.) Hemingway begins her book talking about the Russia issue but settles in with a look at how election laws were changed in 2020 thanks to the Wuhan flu.
One thing I really liked about Rigged was the setup and layout, as each separate argument group gets its own chapter that’s well-covered. Because of that, it’s not perfectly sequential, but it hits on all the keynotes a reader needs to understand to figure out why the 2020 election went so terribly wrong for Trump. We find out early on, for example, that Democrats were terrified about a second Trump term because the economy was so strong, but got the stroke of luck they needed when COVID-19 (a.k.a. the CCP virus) struck in late 2019 and began to truly affect our nation in the spring of 2020. At the end of the 2020 State of the Union address, with the nation at maximum, triumphant Trump, and where the second chapter comes to an end, Hemingway wrote:
Trump’s opponents would need a miracle to stop him. He was at the peak of his powers and was leading the country to new heights. But Democrats would soon get their lucky break when news of a novel coronavirus reached American shores. It was a crisis they wouldn’t let go to waste.“Rigged”, p. 60.
Mollie details how things went spiraling downward from there: the rapid spread of COVID and the summer of rioting in the wake of George Floyd’s untimely death put Trump on the defensive, and as the economy tanked thanks to overly restrictive CCP virus mandates it suddenly became virtuous in the eyes of the media to run a campaign from a basement like Joe Biden’s was. She adds in full chapters describing the bizarre influence of “fake news” and, more importantly, the withholding of vital information from the voting public during the Hunter Biden influence scandal. Perhaps the “10 percent for the big guy” was the allotted share from “the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization” Biden had – no, wait, that voter fraud organization was bought and paid for by “Zuck bucks,” to which Hemingway also devotes a chapter.
The part where I learned the most was the latter part of the book, which briefly detailed briefly Democrat efforts to clear the field for Joe Biden in certain states – in particular, their shameful effort in Wisconsin to not only successfully kick the Green Party off the ballot, but denying write-in candidate Kanye West a spot because he was fourteen seconds late in having his paperwork accepted – the building was locked due to COVID restrictions and a circuit court ruled against West. (Under normal circumstances, his campaign’s paperwork would have easily made the deadline.) As Hemingway points out, no such efforts were made against the Libertarian Party, whose voters tend to be more right-leaning – and whose Presidential candidate, Jo Jorgensen, received more votes in Wisconsin than Biden’s victory margin there. (Not to say the Republicans aren’t guilty of that at times, too – just ask the Ohio Libertarian Party.)
Overall, Mollie does a fantastic job detailing the voting issues in Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. And if that weren’t enough, we are exposed to the folly that was Donald Trump’s post-election campaign for justice – already a long shot thanks to a system corrupted by the Democrats, Hemingway blamed Rudy Giuliani for many of the legal team’s problems.
Giuliani appeared more interested in creating a public relations spectacle than mounting a credible legal challenge. As his questionable legal strategy faltered, many of the big law firms that had signed onto the Trump campaign’s legal effort didn’t quit so much as quietly back away.“Rigged”, p. 293.
If one were to consider Donald Trump’s biggest mistakes, number one would have been giving Anthony Fauci the time of day. But arguably a close second was entrusting his legal challenge to the 2020 election to Rudy Giuliani, who seemed to be simply the ringmaster of a circus that also included grifters like Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, whose kraken we still await. I don’t think she meant the Seattle hockey team, did she?
As Hemingway writes to conclude the book, in its final chapter, “Consent of the Losers”:
A growing number of Americans are outraged by the way the left seizes and deploys power. They are sick of the lies, manipulation, and distortion that a corrupt ruling class spins on a regular basis. Those courageous citizens, not the decaying establishment, will determine the fate of our nation. Their efforts will ensure that we pass on our beloved republic to future generations.
In the fights to come, those men and women will have the best weapon – truth – on their side. The only question is whether their leaders will have the courage to use it.“Rigged”, p. 332.
Like I’m sure she did, I got that bile and anger in the back of my throat simply from retyping the sentence for the quote. It’s not so much that I was a Trump fan, but just the way the history we know of shook out showed that there are people who almost literally take the childhood taunt, “who died and made you king?” as a challenge. They don’t need no stinking laws passed by a legislature to seize power; they’ll just executive order it and dare a court to stop them – too often the courts don’t. (And yes, I’m looking at you, Governor Carnage.)
Rigged is not going to make you happier, unless you’re a power-hungry narcissist. I just hope it adds some steel to the spines because come November we may need it. This one was well worth the investment and read.