A Win Achieved By Cheating Is Not A “Win”; It’s Cheating

Donald Trump gives “the boss” the kind of smile he gives no one else.

To describe what happened in 2016 as “Donald Trump won the election” is to frame the election from cheating’s point of view. Let’s be clear: Trump didn’t just cheat We The People out of our clear ballot box choices, he cheated the rule of law itself.

That’s significant. Dear American News Media — take note.

From the rule of law’s point of view, in order to be a legitimate win, the winner must follow the rule of law. If the “winner” didn’t follow the rule of law to achieve their win then their win “isn’t”. It can’t be — because they broke the rule of law to achieve it.

The moment we understood that Donald Trump cheated to become president in 2016, we should have reclassified his “win” as something other than a “win” — and his presidency something other than a presidency. That’s just the rule of law speaking. That’s important because the whole basis for our system of government is the rule of law. If Trump’s presidency was not achieved via the rule of law?

It’s not a presidency — which means (again, according to the rule of law) that Trump never had the authority to do anything a legitimate POTUS does. Like nominate lifetime judicial appointments including SCOTUS seats. The authority to do things like that flows from the rule of law. Step outside the rule of law and the authority no longer flows. If you violated the rule of law from the get-go (and Trump was deeply compromised before he ever declared his run) then nothing you ever did had any actual authority.

If we throw in a motive — in Trump’s case corruption and treason — then the nature of his judicial picks must also speak to motive. The whole point of choosing the judges Trump chose — after violating the rule of law in order to “win” election — was to stop the rule of law from having any capacity to stop Trump ever again. The rule of law cannot enforce itself. That’s our job. The perverse irony is that those breaking the rule of law in order to destroy the rule of law have a distinct advantage over those who refuse to break the rule of law — even to save it.

Had we enforced the rule of law equally before now, we wouldn’t be in the mess that we’re in. It’s not too late however. We The People are an overwhelming majority compared to the tiny cabal of rich, Christian white men who are trying so desperately to hang onto power. Proof that massive protest can stop them is in front of us.

Want to know what scares Donald Trump more than another pregnant mistress he’ll have to pay off? More than daddy’s anger at him? More Vladimir Putin even? The rule of law.

Trump thinks he can negotiate his way out of trouble with Putin (boy, is he wrong!). He knows he can’t do anything to negotiate his way out of trouble with the rule of law. That’s why he needs to make sure we never practice it ever again. The second we start enforcing it again (that’s an important distinction — the rule of law never stopped being in force; we stopped enforcing it), Donald Trump will be in legal jeopardy for the rest of his life and he knows it. Trump will be investigated, indicted, sued, indicted some more, convicted and sentenced to life behind bars. So will his children (not that he cares about them). What’s worst of all to Trump — he’ll lose everything. Literally.

Once the investigating begins in earnest — the rule of law will insist — every last piece of real estate Trump owns will be in play. Between tax fraud & money laundering, it’s all tainted one way or another. We’ll wash all that off after we seize it. I hope we have the good sense to put most of the money we make from the sale of everything Trump owns into a super fund that will begin to pay for the damage Trump did to the nation and to individual Americans. To individuals outside America too.

Donald Trump hasn’t just been bad for America, he’s been bad for the whole planet.

By cheating to gain the presidency, Trump did more than violate the rule of law. Our hearts may want to punish him for all the abuse our sense of decency has suffered. We’ll have to legislate decency in the future. For now, we’ll have to deal with facts. Donald Trump broke the rule of law in order to become POTUS.

That means Donald Trump is not now and never was legitimate President of the United States.

The moment we remove Trump (and the whole rest of the GOP) from power, real winning can finally begin. A win for the rule of law is a win for America and every single American.

A Lesson On “Cheating”: If You Cheat To Win, It Means “YOU DID NOT WIN”

Some things should be more self-evident than they apparently are. For instance — if I cheat to win at a game, I did not therefore “win” the game. Wins outside the rules do not count as wins. How can they?

Just because the “winner” says he won, that doesn’t mean anything. Cheaters are usually biased toward their cheating. An adulterer who tells his partner he wasn’t cheating isn’t just an adulterer, he’s a liar too. When Donald Trump claims he “won” the 2016 election, he’s both a cheater and a liar. He didn’t win anything; the best that can be said is that Russia won the election for him.

But then, Russia can’t — by law — do any such thing. If Russia helped him in any way, it means Trump did not “win” and we know for a fact that Russia helped him — exposing Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails on request. Donald Trump made his presidency illegitimate right in front of our faces.

The onus is on us for not holding him accountable. Just like the onus is on us for not enforcing the rule of law. That’s not a reflection on the rule of law or its effectiveness, it’s a reflection on us — and our fecklessness.

It’s a reflection on our news media and its refusal to aggregate the most important story any of them will ever cover. When they get to the retrospect part of their careers, an awful lot of American journalists are going to feel profoundly disappointed in themselves. At least they better.

In any other situation, a cheater revealed would be relieved of his spoils. Thieves don’t get to keep what they stole. But, for some reason, a lot of otherwise reasonable Americans have it in their heads that a presidency is different somehow. A stolen presidency is a thing apart — and regardless of how egregious the theft and how damaging the outcome, we’re… “obligated” to maintain everything the criminal did even if it’s antithetical to how the majority of us voted — and even if the criminal’s whole intent was act contrary to what the majority want.

Someone please explain where the logic is in this. Spoiler alert — there isn’t any.

We need to understand a stolen election result as a real, viable thing. It’s not an abstraction beyond real action. If someone cheated to win one of Trump phony beauty pageants, the cheater wouldn’t get to keep her crown, her prizes or any of the money. She’d have to give it back — because it belongs to the REAL winner.

Our 2016 election did not and does not belong to Donald Trump and the Republicans. We’re finally beginning to grasp how easily (and likely) Russians or other malignant actors could have altered voting machine tallies. Any voting machine that connects to the internet is vulnerable. Just like our phones and computers. If someone wants to hack in, they’re likely to get in. And Russia wanted to hack in in the very worst way. The election results belong, in fact, to We The People.

Here’s another thing We The People should remain clear on. As I said, we stopped enforcing the rule of law. That doesn’t mean it ever stopped being in effect. The rule of law has ALWAYS been in effect. Hell, we’ve been using it against people like Reality Winner who was among the first to warn us that Donald Trump and Russia had an overly tight relationship. Various police departments around the country have been “using” (abusing actually) the rule of law as the basis for punishing black and brown people.

Republicans will want us to agree with them that while they were running amok, the rule of law wasn’t in effect so therefore their running amok could’t be criminal. We need to disabuse them of this nonsense. The rule of law didn’t let us down, we let it down. But that’s going to change starting right now. The rule of law has always been in fine working order but it cannot prosecute itself. We are going to not only return to enforcing the rule of law but we will make it explicitly clear: henceforth, we will prosecute the rule of law evenly.

That means any time anyone violates it, they must answer for it. Any time & any one.

That way, we’ll know when people cheat — and, hopefully, we’ll get better at responding to it in real time. It should never again take us four years to realize we’re being bamboozled.

And, once we do realize we’ve been taken? We need to act swiftly so that the criminal acts stop immediately.